2014; 288 pages. Book 3 (out of 3) of the Wizard of Time series. New Author? : No. Genre : Time-Travel; Fantasy, YA, Coming of Age. Overall Rating : 7*/10.
It’s crunch time in the Primary Continuum. And Gabriel Salvador, the Seventh True Mage, knows he could be the cruncher or the crunchee.
The good guys (the Grace Mages) have been taking a beating in their battles with the baddies (the Apollyons, the Malignancy Mages, and Kumaradevi’s soldiers), and now the baddies have figured out how to locate and conquer things called the “Anchor Points”.
That threatens the Great Barrier of Probability, a mysterious temporal wall located at exactly 4:45 PM, October 28, 2012, beyond which time travel is a one-way affair. Nobody knows who built the Barrier, or why. But the bad guys obviously believe that its destruction will be a significant aid to their cause.
It doesn’t help that there’s dissension in the ranks of the Grace Mages. Their ranks have been thinned in the fights with the Dark Mages, to where further battles can only end in defeat. The Ruling Council wants to do the prudent thing – evacuate their strongholds, slip away to an unknown time-&-place, and hope that things get better.
There’s no denying that more mages are essential to have any chance of winning. But running away is unacceptable to Gabriel. Perhaps new alliances need to be made with some not-so-trustworthy forces. Perhaps new magic and spells will need to be discovered. But those Anchor Points must be recaptured at any cost.
Because if the Great Barrier of Probability comes down, every being in this reality could wink out of existence.
What’s To Like...
If you liked the first two books in this trilogy, you’ll like this one as well. There a lot of time-jumping, and to all sorts of interesting places and times in History. Some of the locations are: 17th-century China, ancient Egypt, 16th-century Greece, the Paleozoic Era (dinosaurs!), the 1695 Siege of Namur (one of several historical sieges of Namur), and the Civil War era Battle of Gettysburg. It warmed the cockles of my history-loving heart.
The action starts immediately, as the reader is plunked down in the middle of something called The Battle of Shanghai Pass, fought in 1644, which led to the overthrow of the Ming Dynasty. Arrows are flying, soldiers are dying, and cannons are firing. It should be noted that the name of this battle was actually Shanhai, not Shanghai, but I suspect that was a spellchecker error. And speaking of computer auto-corrected typos, it’s Planck’s Constant, not Plank’s Constant. Silly spellchecker.
If you’re more into wizards and spells than battle and history, you’re still in luck; there’s plenty of it here. For me, it got a tad bit tedious after a while, but that’s probably because I zoned out while reading G.L. Breedon’s detailed instructions about the mechanics of it way back in Book 1.
I liked Teresa’s flowery technical phrases (“dysphasic quantum morphic resonance”, “chrono-quantum consciousness entanglement”, among others), and enjoyed being introduced to pelycasaurs (Wiki it). The nods to Sisyphus and Nostradamus were also a nice touch. The coming-of-age aspect of the story is well done. Teresa and Gabriel are now an “item”, and experience the usual consequences thereof: teenage misunderstandings, kissing, and coping with the issue of “The Promise”. I didn't note any R-rated stuff though, so there's no reason to have any qualms about buying this trilogy for a YA reader.
The pacing is good; I don’t recall any slow spots. Most of the plot threads get tied up, including what those involving Elizabeth and Aurelius. The Edge of Eternity is not a standalone story; you really should read the books of this trilogy in order. The fact that the author offers the complete series as a bundle is something to consider taking advantage of.
“There is only one way to really know what will happen in your own future.” Vicaquirao’s face held a blank expression as he stared at Gabriel.
“You crossed your own timeline?” Gabriel’s mouth fell open in surprise.
“Some risks are necessary.” Vicaquirao smiled. “And some conversations more interesting than others.”
“I don’t ever want to talk to my future self,” Gabriel said.
“Ah, but your future self may feel differently about that.” Vicaquirao laughed. (loc. 10085. Note: location numbers are relative to the bundled version of this trilogy, which is the format in which I read this book.)
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Gabriel licked his lips, trying to figure out how to redirect the discussion and Teresa’s growing ire.
“Liar.” Teresa smacked his arm with the book still in her hand. “You always lick your lips when you’re saying something you don’t believe in.”
“I do not.” Gabriel could not help himself. He licked his lips. (loc. 13268)
The Edge of Eternity sells for $2.99 at Amazon. The first book of the trilogy sells for $0.99, the second for $2.99. The bundled version goes for a mere $4.99. G.L. Breedon has started a couple other series, and also has a standalone novel, all of which currently sell for $2.99.
“You’ll catch more women with footwork than philosophy.” (loc. 9830)
There are a couple nits to pick.
The ending was so-so. It was certainly clever and YA readers will probably be happy with it. But adult readers may find it a bit too convenient and devoid of twists and tension. The bad guys, who were always two steps ahead of the good guys in the first two books, seem to just go to sleep now that everything’s on the line.
There were a couple of telling/showing issues, and one rather long info dump about the causes of the Civil War as we roll into the Gettysburg setting. I don’t remember info dumps about any of the other battle scenes, which I found surprising, since most readers would be far less familiar with Shanhai Pass, Lepanto, and Namur.
7 Stars. Add 1 star if you happen to be a YA reader, and another ½ star if you’re into time-travel stories, history, and/or coming-of-age genres. The Edge of Eternity, and indeed, the whole trilogy is a fine read for its target audience, and that's what counts. The reviews of the first two books in the series are here and here.