Thursday, March 26, 2020

Time Rep by Peter Ward

Time RepTime Rep by Peter Ward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When out of work paperboy and slacker, Geoffrey Stamp, is hired as a holiday rep for a tour company, he expected exotic locations. What he got was the time of his life … literally.

When Geoffrey Stamp lost his job as a paper boy (the only job he’s ever held), one of the customers on his route offered him a place to stay and that’s where he’s been ever since – playing computer games and just vegging out. The roommate, Tim, never got all up in his business, never seemed to get too worked up over the cleaning up or Geoff’s failure to pay rent in the past two years, his lack of ambition or personal hygiene. Geoff had the total slacker life, and he was content to let time go by, occasionally wishing he had the nerve to ask out ZoĆ« the mail carrier, but for the most part, just chillin’ on the couch in Tim’s front room.

One day, Tim talked Geoff into applying for a job he’d seen advertised in the newspaper as a “holiday rep” for a tour company, and Geoff’s ideal life took a decided left turn. Hired on the spot, Geoff finds out that the holidays he would be arranging were for tourists from the future who were time-traveling to visit the twenty-first century, and the reason that Geoff, with no prior experience or desire to accept the job, was snapped up is because his existence, in the grand scheme of life and the future, was totally insignificant. Apparently, Geoff’s existence was so insignificant that having him take on the job and interacting with people from the future would not impact and change the future in any way.

Well, except for that one seagull at the end of time that ends up looking right instead of left …

I was absolutely charmed by the book, Time Rep, by Peter Ward. It is reminiscent of the Douglas Adams Hitchhiker’s Guide series, but updated. The lead character, Geoffrey Stamp, is the epitome of a modern-day slacker but, eventually, we discover there are hidden depths. His inner dialogues are continuous and funny, and helped to reveal his growth from slacker to capable hero material. Roommate Tim, who turns out to be a recruiter for Time Tour, Inc., the time-travel travel company, is a wonderful straight man throughout. I found myself rooting for both his safety and his sanity.

Along with the “smack-in-the-face-you’re-totally-insignificant” storyline, the major plot of the book involves someone in the tour company working to change the past so an alien race hiding in plain sight on Earth can destroy the human race. There are a number of suitable candidates in the company to choose from which makes for a good mystery as our heroes struggle to stop the traitor. (I so didn’t want for it to be Tim!)

I really enjoyed the depiction of London and life in the future, and the concept of the time-travel tour company with Time Reps (tour guides from the actual period being visited.) There was quite a bit of silliness with that.

The book was entertaining from start to finish (and I was delighted to see that it is the first book in a trilogy!) I literally laughed out loud over dialogue. The book is fast-paced and the action is constant. There are unexpected “left turns” all along the way to the final page. And Ward’s handling of the problems of the past changing the future was fun. I look forward to reading more.

I highly recommend this book to readers that enjoy humorous SciFi/Fantasy, tales of time travel, and the aforementioned Hitchhiker’s Guide. I stayed up reading this way later than advisable; it was that entertaining.

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from Reedsy Discovery.

See my original review on Reedsy Discovery!

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