[I got a copy of this book in an Early Reviewer give-away at librarything. I don’t think it’s tainted my judgment, though.]
The Slough of Despond is the first book in the Reality War series by Tim C. Taylor.
Plot: [Admittedly, I didn’t get very far with this book, so my plot description might be off.]
Radlan is a time traveler fom 2992 who has been placed in a small town in England in 1992, a critical time junction. As his cover he works as a financial advisor. When one day Amanda comes into his office, there is an instant connection between them, that is furthered by Radlan accidentally sharing a nanotechnological hormone package with her. As Radlan scrambles to get things and himself under control again, while dreaming about lizard people, he soon finds that he has to make a decision betweent duty and desire.
I read about the first 80 pages or so of this book and I debated quitting with myself after the first 30 pages or so. It just really didn’t work for me.
I had the following problems with this book: one, the characterization was all over the place. I didn’t get a sense for any of them at all. And they kept jumping between emotions: one moment, they’d be feeling sad and the next, they’d be sexy and then they’d be insecure but then they’d be totally in control.
Two, the dialogues were just stilted and wooden and I didn’t believe that anybody would talk like that ever. Combined with an infodumping narration that not only explained everything, but explained everything again and again, it just made the entire thing pretty hard to read.
Three, there were a whole lot of soft sex scenes, which I don’t mind but I do believe that they should serve some purpose in a story that actually wants to tell a story and is not only a vehicle to drive from sex scene to sex scene. And while a case could be made that Radlan and Amanda’s story needed the sex to better show their relationship, I thought that the sex scenes with the prostitutes was pointless.
So, I called it quits before getting to an explanation for the lizard people (though the official book description hints at connected parallel universes or something) and I don’t really mind not knowing.
Summarising: Meh. It really doesn’t pay off to read it.