Although this story suffers from the same kind of very straightforward plot that most older fiction does, and I have become accustomed to intricate twists and surprises, this father of all time travel stories still holds up quite well. One can imagine just how unusual the entire concept of traveling into the future was to its first readers, and what an imagination Wells must have had to come up with it.
Baxter and Clarke are both hard sci-fi visionaries, but they’re also hit-or-miss, and this is one of their mutual misses.
What do you get when you take a world disaster movie, remove all the visuals and special effects, make the characters so flat as to be interchangeable, and fill all the gaps with science jabber? You get a plot that the reader cares nothing about, even to the last page.
The first book in this trilogy was exciting, but this read almost like an essay than a novel. And when you get to invent the means of world destruction, coming up with the solution to that destruction is neither impressive nor interesting.
On the strength of the first novel I will still read the third, but it will have to wait until I’ve forgotten just how little I care about what happens at this point.