Endless Times Volume Two

Murphy's Diggins

Fiction - Western
205 Pages
Reviewed on 08/22/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

In Endless Times Volume Two: Murphy's Diggins by Walter Stephen Geeding, Jack and Jim utilize a time-traveling bear figurine to save their ranch. They venture to 1849's Gold Rush and the demands of adapting to the period. Strategizing to acquire future supplies, they journey to 1874 Missouri and face the challenge of transporting goods back to their timeline. Returning home, they're unrecognized, sparking memories of past exploits before navigating to 1874 Kansas City on another supply mission. Their iterations include explorer John Murphy, a confrontation with Sam Brannan's guards, and, now a quartet, alliances become vital in defending their path while aiding the Miwok tribe. A catastrophic failed portal attempt leaves them trapped in 1874 where they are pursued by lawmen and the Wind Travelers.

Beyond trying to make time travel believable, which is always difficult to do, one of the most important aspects of the genre is for a reader to feel, wherever in the world they are and in whatever timeline, a sense of space. To me, this is where Walter Stephen Geeding excels in the storytelling of Murphy's Diggins, from the harsh Wyoming winters to the picturesque landscapes of McSwain Ranch and the Gros Ventres. I enjoyed the cast of colorful characters with distinct personalities that extend beyond Jack's unconventional behavior and Jim's audacity to ancillary players like Pete's wisdom, Marg's warmth, and Catrina's curiosity. Geeding accomplishes this in a dialogue-driven narrative that both conveys information and reveals relationships, quirks, and emotions. The writing style could use a little more polish and sometimes loquaciousness slows the pacing down, but overall the book is a fun armchair romp into the past and a solid sequel to its preceding book, The Path of Kokopelli.