Top critical review
This might be the last one I read
Reviewed in the United States on October 8, 2018
Where to begin with this series? It was advertised (at least the first book was) as "laugh out loud" funny, but in reality it is gruesome and grim. Yes, there are some witty lines, but most of the wackiness seems forced, and I don't associate a "laugh out loud" book with one in which the main character has an attempted rape against her. Twice. Then there was the WTF reveal at the end of the first book that still confuses me. But the time travel stories were engaging, so I kept reading.
But this book. The biggest plot point of the last book and this book is a character getting taken out of their own timeline. Which is apparently a huge no-no. Except that Leon and the Director are living outside of their own timelines, so it's fine for them, apparently. And they rescued some dodos, so it's ok for animals. Just not certain people? It is literally never explained why this is such a big deal. They time travel all the time, sometimes staying months or even years outside their timelines. There were zero negative effects to taking this character out of his timeline, and leaving him in it would have doomed him. But taking him out of it was bad. For reasons.
But what really killed this book for me was the huge battle against the time police. There is literally no reason for this battle to take place. They have moved all the time machines, information, equipment, etc. Why are they defending an empty building? But, then, it turns out that they removed all the information except for the absolute most important piece, which they kept on site. Guys! Hide that somewhere that you know isn't going to be attacked by your enemies!
And several times the book refers to how underarmed they are. Yet they know the attack is coming for weeks. Get some more weapons! I know in England, unlike the US, you can't simply waltz in Walmart and buy military-grade weaponry, but they have time machines! Go to a place and time where you can obtain weapons easily, and obtain some. OK, so you can only take things that are about to be destroyed? Do you know how many times, through how many wars, huge caches of weapons have exploded or been otherwise destroyed?
What put me off the most, though, was the treatment of the Isabella Barclay character. Maxwell knows this lady is evil. In her other timeline, she had to kill her right before Barclay was going to kill her boyfriend. In this timeline, Barclay has admitted to trying to have Max killed by turning her into the Time Police. So Max knows that this woman is a traitor, but just... doesn't mention it or really even think about it at all? Even when she figures out that Barclay murdered her in this universe, she just... doesn't mention it. Barclay is allowed to have full access to all their planning for the attack. Then when she turns traitor, OMG, what a shock! Max even has a line to the effect of "I had completely forgotten about her." How do you forget the woman who is constantly trying to kill you and people you love!?? Then she forgets about her AGAIN as soon as she isn't an immediate threat, allowing her to escape. There's another line to the effect of, "I had forgotten about her again. How stupid am I?" Pretty darn stupid!
In fact, everyone who works at this organization seems to be idiotic. It turns out the director knew Barclay was a traitor for years, but just... kept letting her work there? It is no shock that so many of them die. They are literally too stupid to live.