The good news for me is, I read more than one book while camping in the desert a couple weeks ago, and Time Nomads was every bit as solid as any book I’ve read in the Deathlands series. Which, okay, I understand that these books are first and foremost pulpy romance novels for men who prefer that most of the mushy bits be replaced by guns and also the shootings of said guns into people. But they’re apocalytic sci-fi with female characters who have many qualities other than victim and a cast that is not safe from harm at any moment. Which is to say, in some ways they’re better than many books I’ve read that are of objectively higher quality.
The book starts out on its standard, with the merry band of not-quite do-gooders teleporting into a new hidden government installation somewhere in the nuke-ravaged America of the 22nd century. But then the author proves he’s not afraid to mess with his formula by sending one of his main characters on a botulism-fueled flashback to the days before they found all the hidden teleporter pads, robots with laser guns, cryogenic pods and and towns in need of rescuing that have made the series such a delight. And okay, I admit that “flashback” doesn’t sound like that much of a formula-buster, but that’s because I’m leaving out the drastic changes that occur as the book ends.
The changes may not take, and I won’t be offended if they don’t, but the fact that I can’t be sure? That’s what impresses me about this series. Well, and also the post-apocalyptic setting, but I think everyone already knew that part.