Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Time Fall: A Novel Paperback – June 5, 2013
|New from||Used from|
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Kirkus Reviews
“Despite the time traveling, Ashby’s novel isn’t so much sci-fi as historical fiction with a modern-day setting: The soldiers believe it’s 1945 for much of the story… Ashby’s blissfully concise prose makes this 350-pager feel half the length. History buffs will delight in the World War II backdrop, but the book’s action, style and unremitting pace make it a triumph across-the-board….”
"I like war stories, science-fiction stories and time travel stories so Time Fall was right up my street. If it sounds like your cup of tea then you’ll be pleased to hear that I also liked the characters in this book, enjoyed the plot lines and found the story well-written. All in all, I was a happy customer. Sometimes you just want someone to tell you a cracking good yarn!" --RR Gordon
About the Author
Timothy Ashby has worked as a lawyer, government official, and counterterrorism consultant with Top Secret security clearances. Visit his blog at www.timashby.com.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $0.99 (Save 80%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top customer reviews
The story line is skillfully developed. Characters are believable; the author does a first-rate job introducing and developing his characters. What is especially interesting is the historical context in which the novel is written. The historical content, which is integral to the story, connects story with history. This is a feature that adds realism. Timothy Ashby understands German character and philosophy.
To summarize: this is a very entertaining -- can't put down -- novel grounded in history, with believable characters, and a good, action-packed story line. Oh yes, the ending brought a smile to my face. Reviewed by the author of The Children's Story, A Novel Not for Children (about good and evil as in the Holocaust and beyond).
Tim has gone the other way, from World War II to the present in Germany with soldiers on the ground. I found this really interesting and marveled at how he got fictional characters to play in real time, real world and make it so plausible A GREAT read. Couldn't put it down.
I enjoyed the story's premise and what the author tried to do, but the execution of the plot left me a little non-plussed.
The end scene was full of action and fairly fitting for the rest of the tale, but I couldn't bring myself to really care about any of the characters. The bad guys had little to no redeeming qualities. The good guys seemed unduly oblivious. There was no rhyme or reason for the miraculous event. Everybody just seems to collectively think "well, that's weird" and go about their business. I also found everybody's vocabulary a little too limited to 4 letter words. Soldiers can be a rough bunch, I get it, but it seemed everybody relegated everybody else to being an illegitimate child or f-bomb something. Once or twice or three times for effect I can see, but it got tedious after a while.
Premise (4/5 stars) - WWII paratroopers get dropped into a storm and land 66 years later. That's a neat idea.
Characters (2/5 stars) - There weren't that many characters and they still came up half-baked to me. Roth - grumpy sergeant; Sutton - poster boy soldier who just wants to save his guys, Paula - token lady, etc.
Transitions (1/5 stars) - The author tried to put spaces between different sections, but there were very few tags as to which storyline was being followed. I'd be reading about Paula and Sutton in Germany then the book would switch over to Cassera in the US and switch back a few paragraphs later. Having location tags would have greatly alleviated that problem.
Ending (3.5/5 stars) - Full of action. Decently done.
Conclusion: I couldn't get into it, but that's not saying you won't. The story has a very cool premise and ends fittingly. If the things that bothered me have little to no impact on you, give the story a chance.
The story begins in April, 1945 (the same time as the popular new movie "Fury"), in the last days of the European campaign. An elite U.S. Ranger squad of six paratroopers is on a secret mission to land behind enemy lines in Bavaria. They are supposed to destroy as many military targets as they can and raise enough of a ruckus to convince the Germans a major offensive is taking place there so they will divert troops to Bavaria, weakening the defenses where the actual attack will take place. However, things don't go as planned when the paratroopers are somehow transported to the same location in the present day (actually 2011, when "Time Fall" apparently was written).
The squad, however, still thinks it's 1945, and, thanks to a bizarre set of coincidences, everything and everyone they encounter seem to appear and act consistently with their understanding (especially since they're moving at night and can't always see things clearly in the dark). The first target they attack is a military base now used by U.S. troops. They recognize the U.S. logos on the equipment but think the Germans are masquerading as Americans, just as they had done in the Battle of the Bulge. The second target is even more hostile; a group of Islamic terrorists is in hiding there planning a major terrorist attack. To pull off the attack, the terrorists plan to disguise themselves as police, and, wouldn't you know it, the police uniforms look much like World War II German army uniforms. Naturally, a big firefight ensues.
As soon as U.S. and German authorities learn about what happened, they start investigating, and it appears to them that the surviving G.I.'s from 1945 are actually surviving terrorists. To make matters worse, even though the soldiers think they're still involved in World War II, their remaining "target sites" contain lots of innocent civilians, and, unless the soldiers realize what's really happening and stop (or someone stops them), the results could be just as bad as an actual terrorist attack.
Ashby has clearly done a good bit of research into U.S. and German military history, and his description of uniforms, equipment, weapons, and other materials seems quite accurate. Further, he's put a lot of thought into his story, and most of what occurs is at least plausible enough for readers who enjoy this type of book to accept. His storyline soon becomes quite complicated, shifting from the point of view of the G.I.'s (who wind up getting separated) to the various people trying to find out who and where they are. Even though the story is complicated, Ashby describes events clearly and, for the most part, the action is easy to follow. Eventually, the plot does get a bit too contrived (it's hard to believe the squad could stay in a large estate and not be shown some form of modern technology that would help them realize they weren't in 1945 any more), but readers eager to see how things play out will probably not be all that annoyed.
As far as the characters are concerned, "Time Fall" is more of a mixed bag. The most fully developed character is the commander of the paratrooper squad, who, although he's injured and separated from his men, figures out what's really going on and, with the help of a local woman, tries to both stop and save his men. Unfortunately, some of the other characters are stock villains, including some ex-Nazis, who, despite being at least in their 70s, have somehow arisen to positions of power in the German police forces hunting the G.I's. The book has a few too many fanatics, whose language seems to come straight from an "Indiana Jones" movie.
On one level, "Time Fall" is a very well crafted gimmick book. Author Ashby takes a seemingly impossible premise and makes the action in the book seem plausible, with one clever explanation after another. However, the book is considerably more than a gimmick. Take away the time travel element and it's still a very good thriller, with a couple of quite likable central characters. I have a feeling that a number of people will experience their own form of time travel when they read this book: they'll lose complete track of time while they're reading and wonder just where the time went when they finish.