by Judi McCoy, time-travel (2002)
Zebra, $5.99, ISBN 0-8217-7142-6
This book is... er, strange. Either the hero Declan O'Shea is one amazingly cool motherfodder, or he is just stoned. An 18th century sea captain hoping to find his buried treasure, he encounters a gypsy who then does, er, something that sends him to the 21st century.
I don't know about anyone else, but if someone sends me to 2300 and everything's different, I'd probably curl up into a ball in shock for at least an hour first. Declan is discovered by our heroine Libby Grayson, and naturally, since she's wearing jeans and blouse, he thinks her a slut. A slut that has lured him into this cave to have sex with him and then steal his money when he's all blissed out. Men, I tell you. They think so highly of their dingdongs, they have no idea, really no idea at all.
Libby walks away with a huff. Our hero wanders around town, amazed that he's seeing all these things. He is unfazed. He even barters his services for food with the obligatory kind soul who takes him in. Within minutes of knowing him, the townsfolks are gunning for him and Libby to hook up already.
Alright, I've heading over there to sell them some Taj Mahals in my backyard. Who's with me?
And Declan, our hero, doesn't worry about anything. In fact, he is more concerned that kids today are rude to their parents, and because Libby's man has left her a single mother, he is most disapproving of Libby's promiscuous morals. Coming from a seafaring captain who, no doubt, is a privateer in his past time, this is so rich. Since he is so stoic and tao-guru about his fate and all, I give him two months before he becomes the new king of TV evangelism.
Look, seriously, will a displaced time-traveler even care about the morals of the society he is in? Who does he think he is, Jonathan bloody Swift? Declan doesn't even have Swift's wit, so bug off, you stoned creep.
Libby is a little bit better as a cynical single mother, but as she becomes caught in Declan's guru talk show act, she becomes more and more like that dumb woman in those serial killer movies who falls in love with a man she barely knows and then has her throat slit as a reward for her gullibility. Not that Libby has her throat slitted, only her slit... um, never mind. I don't want to get arrested for finishing the sentence.
Then there is Libby's grandfather. He's portrayed as cute and dotty, but if you ask me, he's a nasty piece of work. He lets his inn falls to pieces and then expects Libby to rebuild the place. He then laments that she is so practical that she doesn't follow her heart or some inane rot of that sort. Hey, idiot, it's her practical way that is keeping your lazy, no-good ass from the streets. He even believes that Duncan's the one for Kate like ten seconds after he meets that stoned guru. Old coots like this stupid Jack Grayson is the reason why we have kids abandoning their parents at old folks' homes.
The only person I like is that kid of Libby, JP. There's something touching about a lil' kid whose tortoise died when his daddy left him and Momma, and so he equates death with people leaving him. Which is true, in a way, but kids shouldn't be so aware of such things, I think. At his age, anyway. Awww. And when he keeps drawing his dead tortoise? Double awww.
Declan's underreaction to his circumstances and his amazing adaptation barely pages into the story - he watches TV and knows where the names of the best places to shop already, wow! - make me scratch my head. Everyone's easy acceptance of a stranger blabbing about time travel make me shake my head in disbelief. If you ask me, I still stand by my initial suspicion: everyone in this story is stoned beyond reason.
This book at Amazon.com
This book at Amazon UK
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