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I was excited to pick up the latest Tim Tigner book, The Price of Time, since I am an avid fan of his Kyle Achilles series. The book is very different from the series we know and love (although I wonder if anyone else noticed the tiny easter egg within the pages).
I found the book quite interesting, fast-paced for the most part, and the main characters, Zachary Chase and Skylar Fawkes, were fun to read about as well. The book basically asks a what-if question related to the fountain of youth. What would you do if you found it? Would you share it with the world? Sell it to the rich? Or just keep it to yourself?
The group in question is made of scientists and, of course, financiers who keep the project going. When the youth serum is done, after many grueling years, they can’t agree on what to do with it, until eventually an agreement is reached.
All is well until Zachary Chases’s friend disappears, and Zachary, who is just out of a job with the CIA, has all the time in the world to investigate. And what he investigates takes a lot of suspension of disbelieve to even try to digest. Together with Skylar Fawkes, who is personally involved in the story, he goes after the one who makes people disappear. But what has the disappearance of people to do with a bunch of rich people who found some youth serum? That is for the reader to figure out.
Tom Bronco / Tory is an evil character whom I actually enjoyed reading about. He is cunning, very intelligent and resourceful, and despite him being Zachary’s main antagonist, there is something about him that keeps you eagerly reading.
While the story was quite interesting, and the chase between Zachary/Skylar and Tory works quite well, there is a part that I found superfluous: the youth-serum gang. It started so well, and I had such hopes for that storyline, but sadly, it didn’t really go anywhere. Honestly, even without that part, the story would have worked equally well.
When the main character has nothing to work toward solving that issue that the book’s plot is actually based on, there is no suspense, no point in that issue even being there at all. Zachary should have been in constant danger from the group, but one really had nothing to do with the other.
The book really started strong, but the ending left me highly disappointed. The further I got into the story, the more I kept wondering why are the two plots diverging so much instead of actually coming together.
Besides, I found the rich gang quite shallow, quite boring, and quite 2D. There were two driving characters whom everyone else followed. And as to the actual mystery within that group, I figured it out very soon. It was the logical conclusion. There were no red herrings, no suspenseful guessing, nothing to really root for any of them. All I said was good riddance to them. The main plot really was about Zachary and Skylar’s fight with Tory, while the whole sci-fi premise (whcih should have been the main thread in the book) became really a side plot by the end of the story.
As much as I did enjoy the book (it is still one of the better ones I’ve read in 2019), I do prefer the author’s Kyle Achilles series, and I honestly hope he will eventually return to the character that made the author bestselling around the world.