From the Files of the Time Rangers
by Richard Bowes
Cover Artist: John Picacio
Review by Colleen Cahill
Golden Gryphon Press Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 1930846355
Date: 01 September, 2005 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
The book opens in the Twentieth Century as three Time Ranger cadets begin their careers. Quickly we realize that much is familiar, but this is not our reality. The influence of Dis, Mercury, Bacchus and the other Greek deities has great power in this world and others, for there are many universes, all tied by the Time Stream. In these alternate worlds the same man could be a power at one time line or die in oblivion in another. Set mainly in a Twentieth Century United States, it seems very familiar but with noted differences, such as Teddy Kennedy drowning and Jeb Bush becoming President. Soon Nancy Kane, Jake Stockley, and Ed Brown are in the thick of things, tackling wayward fairies, making bargains to save their loved ones and stumbling through convoluted plots. Linda, Nancy's daughter by a unknown man, is also drawn into these conspiracies by her strange ability to see through illusions. She eventually marries a Time Ranger and has an unusual daughter herself, as Sally has visions of possible futures which she can share with others. All their actions seem to revolve around a Boston Brahmin family named Macauley who have similar political aspirations as the Kennedys, but with the advantage of a property in Maine that holds the sacred shrine. Some of the gods favor and protect the Macauley's while others attempt to destroy them. The deities are not in agreement on their goals and humans pay the price for this conflict. Sometimes this is death and destruction; sometimes it is to be "abandoned by the gods, to find one's life without meaning."
If you think this story sounds complex, you are right, but is it also a exciting read, with action, love, betrayal, and mystery. Even though the story moves back and forth in the Time Stream, Bowes never loses the reader and is it easy to follow who is where and when. The characters are marvelous, including the only survivor of a Great War massacre, a concert and arts promoter who is the human representative of Mercury, and several young men who are godsons of Death. Unexpected twists keep the story moving and made this a hard book for me to put down.
I heartily recommend this book, not just because it has intriguing characters and storyline, but because it is fun and thoughtful at the same time. Don't let the title fool you, From the Files of the Time Rangers is worth every minute you spend on it.