Journey into the Past by Alistair Acorn

Author's Description:
A soldier passes through a time warp and lands back in Bronze age Britain. He discovers that he can pass back and forth but at a cost. Follow his highs and lows as he tackles the problems of surviving in those times.
Size: 373 KB ( ~ 70,732 words)
Genre: Time Travel
Sex Contents: No Sex
Tags: Ma/Fa, Romantic, Fiction, Science Fiction, Time Travel

Review by Andrew Johns   [other reviews by Andrew Johns]

Reviewed: 2005-11-11

"Journey into the Past" is a story with a decent premise, but only an average use of it. The story is told from Charlie's view.

Charlie is a British solider that manages to pass through a time portal that happens to open about every 3 months for a short period of time, off a busy highway. He's got weapons, ammunition, food, and a host of other modern things that allow him to not just survive, but thrive.

The story has a lot of possibilities, but I felt that all of the people that Charlie meets, except for Marjorie, are poorly fleshed out. The lack of character detail made it hard for me to be interested in their well-being. The ease of life that Charlie and his friends/wives have due to all of the gear they find and also bring back with them, makes for a poor adventure. A man with a modern sniper rifle and pistol, with a good deal of ammunition, isn't exactly having a rough time of it in the Bronze Age. Throw in a ton of pre-packed military meal kits, solar panels, and the like, and the struggle to survive becomes nearly non-existent.

Technically, I can only comment on some parts. Some of the words may be using proper British spellings, and I never find fault with any author for regional spellings. The punctuation use and misuse of common homonyms was not very strong. An editor could clean those up nicely, and help the technical quality.

Lastly, do not be fooled by the "rom" code on the story. What little romance there is comes only between Charlie and Marjorie, and it isn't much. Charlie basically decides he loves the women, and they apparently decide they love him. The relationships just seem to happen, with little interaction. Dialogue is not used very much, either.

I wanted to like this, but I just couldn't get into it that much. I seem to recall reading it before, but it showed up as new today (November 11, 2005) and I gave it a read again. As I kept pushing through it, I was hoping to see that it had been better fleshed out, but sadly, it was not.

Mostly, I was left with a sense of unfulfillment. The story felt like a lot of detail and dialogue was left out. I knew more about Charlie's weapons than I did about some of the major people he was involved with. More character detail and dialogue would have really raised the sense of satisfaction that reading a good story gives me. That, and more of a struggle to survive.

Plot: 6 | Technical Quality: 6 | Appeal to Reviewer: 5