Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Time Traveller’s Decision / Kelvin O’Ralph

Genre: YA/Science Fiction

Approximate word count: 35-40,000

Availability Kindle: YES   Nook: NO    DTB: NO


Kelvin O’Ralph is currently a student at a university in England. For more information visit his website.


Lucas Taylor is a university student, studying Computer Science, who is also an aspiring novelist, looking for that elusive first publishing contract. He dates sporadically (still holding out hope of reconnecting with his first love). Then he discovers a gift he has, the ability to time travel. Will this ability help or hurt? Only time will tell. (This book was originally called Lucas Taylor: the time traveler.)


The typos, grammar errors, and incorrect word usage render this book almost unreadable. In the first twenty-five percent of the book I found in excess of fifty instances. The remainder was no better. These errors ranged from pluralizing incorrectly (“Lucas and his sister were working as part-time staffs in McDonald’s …”) to using the wrong word (suite instead of suit, cooperate instead of corporate) to sentences that made very little sense at all (“Well, my future self did she requested”).

Even if typo, grammar, and word usage were fixed, there are other issues. For example constantly telling us things we don’t need to know. A case in point is this:

Sophie smiled, and began eating her food. She then remembered that she did not ask about his day. She placed her fork on the chips, and looked at him.

“How was your day?” asked Sophie.

Do we need to know she’d forgotten and then realized she hadn’t asked about his day? Doesn’t her asking imply that? Does her fork matter?

Finally, we should discuss the story. The basic story, boiled down to 25 words or less, could be called a cliché - not so good - or it could be called an archetype - no problem. Boy wants to succeed. Boy wants girl. Boy gets both, but makes mistakes along the way. The question of cliché or archetype depends on execution. Are the characters interesting? Are the variations to the basic story unique, believable, and compelling? For me the answers were no, no, no and no.


The author lives in the UK, uses UK spelling and slang.

Format/Typo Issues:

Numerous typos and misspellings as mentioned in the appraisal section.

Rating: * 1 star


busbeytheelder said...

Any chance you'll loan this to me? It's no longer available via Amazon.

BooksAndPals said...


It appears this young man (the author) knows how to make the correct decision.