Review: The Timekeeper’s Son

3 stars out of 5

Mike E. Miller’s first novel, The Timekeeper’s Son gets three stars for its innovative use of time travel.  That means, I don’t regret having read it. It did not waste my time. But I didn’t love it, either.

In The Timekeeper’s Son, Andy wakes up one morning to find himself in his nine-year old body, twenty-six years earlier than it had been the night before. Without getting into spoilers, Miller provides a fascinating concept of this time displacement happening to others as well and of a secret organization that ensures the process does not go wrong.  It is a great set up for a great novel – and that is what kept me reading.

Unfortunately, Miller falls short in executing on the potential of the concept. His protagonist makes every decision correctly and heroically, rendering him uninteresting as the story proceeds. The information the reader is given about the role of the secret organization leaves huge gaps that render the organization nonsensical, or at least confusing. And Miller’s prose lacks crispness and belabors every thought Andy has – stating each emotion directly, repeating it several times in sequential sentences, then reviving it a paragraph or two later. Granted, I am a bit outside the intended audience who may overlook some of these shortcomings more easily than I (as a writer and editor) am able to do. More importantly, despite these flaws, the book was still a decent read.

Before writing this review, I checked into Mike E. Miller’s profile.  This is his first novel and he wrote and self-published it in the same year. Given that, I believe Miller has a great deal of potential as a novelist, but he rushed this novel.  I look forward to reading his next novel as his writing develops.

Disclosure: This review was of a free copy provided to me by the author for review.

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