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Book Review: Sojourn, Virtual Evil, and Madman’s Dance (Time Rover Trilogy) by Jana Oliver

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If you have not discovered Jana Oliver’s Time Rover trilogy yet, and you love meticulously constructed stories about Victorian England or time travel, you will love these books.The three books in the series are Sojourn, Virtual Evil, and Madman’s Dance. Do yourself a favor and buy all three at once, because you are not going to want to wait at the end of one before you get the next, especially after the cliffhanger ending of Virtual Evil. Consider yourself warned.

Jacynda Lassiter is a Time Rover from 2057, when Time Travel has become a major tourist industry. Cynda, as she is known to her friends, has built a reputation for getting tourists and academics in and out of time travel destinations safely, often at the last possible moment, without disturbing the flow of history. Her adventures in the London of 1888 begin when a tourist goes missing and then a fellow Time Rover who was Jacynda’s lover is killed. In the first volume, Sojourn, Cynda must find the missing tourist and discover the murderer. In the process, she makes two gentlemen friends who both could potentially be more if it were not for Cynda’s job, and she learns that almost everything and everybody are not what they seem. As the trilogy continues, something is going terribly wrong with time, the time travel industry has become corrupt, and Cynda’s adventures keep you on the edge of your seat and unable to stop reading until you know what happens next!

Ms. Oliver’s absolute mastery of the detail of the back streets and social mores of the Whitechapel area in the time of Jack the Ripper will fascinate anyone with an interest in the time period and make her storytelling feel completely authentic.

Jana lives in my hometown of Atlanta and I often see her at literary and steampunk events. She told me it took intensive research to make sure the Victorian scenes were as accurate as possible.

“Last time I checked I had well over one hundred books, including biographies, court trial transcripts and period maps, to help me get the feel for London in 1888,” she said. “I consulted with Victorian experts, Ripperologists, you name it. I think that’s the appeal of steampunk in general, the richness of the time period in which it’s set.”

That kind of attention to detail allows the reader to surrender to the story. I love strong women protagonists and Jacynda is certainly that. The best part of this trilogy is that you care intensely about Jacynda, her friends Dr. Alistair Montrose and Sgt. John Keats, and the books keep you wanting more all the way to the end and beyond.

I highly recommend these books for the fine characters, authentic period detail, and pure entertainment of Jacynda’s adventures.

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About Rhetta Akamatsu

I am an author of non-fiction books and an online journalist. My books include Haunted Marietta, The Irish Slaves, T'ain't Nobody's Business If I Do: Blues Women Past and Present, and Sex Sells: Women in Photography and Film.