Review of Crossing In Time by D. L Orton from Underground Book Reviews
“The chemistry [..] between young Diego and older Isabel practically sizzles off the page”
LENGTH: 402 pages, 80-100k words
GENRES: Dark comedy, steamy romance, dystopian, science fiction
PUBLISHER: Rocky Mountain Press
EDITOR: David S. Taylor
COVER DESIGN: Andreea Vraciu
Crossing in Time by D. L. Orton tells the story of Isabel and Diego, two star-crossed lovers at the center of an apocalypse with a time travel twist. After the ex-lovers reconnect by accident just prior to what appears to be a massive attack on Denver, they retreat to live in the mountains while the world around them starts to fall apart. But unbeknownst to them, they are somehow connected to the initial event in Denver and are separately recruited to help a team of military and civilian scientists in a secret underground bunker try to save the world from an imminent demise.They are guided by some clues that they find in a mysterious sphere found in Denver, and use the contents of the sphere to develop a time travel machine. However it seems to only transport them to the past in a parallel world and has dramatic limitations, a poor safety record, and some calibration challenges. The team comes to speculate that somehow the success or failure of Isabel and Diego’s early relationship is central to shaping history and the ultimate survival of the human race.Crossing in Time, which attempts to combine a heavy dose of romance, bordering on erotic romance, and science fiction, was an interesting read. The central relationship between Isabel and Diego is very much the focus of the novel. While the science fiction element of the story is there, it feels very much in the background, and some things such as the world as it was before the book started, the breakdown of the world, the science of the time travel, and even Isabel’s and Diego’s supposed areas of expertise (as they are both apparently brilliant scientists) are not explained in as much detail as true science fiction fans might like. There was some good world building and plot development in Crossing in Time, but it would have benefited from a bit more focus.
Isabel and Diego’s relationship itself is mostly sweet and well told. The banter between Isabel and Diego is endearing and believable, and the sex scenes are well written. The chemistry in the initial scenes between young Diego and older Isabel practically sizzles off the page and Orton really manages to beautifully capture the excitement and power of first love. However, the degree of conflict that Isabel and Diego face later is a bit confusing at times and both characters seem a bit demanding of each other. Reasons for Isabel’s behavior are hinted at, but never revealed and some parts of their relationship development felt rushed. Nevertheless, both Isabel and Diego manage to be appealing characters, and their love felt real.
Crossing in Time was a good read for readers looking for romance or romantic science fiction. There was both humor and emotion to be had in this apocalyptic novel, with a solid cast of characters, unique ideas, and a coterie of lovable animals.
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Jennifer Ellis is the author of A Pair of Docks, In the Shadows of the Mosquito Constellation, and Apocalypse Weird: Reversal. Her latest release, Confessions of a Failed Environmentalist is coming June 9, 2015. She lives in the mountains of BC where she can be found writing, spending too much time on skis, and working as an environmental researcher. Find her at www.jenniferellis.ca.