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Time Hunter: Peculiar Lives by Philip Purser-Hallard

01/09/2005. Contributed by Donna Jones

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pub: Telos. 133 page enlarged paperback. Price: £ 9.99 (UK), $ 8.95 (US), $11.95 (CAN). ISBN: 1-903889-47-2. Numbered limited hardback. Price: £25.00 (UK), $44.95 (US), $54.95 (CAN). ISBN: 1-903889-48-0.

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Take one time sensitive, Honoré Lechasseur. He can see each person's time worm, the path that people take among all the choices we make in life. Add to this a time channeller, Emily Blandish. She doesn't know much about her past, all forgotten in the cloud of amnesia that surrounds her. But, when a time channeller like herself and a time sensitive combine their efforts, a time jump is possible. That's when it's time to sit back and watch the fun begin!

Honoré and Emily find themselves being drawn into the lives of two peculiar children. They aren't even children but nearing adulthood, but what is peculiar does not only lie upon their bodies and faces, but within their very genetic makeup.

Told from the viewpoint of the 'scientific romance' author, Erik Clevedon, we have been transported directly between the sheets of 1950. His recounting of what befalls our infamous duo makes for an authenticity that cannot be found from the voice of third person.

This has to be the best 'Time Hunter' book I have read so far. It is just the same length as the previous book in the series but it is just so detailed and intriguing that you feel like you have read a full-length novel.

The style of writing is a little difficult to get into at first, you get that odd feeling of disorientation when you discover it's being written by a fictional writer. Once that has passed though the format slinks into the background and you find Erik Clevedon's story mesmerising.

Philip Purser-Hallard makes it acutely clear that this book is in homage to the authors he read for his doctorate from Oxford University.

The thing I found most compelling about this book was the fact that apart from the super-human children, it was always forefront in my mind that Purser-Hallard was inferring the very peculiar nature of Emily and Honoré's own lives and their time travelling exploits.

This won't be to everyone's taste because it is written in the vernacular of a mid-1900s author, although I think that is actually what makes this book in the series so good. It takes on the year as a character in itself through the voice of Clevedon, which takes the idea of the Time Hunter and spins it on its own axis.

One of the best of the series that I have read. Watch out, world, we may all be taken over by our own version of the peculiar!
Donna Jones

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