Thank you as ever to The Write Reads for organizing such an extensive and busy tour; it’s always a delight to be involved. This time, we were looking at Crossing In Time, the first of three books in the Between Two Evils series by D. L. Orton. This book is currently free as a Kindle book on Amazon, ready to read!
Described as an “edgy love story” and aimed at ages 17-18, the synopsis says:
The past isn’t over, it’s an opening. The future isn’t hidden, it’s a trap.
If she ever wants to see him again, she’ll have to take the risk…
When offered a one-way trip to the past, Isabel sacrifices everything for a chance to change the rapidly deteriorating present–and see her murdered lover one last time. When she arrives twenty years in the past, buck naked and mortally wounded, she has 24 hours to convince a stunned but enraptured nineteen-year-old to change their future. Definitely easier said than done, as success means losing him to a brainy, smart-mouthed bombshell (her younger self), and that’s a heart breaker, save the world or not.
This offbeat tale is about falling madly in love when one is too cynical for such things, letting go of pessimism when it’s the last life jacket on a sinking ship, and racing against the clock when one doesn’t have the proper footwear. It’s a coming-of-age story for old fogeys, a how-to-make-love guide for diehard celibates, and a laugh-out-loud tragedy with a hopeful twist.
Told from multiple perspectives and points in time, this book can at ttimes be hard to follow as you try to keep track of wherever (and whenever) everyone is. That said, this dystopian science fiction-mixed-with-love-story is almost painfully poignant at the moment, while we all sit indoors during a pandemic. Now thankfully we’re not quite in the universe that D L Orton has created, but I would caution that with the themes involved and going on in the world right now, this book might not be the one to currently reach for if you are highly emotive. And I say that without judgement, because goodness knows I always feel everything strongly.
That said, the characters of Isabel and Diego (and Lucky the cat!) manage to balance out some of the intensity with their affection for one another; their communication is at time sickeningly full of love, but of course, it’s dystopia – no one can end up happy at the end of book one.
Time travel can be a messy little number to both write and read about, because of all it entails, and all the catches that there ALWAYS are (Avengers: Endgame, looking hard at you right now), not to mention the enormous pressure that Isabel is under to Get It Right, via herself, but also feeling the weight of the entire world. What I did enjoy about this novel was that this strong female lead was multi-layered. She had flaws, she made mistakes, she had regrets. Characters that are multi dimensional are always the best kind.
It’s quite a hard book to write about without launching huge spoilers inadvertently, but there is something about this book that is compelling to read. I certainly would agree with the age rating; it’s not ‘adult’ in the way it is written, but is also certainly not YA either; trigger warning for sexual assault here. With it being the first part of a trilogy, it’s also absolutely a given that book two will be critical to the mission that Isabel has taken on, not just for herself, but for the world as she once knew it.
My thanks to Dave (TheWriteReads) and to the author for this blog tour; as always, it’s been tremendous fun, and wonderful to discover a book I might not have otherwise encountered.