Genre: Western/Historical Fiction/Time Travel
“Travis Merrill’s life isn’t going according to plan. He’s quit several career paths, his wife has left him, and his only solace is volunteering to portray a cavalry surgeon at historic Fort Verde in Arizona, a place where time seems to stand still. When a weird trick of time actually sends him back to the year 1877, he’s boxed into impersonating the post surgeon for real. Unfortunately, he finds his medical knowledge is no match for the primitive practices of the day, and he’s forced to make life or death decisions, not always successfully. He wonders if he will ever be able to return to his own time, or if he might find a life—and a love—140 years in the past.”
“Melissa Bowersock is an eclectic author who writes in a variety of genres: action/adventure, paranormal, biography, fantasy, romance, spiritual and satire. She has been both traditionally and independently published, and is a regular contributor to the superblog Indies Unlimited. For more information, visit her website.”
Finding Travis is hard to nail down genre-wise. The setting, in both time and place, fits for a Western. But the story isn't what you'd expect (or at least what I would expect) from that genre. It isn't a romance, although there is a romance story line that is a major part of the tale. Is isn't science fiction, but time travel is the premise that sets up the story. The best way to view the book is probably as historical fiction with a twist or two.
One of the things that I like about historical fiction is considering the way the world has changed in the interim. Comparing how the characters react to the situations they encounter to current day norms. Determining what those norms are and trying to conform to them in order to fit in is one of the things our protagonist Travis does. Or at least tries to do. It's tough enough for Travis to have to fake being a surgeon, but working around the differences due to time travel make it that much more difficult. This was an enjoyable kickoff to this new series. I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.
Original review posted July 20, 2016.
Rating: ***** Five Stars
Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 65-70,000 words