cover image Prehistoric Clock

Prehistoric Clock

Robert Appleton. Harlequin/Carina, $3.99 e-book (184p) ISBN 978-1-4268-9315-5

A science experiment gone horribly wrong is the catalyst for this fast-paced steampunk adventure. Prof. Cecil Reardon invents a way to travel back in time, but his machine accidentally transports a chunk of London from 1908 to some nine million years into the past, taking dozens of people along. Among the time-lost are Lord Garrett Embrey, who’s fleeing a corrupt government that’s branded his family as traitors, and Capt. Verity Champlain and her airship and crew. These unlikely allies must survive dinosaurs and internal squabbling if they ever want to go home. With a high concept worthy of Verne or Doyle, Appleton (The Mysterious Lady Law) focuses on action and pseudo-scientific accuracy, but fails to create emotional resonance. Too much development takes place offscreen, while the ending clearly sets up future stories at the cost of tying up this one. (Feb.)