Title: Time Historian
Author: Regina Morris
Genre: Time Travel Fantasy
Hank’s job at the Historical Preservation Agency is to send recorders back to President Lincoln’s time to preserve the actual events of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. An unforeseen problem arises and within an instant he finds himself living in the Confederate States of America, Lincoln was convicted as a war criminal, and slavery existed for another fifty years. More personally distressing, in the new timeline Hank’s wife dies as a child. He never meets her and their three children are never born. He travels to the past to right what went wrong, but is up for the task?
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I liked the idea of having an organisation devoted to viewing historical events to learn from them… though I would have liked a bit more detail about how Lincoln’s time differed so much from Hank’s.
I was somewhat confused about how the organisation realised there were problems with the timeline being changed. I felt like I’d missed quite a bit of the background to this world and even though there was a short prequel to this, I felt there could have been a bit more background provided, as well as some more details about the characters and their history together.
I did like learning about Tilly as a character and it was interesting to see her interactions with Hank. I especially liked the fact that Tilly was so obviously intelligent and even though I didn’t know much about her history, it was good that she was so strong and spirited… even if I did think she should have been more willing to work with Hank earlier on.
I would have liked the opportunity to see more of the secondary characters, as a lot of those I was able to meet were either good or bad. I would have liked to get to know Ida and Louis a bit more… but I did think it was interesting to see aspects of the lives Ida and Tilly lived. It was good to see something of what it was like for them to live as servants in that kind of historical time… and it was also intriguing to see how small changes in the timeline could have had far-reaching effects.
There was a good sense of urgency through this book and I did care about what Hank was trying to do. It was also good to see him have the opportunity to interact with his hero, even if he did get a bit starstruck. And I thought it was good to see that he made the right choice in the end.
I would probably read more books by this author at some point in the future. It would be good to see what will happen to the characters… and hopefully get more information on the time period Hank belonged to.
I’m a part-time writer who would love to quit her day job and become a full-time writer. Tea and chocolate fuel me so that I can write at night and on the weekends whenever I can find the time.
I have lived in many different parts of the world, and grew up on military bases. My father was career military and CIA; his father worked with the Secret Service. I graduated high school in Germany and I attended the University of Texas at Austin where I received a degree in Computer Science with a minor in math. My specialty is social media and I love connecting with people.
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“Did this mystery surge affect the timeline?” Hank asked.
“Doubtful. But something did change history. I compared the history database to the new timeline.” James pointed to the computer screen projected above his desk. “This,” he suggested, referring to the top portion of the screen, “is our original history. The bottom chart is the new history.”
“They’re so different,” Hank noted.
Caleb leaned in and adjusted his glasses. “These charts represent how many years?”
“I checked elections, dates, wars… any significant historical event and ran across two-thousand major differences within the first fifty years.”
“These graphs show only fifty years of differences?” Santiago’s eyes grew wide, and she stared at the group. “I’m married with two children.” Hank heard her voice cracking. “How bad is this?”
“After the recorder went back, the first historical difference is the Emancipation Proclamation. The directive did not go into effect on Jan 1st, 1863, and the thirteenth amendment abolishing slavery remained unratified until the 1930s, which made it the twentieth amendment.” James stared grimly at the group. “Slavery remained legal until then. This caused many of the northern states to secede and join Canada.”
“Oh my God.” Hank wrung his hands. His late wife had been African-American. Caleb was also African-American. “How could the United States allow slavery to continue for so long.”
“Not the United States. We now live in the Confederate States of America. The South won and convicted Lincoln as a war criminal.”
Hank couldn’t believe his ears. Lincoln was a personal hero of his. How could such a fate belong to him?
“The American people loved Lincoln,” Aaron argued.
James shook his head. “Not everyone. His murder occurred a few weeks after his conviction.”
No way. Hank needed to take a seat. How could this have happened? The device they sent back was only a little recorder.
“We need to isolate the event that caused the rift.” Caleb pointed at the timeline displayed on James’s computer. “Did you pinpoint the catalyst?”
“It proved difficult to track down, but I’ve isolated the one event. A murder occurred in the White House immediately after the recorder arrived in 1862.”
“No one has ever been murdered in the White House,” Hank said.
“True. But this,” James said as his hands gestured around the room, “this is now Preston Hall. This isn’t the capitol.”
“Who was murdered?” Santiago asked.
“An African-American maid. Her death is the start of all the changes.”
“Okay.” Caleb glanced around the room at all the equipment, then he took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “There’s only one thing to do. Hank needs to go back in time and save her.”