cover image Soldiers out of Time

Soldiers out of Time

Steve White. Baen, $15 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-4767-8072-6

In the creative but flawed fifth installment of White’s time travel adventure series (after 2014’s Ghosts of Time), Temporal Regulation Authority commander Jason Thanou must once again work against the centuries-spanning plans of the despotic Transhumanist underground. The TRA finally has the Transhumanists on the run, having cracked the secret of their technology, but the war isn’t quite over. As Thanou and his team track their enemies across space and time, they discover an insidious, audacious scheme that must be stopped at all costs. This time, the trail takes them from a 24th-century alien planet to the northwest frontier of the British Indian Empire in the 1890s, and then back into space for one last showdown that tests Thanou’s resolve and cunning. White seamlessly inserts his characters into history, blending science fiction and vintage military action to deliver a fast-paced, high-stakes story. The time travel leads to a twisty, clever series of surprises and plot mechanics. However, the Transhumanists’ use of rape and torture comes off as perfunctory and is mostly dismissed by the victims; it’s an uncomfortable and unnecessary element in an otherwise satisfying tale. (Aug.)