A Matter of Time

Fiction - Time Travel
504 Pages
Reviewed on 10/06/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

An exciting, delightful, exhilarating tale, A Matter of Time by Steven Craig is a gorgeous meld of time travel and science fiction, a story that follows Nathan Hawke’s adventures in time. Nathan is obsessed with the concept of time. His lifelong dream has always been to conquer time and master its secrets, a dream that has accompanied the exiled and disgraced Quantum Physicist from his youth. He had always “Dreamed of breaking it like a cowboy would a wild bronco that had bucked all who tried to ride it before him.” So when he is offered an opportunity by a mysterious man to research a time travel theory, he isn’t just happy to put aside teaching a high school physics class, but sees it as an opportunity to redeem himself and realize his life’s work.

His work successfully completed, he finds himself in a small Georgia farm in 1862. He is trapped here for three years, three years of waiting for the time splice to reopen, and three years in which he falls in love. When the time comes for him to escape the era that is plagued with war, he is thrust into yet another era. Now he is learning that he has no control of what timeline to exit into. Can it be his dream had been a trap; can he reset time and save history? And how about the woman he loves? Follow this well-imagined and well-developed character in adventures he never signed up for, bounced from one era to another through time and history.

The author did a wonderful job with the setting, taking readers through different historical moments, including the Civil War in the US, the Renaissance period in Italy, and many others. The historical underpinnings of the plot make it a compulsive read and this element of the narrative combines with the sense of adventure that permeates the story to offer readers great satisfaction. The characters are well developed and readers will love to follow Nathan, his despair as real as his moments of excitement. A Matter of Time has a complex, unpredictable plot, which keeps readers turning the pages, guessing where the next adventure will be. The tight spots, the dangers, and the uncertainty that accompany the protagonist’s adventures make this novel hard to put down. This is a stellar work in the genre, a hugely satisfying read.

K.C. Finn

A Matter of Time is a time travel story by author Steven Craig. Nathan Hawke was once a highly respected physicist, but his latest theories have seen him pushed out of the high society of scientific academia. Now wasting away in a high school science lab, Nathan is thrown a second chance when a mysterious donor offers him funding for his theoretical time travel project. Not only does the theory prove true, but Nathan finds himself trapped by his own invention in Georgia, smack bang in the middle of the American Civil War. As complications arise, Nathan learns the true meaning of living in ways he never thought possible, and he’ll have to kick his retired mind back into gear to keep all that he’s gained.

Steven Craig writes with great humor, drama and impetus as he tells the tale of Nathan and his scientific and emotional journey. I found the blast back into 1862 refreshing without being jarring, and the science fiction side of the time travel aspect is well crafted but thankfully not overly crunchy on the science side. This is much more a tale of the people and the experience of time travel than the technology itself, but the paradoxical plot and the problems it causes Nathan are a great addition to the overall story line and the decisions he has to make. Overall, A Matter of Time is a well-written romp through fabulous settings that also has a thoughtful plot and really engaging characters.

Rabia Tanveer

A Matter of Time by Steven Craig is a reboot of the novel Time Will Tale, a story that revolves around a genius named Nathan who is stuck traveling time. While I thoroughly enjoyed the first rendition of this story, I enjoyed this one even more. I found Nathan to be even more well-rounded and more believable. While he was a strong character to begin with, his progress and his struggles are better constructed so they have more impact on the reader. I enjoyed how much the author was able to add to the story to make it even better than before, something that I thought didn’t need anything to improve it.

This is the story of a man named Nathan Hawke, once among the geniuses of the world, but now he has to resort to teaching physics to high school students. However, his life changes completely when he is approached by a donor to continue his research into time travel. Bolstered by this new interest in his research, he finds himself stranded in the 1800s where he is stuck for some time until he can find the next time splice. He had no idea that he would find the love of his life in the past. But now, things are getting hazier. With each time splice, he moves farther and farther away from the woman he loves and, to make matters worse, she is in trouble. Now it is up to him to make things right for her and ensure that she can live her life to the fullest, with or without him.

I loved the new details added to the story and how they merged so well with the original novel and brought something exceptional. The doppelganger that Nathan sees around him adds to the complexity of the story and makes it even more interesting. I enjoyed how the author approached time, made it seem larger than life, and opened new facets of the characters. This is such an interesting and enjoyable novel!

Jamie Michele

A Matter of Time by Steven Craig is a science fiction time travel novel about Nathan Hawke, a down-on-his-luck Quantum Physicist who is approached in his classroom by a Mr. Preston York, who has an offer for him. Nathan takes up the opportunity to rehabilitate his professional image with the (supposed) goal of his benefactor in mind, a decision spurred on by his getting fired from teaching high school science. His time machine works, setting off a series of adventures and mishaps that span centuries, and forcing a now married Nathan – a man who had nothing to lose in the present day – to make an excruciating choice that may cost him everything.

Steven Craig has crafted an exceptional novel that does such a great job of blending historical fiction through multiple eras into a time travel, earth-saving romance. I loved the detail and Nathan is an incredibly comfortable character to have leading the charge. Sure, he's a genius. But Craig has also made him authentic and funny [ie: “Are you like holding in a fart or something? I mean, you are like so stiff right now. You look like you had a bowl of Viagra for breakfast, or something.” Nathan stiffened up himself in a humorous, mocking way...]. A Matter of Time is an ambitious book that covers a lot of territory and features many, many characters. Thankfully, Craig is able to propel readers through with non-stop action, incredible humor, and a thoroughly entertaining story. I'd highly recommend this book to all who enjoy skillfully voiced science fiction.

Asher Syed

Steven Craig brings time travel and science fiction aficionados a new thrill with the release of his novel, A Matter of Time. The book begins with the introduction of Nathan Ezekiel Hawke, a Quantum Physicist who has unintentionally altered the historical timeline and must go back to correct mistakes he's made as best he can. Meanwhile, he is doing time as a high school science teacher – a good one, actually, even if his boss hates him and his professionalism could use some polish. An offer of ten million dollars by an agent with dubious motives and an unknown employer is pitched to Nathan. “Trust me when I say that, while we have every faith you will succeed in your endeavors, we equally have no desire to see your work end up in the wrong hands. If you like, we can provide you with whatever means of security you need. Alarms, safes, guards.” Nathan knows better than anyone that you cannot trust a shady figure who tells you to trust him. Soon after, he is hurtled from the present year of 2035 back through history to 1862 and becomes trapped with a splice every three years. He settles in and settles down until once again his future-past returns to haunt him with horrific implications.

Nathan has become my new literary hero. He's the guy who makes a lot of messes and has sullied his standing in the Quantum Physics community because of his ideas, his mouth, and the undeniable fact that he has a tendency toward laziness at highly inopportune moments. Nathan is an average Joe with a sharp mind and in my own head I imagine him to be the spitting image of Steven Hyde (from That 70's Show) and Albert Einstein's offspring, should such a magical combination take place. One can dream, right? A Matter of Time ticks all of the boxes as a five-star read: the characters are natural, the suspension of belief required for a time travel story is easy, the plot is convincing, and the story is imaginative and entertaining. I can't wait to see where Steven Craig takes us next.