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Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite
A young woman awakes from a harrowing ordeal, weak and confused but changed, improved, made stronger. Two agents on the way to the 1963 JFK motorcade in Texas stop off at a little town to give a young boy a silver dollar with a name engraved on the back. Future’s Dark Past by John Yarrow launches you directly into the action from the very first page. It is a clever novel of time travel where an agency in the twenty-fourth century sends genetically altered operatives back to various points in the past to try to change history and prevent a cataclysmic war. The time jump periods range from the 1960s and parts of the twenty-first century right up to the year 2355.
In the fast-moving narrative, the action takes place in space stations, off-planet, on Mars and in more familiar parts of the USA. Fascinating and sometimes mind-boggling concepts and technologies are introduced as one would expect, but the author manages to keep a tight rein on the plot, ensuring the story line remains cogent and the characters are kept centre stage. The race is on to return Earth to the sort of planet which is fit to live on, but other worlds suitable for habitation have been discovered and not everyone shares the objective. Will it be possible for the erstwhile time travelers to succeed and overcome the intrinsic difficulties of their missions, harried at every turn by a determined, well armed opposition?
Let me say right away that I thoroughly enjoyed Future’s Dark Past. It is a well-written, carefully plotted novel which deals deftly with a subject which can easily descend into a maelstrom of confusion. The narrative is peopled with solid, well-drawn characters and the pace is balanced, fast enough to avoid one’s mind drifting but gentle enough to allow the concepts to sink in and the characters to develop. An accomplished novel from a talented author - I certainly hope he continues to produce such sterling work. Highly recommended. The general reader, and science fiction fans in particular, cannot fail to be impressed with John Yarrow’s penmanship.