Kallie wants to return to Los Angeles. She and Marcus come out of their quiet and peaceful existence in a small Northern California town nearly a year after the last encounter with their pursuers, but who is the mysterious young person who appears in their remote sanctuary and disrupts the illusion of safety under which they have been living?
An audacious teenager who carries the time-travel gene, hardly more than a child with all the knowledge of a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time, will risk everything to enlist Kallie to be his would-be savior. Kallie still has reason to fear Mason, her pursuer who is obsessed with time travel and has spent his entire adult life obsessively hunting down that secret, even resorting to murder in the past.
An impossible and unbelievable discovery about time loops, which the scientists insist are not viable, destroys the foundation of all that Kallie thinks she knows about time travel and forces her to make an impossible choice that may put events into motion that will have terrible consequences.
Swayed by her best friend’s devotion to saving him from being lost forever, Kallie is compelled to compromise everything she holds sacred to save the adolescent from the danger of blinking out of existence. The charming and disquietingly confident teenager responds to the anomaly of his existence with flippant remarks and quoting from a Stephen King novel, while Kallie nurtures a fear that the young man might in fact be the ultimate temporal weapon.
by Shanna Lauffey
Chronicles of the Harekaiian Episode 4
SciFi & Fantasy
June 2, 2015
Plausible Deniability sounds like the title of a political thriller, not a time travel story, but that’s just what it is. This is the fourth in a series of books that follow Kallie, a time traveling woman who finds herself fighting for the wellbeing of her people against a madman who is obsessed with their abilities to shift in time or distance. The last book left off in such a way that one could assume the story was over, but it isn’t. This is time travel, after all. What the past books revealed now seem to be just the tip of the iceberg, and Kallie’s newest adventure entwines with past ones in new and interesting ways.
Unlike in the previous books, the pace doesn’t slow much at all. Despite having all of her lifetime to work with, Kallie’s efforts in this book are portrayed with a sense of urgency and a pace much more conducive to keeping me, as the reader, engaged in the story. There is another fundraising effort, and if you’ve read the previous three, you know what I mean there, but it doesn’t focus on the details quite so much. I thought it was well done and interesting. It also had a point, a definite place in the plot, and some rather dangerous moments. I like that.
I also get the feeling that Kallie’s making some rather bad choices in this book, leaving plenty of questions and potential for action and danger in future installments. She’s breaking some of the fundamental rules of her people, all under the burden of friendship and compassion. They are strong motivators.
As for the romantic elements, I thought they were mild but well done. Kallie is still rather indecisive about Marcus, but this story moves their relationship forward in a believable way. I’m still not sure that they will work out or that they’ll have their happily ever after, but I feel like that’s a good thing. There’s so much room for drama and pitfalls here, mostly because of the nonlinear nature of their relationship. They have an anchor in their shared present, but that anchor doesn’t keep them from traveling in either direction on their timelines. I also think there may one day be a problem with what Marcus might do with his newly mastered abilities. But, this isn’t the focus of this book, just some observations I have regarding the potential of the series going forward. I look forward to being surprised.
On another note, I didn’t get the vibe of nostalgia quite as much in this story as in the previous ones. The focus of this story is on the boy that pops up and asks for help. Despite his youth and the face he presents to Kallie and her friends, I get a weird vibe off of him. There’s something dangerous there, but the extent of that danger is left to the imagination and to the future books in the series.
There are also fewer pictures in this one; at least, there are fewer recognizable pictures. These are just random houses and such, no landmarks such as in the previous books. It seems like the world building takes a backstage to the time travel, and that’s perfectly fine, though I missed it. The result is a quicker pace and a thickening plot, but less description of the times and locations Kallie visits.
The review copy of this title was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
ABOUT SHANNA LAUFFEY
Shaunna Lauffey is a native Californian currently living in Europe. She spends her time between homes in Sweden, France and the UK. She writes Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance in her spare time between attending university and travelling.
Her first novel, She-Wȕlf, was released 1st January 2012 but is awaiting re-release for Kindle. A Science Fiction series involving time travel, The Chronicles of the Harekaiian, is in progress beginning with Time Shifters, episode one, which is currently available on Amazon and soon in paperback.