A Long Time Until Now
By: Michael Z. Williamson
Narrated by: Dennis Holland
Length: 22 hrs and 10 mins
Release date: 06-02-15
Publisher: Audible Studios
Genre: Adventure, Alternate History, Military, Time Travel
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0 Overall; Content 4.0; Narration 4.0.
Book one in a new series from the creator of the best-selling Freehold Universe series.
A military unit is thrust back into Paleolithic times with only their guns and portable hardware. Ten soldiers on convoy in Afghanistan suddenly find themselves lost in time. Somehow they arrived in Earth's Paleolithic Asia. With no idea how they arrived or how to get back, the shock of the event is severe. They discover groups of the similarly displaced: imperial Romans, Neolithic Europeans, and a small cadre of East Indian peasants.
Despite their technological advantage, the soldiers only have 10 people and know no way home. Then two more time travelers arrive from a future far beyond the present. These time travelers may have the means to get back, but they aren't giving it up. In fact they may have a treacherous agenda of their own, one that may very well lead to the death of the displaced in a harsh and dangerous era.
©2015 Michael Z. Williamson (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
Ten soldiers in two military jeeps are carefully entering a dangerous area of Afghanistan. A jolt makes them think they have been hit, but then they realize otherwise. The road is gone, the temperature is cooler, there are no buildings and no visible people. As they survey their surroundings and see wooly rhinos in the distance, their combined knowledge reveals that they are lost in time – in Earth’s Paleolithic Asia. Their leader, a fairly new First Lieutenant, later named “Captain”, initially seems frozen in shock. NCO Spencer is wondering if he will have to take charge. Spencer confronts the LT and is glad when the superior officer takes charge and makes sense.
The ten ‘travelers’, eight men and two women, have a variety of useful skills. There is a Medic, a computer tech/photographer (an older female with thyroid problems), a veterinary NCO to care for animals, a linguist, a USAF Security female to help local females, several men at arms. One man is skilled at astronomy, another history, one has street smarts, and another has basic survival skills. As the days pass and the group has to build a safe base, they learn that each person is helpful.
They encounter native tribes, one peaceful and another more aggressive. The Americans are able to maintain control by advanced technology which they have been careful to use limited. They are mindful that they don’t want to inappropriately influence the primitive peoples. As the weeks go by other strangers, clearly out of time, appear and must be dealt with, like a 100 Roman soldiers. Their numbers and aggression are intimidating but the American Captain confronts them with a demonstration of superior weapons that initially convinces them to back off.
The crew struggles through medical, mental and spiritual issues. When new travelers arrive from the future there is new hope of being rescued and returning home.
I do enjoy time travel and was drawn to this book when I saw dinosaurs and warriors of mixed eras. I expected the story to be full of danger and battles but that isn’t the case at all. It is well written and the author’s military background is shown in the group dynamics. The story is a little slow and long, but I enjoyed the pepper, survival techniques and heavy focus on relationship issues. I was interested in the welfare and interaction of the characters. This story is fully resolved but noted as the first in a series. I am curious where the author would take the next book. I would also like to try other books by this author. I recommend this for readers who like time travel and survival elements, rather than battle action.
Audio Notes: Dennis Holland does a good job with the long narration. He provides effective voices even with creative language exchanges. I am very glad that I got to listen to this work.
Source: 1/31/21 Audible 2 for 1 credit sale. This qualifies for my 2021Audiobook goal.