Wednesday, January 27, 2021

A Remedy in Time, by Jennifer Macaire

Headline Accent, ISBN 9781786157904, January 2021

In the 3370s, the political map of the world, in particular North America, has changed a great deal. Robin Johnson, a biologist, and researcher for the Center for Environmental Biology and Ecosystem Studies at the Tempus University time travel lab, lives in the country, not the state, of California. A new strain of typhus, Typhus-77, is threatening the world, devastating large mammals and starting to attack humans. There's currently no cure. It's believed to be a version of a typhus strain that wiped out saber-toothed tigers in Paleolithic North America, and this leads to the idea that antibodies from saber-toothed tigers might be used as the basis for an effective treatment.

Which is how Robin gets recruited for a time travel mission to collect samples from the big cats and possibly other animals, as well. 

They--Robin and Donnell Urbano, the more experienced time travel scientist she'll be traveling with--will only be there a week. He'll take videos; she'll take samples. The beam that sends them back will pick them up in the same spot. They'll be well equipped with all they need for survival, and if anything gets left behind--including the body of an accidentally killed scientist--implanted capsules will split and cause them to completely dissolve, so that nothing can be found to affect history. What could go wrong?

Yeah, we all know the answer to that--or part of the answer.

Robin's partner, who is the one with all the survival experience, dies within an hour of their arrival in the Paleolithic when his capsule activates. Panicked by the idea that the capsules are defective, Robin quickly and ruthlessly digs hers out of her skin--and discovers that it has her Donnell's name on it, not hers. She, not he, was supposed to die on arrival in the past.

She sets off her rescue beacon, but when the rescue party arrives, three of the four are people are Donnell's partners from previous expeditions, some of them for-profit missions, and at least one with dubious connections. Robin is not at all sure she can trust them.

The fourth member of the team is Jake Powell, son of her boss at the Center, and someone she regards as a friend. Or so she has thought till now. Given his company, can she really be sure?

In her efforts to survive, she accidentally does what was absolutely forbidden--meets a man of this time and, despite the difficulties in communication between two people with no particular skill for languages, manage basic communication and cooperation.

What follows is a terrifying effort to both get the samples she needs, and survive to get back to her own time--with or without Jake, depending.

The most terrifying part is the discovery of the real origins of the Typhus-77 virus, and why Robin was supposed to die.

It's an intriguing mystery, a fascinating look at Paleolithic North America, an exciting survival story.

And the characters are excellent, complex and believable.

Highly recommended.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via Netgalley, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your fabulous review and for featuring my book on your blog!