Review: Time Siege

Posted: August 23, 2016 by in Books We Love (5/5 single_star) Meta: Wesley Chu, Science Fiction

You know what?  I hate writing reviews for sequels.  I enjoy reading sequels very much.  I love talking about book series with my friends and speculating on what might happen in the next volume.  I actually really enjoy the time between books in a series to let it sit and soak in.  I like to reread previous volumes before a new one comes out. But I hate writing reviews about sequels!!!! Have you read the first book?  I don’t know.  If you did, did you enjoy it?  Again, I got nothing.  Should I spoil the first book for you here to tell you about the second volume? I don’t think I should. But then how do I tell you about this book if I can’t even talk about the events of the last book? You see the bind I’m in.

So, let’s set some ground rules right from the start. I’m going to assume you’ve read the first book (TIME SALVAGER, very fun, quick paced, action packed). I’m going to assume you enjoyed it like I did and want to talk about the next book. If that doesn’t apply to you then I’m going to give you a short quick review of the series right now: It’s good. You should read it.

Are we good? Have we gotten rid of anyone who doesn’t want spoilers? Ok then. Onward we go.

TIME SIEGE, Wesley Chu’s sequel to TIME SALVAGER, picks up right where the aforementioned book leaves off. James Griffen Mars and Elise have ingraciated themselves to the savage tribe The Elfreth. Elise is trying to cure the Earth plague.  Meanwhile Chroncom and the various corporations that pay all the bills are trying to hunt down James and especially Elise who is a time bandit having been dragged here by James.  The goal initially of capturing Elise because it was against the time laws seems to be a pretext for a much bigger plot. Levin, the auditor who was hunting down James in the first book has been sent to a prison colony.

TIME SIEGE suffers a little from second-book-syndrome, but makes up for it with great characterization, escalating tension, and uncovered puzzle pieces.

This book then just jumps right in to our new problems. The Elfreth are being hunted still, always managing to stay just one step ahead of Chroncom. Elise is dealing with being the leader of this tribe. She’s trying to find time to lead as well as find the cure for the earth plague. James is dealing with his drinking problems and the fact that he can’t time jump anymore (the next jump will kill him). What does he do now that the thing that has defined his life is now gone? Not to mention Grace, the Mother of Time and writer of the time laws, Sasha, James’ sister who he went back in time to save from a horrible fate and Kuo the ruthless leader of the corporations force.

And that’s really the thing that saved it for me. I really enjoyed the characters. All of them have grown and are expanding.  You get to know each of them better and their interactions with each other change how you see them as well.  Levin is brought in in a new role and I really enjoyed reading more about him. In the first book he was painted as the villain (although one you could understand and sympathize with) who sees the error of his ways at the end. Here he gets to shine and be a hero (if still an obstinate and headstrong one). In the first book the characters were given to me slow enough that I got to know each one rather well before being thrust into their own specific chapters.  Here Chu can easily bounce around from character to character (and to different parts of the solar system at times) to keep the narative going.

The thing I miss is the time traveling. There are a few instances here and there, but overall the story mainly takes place in the time period that James and Levin come from. It’s interesting to be sure, but I miss having those small chapters showing glimpses of other times and how the time travelers interact with them.  I miss the small views of the past that helped create this chaotic future. I mean the book is called TIME SIEGE. I just wish there was a bit more time seiging that goes on.

This very much feels like a second book in a series. In the first book the stage is set and the pieces are placed on the board.  Now in the second book the tension escalates, the characters grow more towards who they are to become, pieces of the puzzle are uncovered revealing more to the plot than we thought at first, and then there’s the cliffhanger ending. The book ends on a real fun promising note.  Where the first book kind of ends in a happyish way that leaves room for further adventures and whatnot, the second book ends with a bang. You want to pick up the next book right away and start reading number three. In that way the book succeeds very well.  It’s a fun series.  I’m along for the ride.

  • Recommended Age: 14+
  • Language: Yes.  Not a ton, but not a little either.
  • Violence: Lots of action scenes (including some real cool new weapons Chu has come up with). Nothing too gory.
  • Sex: Allusions, no explicit scenes.

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