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Broken Time
Maggy Thomas
Roc Books, 339 pages

Broken Time
Maggy Thomas
Maggy Thomas is a pseudonym of author Emily Devenport, whose books include SF adventures Eggheads and GodHeads, both from Roc. She lives with her husband in Phoenix, Arizona.

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SF Site Review: Broken Time

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A review by Donna McMahon

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A book which succeeds due to charming characters and the author's light touch is Broken Time -- an improbable collision between space opera, fantasy and The Silence of the Lambs. Even describing the plot of this book is difficult; nonetheless Maggy Thomas manages to glue it together and deliver a satisfying wrap-up.

When Siggy Lindquist was seven, she saw teenager David Silverstein fall into a time pocket and disappear -- from the planet Veil, and from everyone else's memories.

Twelve years later Siggy graduates from school into a universe where too many people with too much education are competing for too few jobs, so she feels lucky to land a janitorial position on the planet Agate. But working at the Institute for the Criminally Insane swiftly becomes a nightmare and she's not sure who to fear more -- prisoner MS-12 ("the Professor") or the sadistic Director of the Institute. The Professor may be a ruthless murderer, but he's the only person who sees a connection between the Lost Boy and Enigma -- the super-massive cosmic phenomenon which distorts space near Veil.

I'm not going to attempt to synopsize further, except to say that the plot of Broken Time involves murderers, time travel, ballroom dancing, a war with an alien race, and shopping at Trollmart. What the heck, try it. I enjoyed it.

Copyright © 2001 Donna McMahon

Donna McMahon discovered science fiction in high school and fandom in 1977, and never recovered. Dance of Knives, her first novel, was published by Tor in May, 2001, and her book reviews won an Aurora Award the same month. She likes to review books first as a reader (Was this a Good Read? Did I get my money's worth?) and second as a writer (What makes this book succeed/fail as a genre novel?). You can visit her website at http://www.donna-mcmahon.com/.


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