…of FACING FIRE by an old on-line friend of mine, Kate Coombs. Kate’s done pre-submission reads of many of my books in the past, but the first time she saw this one was after it was published. Kate reviews a tonne of books as The Book Aunt, and I so appreciate her taking the time to read FIRE, mostly because as an author, she really understands how to write a great review.
In part she says:
When writing time travel, an author has two basic choices. Should his characters interact with the people in the past or just observe them? Each approach has its strengths and weaknesses, of course. When a character from the present interacts with people in the past, it can make the storytelling more lively; however, it can also distort the history, especially if the focus remains on the time traveler and she affects the events in which she participates.
In the Window books, dyer has gone the other direction, creating characters from the present who mostly observe the past they visit. This keeps the history pure and in some sense mysterious, as Darby must put together what’s happening from the bits and pieces she sees and hears. She sometimes does research after she gets home so she can figure out the history she has observed. And really, isn’t that what we always end up doing when we study history that goes back more than one or two hundred years? This reminds me of reading Bill Bryson’s book about Shakespeare, in which he points out how little we really know, since very few records remain from the 1600s.
You can read the whole thing here. Thanks, Kate!