Adult, Fiction, Science Fiction

Review: The Return of the Time Police by Kim Howard Johnson

The Return of the Time Police book cover
Image from Kim Howard Johnson; used by permission

Title: The Return of the Time Police (The Time Authority #2)

Author: Kim Howard Johnson

Genre: Science Fiction

WARNING: This book is second in a series, so this review will probably contain spoilers of the previous book. If you haven’t read The Last of the Time Police, I recommend not reading this review.

The last members of the Time Authority, Stan and Jack only planned on a routine time hop to 16th century France. But when Leonardo DaVinci stowed away and tumbled out (along with the time machine’s manual) in 18th century England, a Chronological Anomaly is created that threatens to wipe out reality. They crash-land in a futuristic 1848 England that DaVinci created and join forces with Maggie Wells and inventor Sam Warner and his wife. The unlikely partners must find a way to rescue DaVinci and Benjamin Franklin in the previous century, but when they are captured while trying to recover the Time Carriage, they face execution at the Tower of London. Can the group escape in time to find DaVinci, prevent the destruction of our Timeline, and help Franklin invent the game of golf? And if they succeed, will they be wiped out of existence?

So, The Last of the Time Police was very interesting and different. It wasn’t my favorite book ever, but I was curious to find out what happened next, having left our main characters with half an ill-fated romance and a dissolving timeline. So when Kim Howard Johnson offered me The Return of the Time Police, I accepted.

There’s very little to say about the characters that I didn’t say last review.

Stan and Jack did manage to be a little more serious (the threat of impending non-existence helped), and I still enjoyed Maggie, who seemed to play a smaller role in this book than the last one. Ben Franklin played a bigger part in this book, and I didn’t really mind him even though at the beginning I was sure I wouldn’t like him.

As for minor characters, I enjoyed Sam, an inventor from Maggie’s 1800s. Two other people joined Stan and Jack’s little group, one from Maggie’s world and one from theirs, but I kept getting the two mixed up.

The idea of The Return of the Time Police wasn’t as appealing to me as the idea of the previous book. While the previous book was about how DaVinci would have revolutionized the world if he’d ended up in the 1700s, in this one, Stan and Jack were trying to find and recharge their time machine to fix the timeline. That’s not to say I didn’t like it, but I did find the first book’s concept more interesting.

The Return of the Time Police continued the bunch of twisty plots from various timelines. The near-future one from last book only got a couple scenes this time around. The focus this book was on the 1700s and 1800s, and involved running from the 1800s police, golf, executions, electricity, and, of course, time travel. I was only confused occasionally, and the plots kept me interested.

I have to mention the ending really quick, since it wasn’t quite what I expected. It was bittersweet and perfectly fitting, but not at all what I thought would happen.

Overall, this was a pretty good book. I wouldn’t call the Time Authority series my favorite, and I probably wouldn’t read it again, but I don’t regret the read.

I received a free review copy of The Return of the Time Police from the author. His generosity in no way influenced, or sought to influence, this review.

The Time Authority series:

  1. The Last of the Time Police
  2. The Return of the Time Police
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