The Beautiful Land

Alan Averill. Ace, $16 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-425-26527-7
Averill’s slight time-traveling love story won the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award before being picked up by Ace. Averill centers his novel on Tak O’Leary, a Japanese-American explorer, former TV host, and would-be suicide, and his girlfriend, Sam, a war veteran suffering from terrible PTSD. The two are sympathetic and appealing characters in a one-dimensional way, caught up in a clumsy and meandering plot. Tak finds Sam; Tak loses Sam; Tak takes on an evil genius in a frantic effort to preserve reality and save Sam. Averill has some clever ideas—such as neatly sidestepping the paradoxes inherent in time-travel stories—but the narrative suffers from a paucity of characters and a lack of any real surprises. Still, Averill injects enough breeziness and lovers’ angst to keep the reader lightly engaged. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/22/2013
Release date: 06/04/2013
Genre: Fiction
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