Time is Running Out - The Valley Trilogy

Liberation, Choices, Consequences

Fiction - Science Fiction
760 Pages
Reviewed on 03/13/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite

Francis Mont’s Time is Running Out - The Valley Trilogy: Liberation, Choices, Consequences comprises three dystopian novels set in the future. The first, Time is Running Out, is a journal written by Trevor Dubois that depicts life in 2098. Artificial Intelligence - the Big Brain - has streamlined every aspect of life for the people in Oroville. However, people are unhappy because they feel like parasites. Trevor and seven others set out to build an experimental homestead. Big Brain discovers survivors in Sacramento and Yuba City. They all work together to support the citizens. In the second book, Rainbow Valley, Chico and Redding join the Sacramento Valley Alliance. Trevor’s homestead is coming together well. Finally, Valley of Hope is a story of consequences. Earth has become too unstable for human survival. Trevor finds himself aboard a spaceship called The Lifeboat, searching for a planet where people can live. While he is searching, Sacramento’s mayor, Jonathan, is building the underground settlement recommended by the AI.

Francis Mont’s ideas were somewhat revolutionary to me. Could artificial intelligence provide everything for people, thus making humans obsolete? Big Brain’s full automation is what current scientists and supporters of artificial intelligence strive for. Jonathan’s essay The Nature of Money captured the reason why any currency causes corruption and greed. I was in awe of the realistic dialogue and vivid detail given to every character. Each idea was easy to envision. For example, when an engineer creates a design for improving outdated equipment, it is broken down in simple terms so anybody can visualize the result. All forms of government were objectively viewed by the people in their political debates. Are communism, socialism, dictatorships, or capitalism the only options to prevent the destruction of the planet? Will short-term solutions result in a downward spiral in the long term? I recommend the Time is Running Out - The Valley Trilogy to readers who are interested in evaluating different possibilities for saving the planet before mass destruction results in the end of all life.

Kim Anisi

Time is Running Out by Francis Mont is three books in one. The overarching theme is how people act, plan, and live in a world that has fallen victim to catastrophic events. In the first part, humans fight for their place in a society that is controlled by AI. To me, the “back to the roots of human needs” parts were pretty interesting. In the second novel, readers get to know different cities that each run on a different model. Which one would you choose to live in? Or would each of them make you want to run away? In the third novel, time is indeed running out - how and where will humanity adapt?

Reading Time is Running Out by Francis Mont was quite a time commitment, but a good one. I found the 3-in-1 novel extremely interesting and imagine the author did a lot of research. This isn’t the kind of book one just writes without a good understanding of various social systems. I often wonder what would happen to the world in various scenarios, particularly dystopian ones, and how A.I. would fit in. A.I. is already causing some issues for me as a writer (lots of clients now prefer cheap A.I.), so I already understand how the people in the first novel feel about being replaced by A.I., and how this can cause anger, frustration, and sadness.

While I didn’t particularly feel a connection to any of the characters, I didn’t find them problematic. I am not easy to please and don’t have many favorite characters in general. To me, the plot of this trilogy was what was outstanding, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
This book was a constant companion for almost two weeks as I only had time to read in the evenings. I found these evenings enjoyable, entertaining, and thought-provoking.

K.C. Finn

Time is Running Out, part of The Valley Trilogy: Liberation, Choices, Consequences is a work of post-apocalyptic science fiction and interpersonal drama. Penned by Francis Mont, it is best suited to the general adult reading audience. This epic tome combines all three novels of The Valley Trilogy to tell the story of human beings faced with the fallout after a nuclear war and how they can rebuild and learn from the mistakes of humanity’s past. Through the events of House Arrest, Rainbow Valley, and Valley of Hope, the six new towns in the Sacramento Valley are formed and bonded by their past, forging a productive new future together to shape a better world.

I was fascinated to read this entire story in one go, and I think newcomers to Francis Mont will find that this collected volume is a wonderful way to lose yourself in a new world filled with trials and toils, but one in which newer, better things are possible for humanity. I loved the way that climate change ignorance, political radicalism, and discrimination of many kinds are worked into the bedrock of bad things that the people of the valley want to fix in their new world. This trilogy makes a poignant social commentary on the future of our lives and how change, freedom, and harmony come about. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend Time is Running Out to fans of speculative and futuristic fiction that are deeply focused on building a better world. A thoroughly enriching read, indeed.