“Myth Agent” is a lot of fun, and MacFadden’s quality is apparent right from very early on; an incredibly engaging and intriguing book, which is perfectly written by an author with a wonderful narrative voice. This inoffensive and universal tale of time-travel is gripping, with a small streak of unidentifiable menace running beneath it, which grows very subtly in tension, eloquently setting up the reader’s anticipation by its midway point. With its increasingly dark undertone, MacFadden’s early twentieth century fantasy brings to mind the writing of Lovecraft and, of course, Verne.
Events move quickly in this book – perhaps a touch too quickly at times, occasionally not allowing the reader time to digest and savour events, or become too heavily involved in great details. But, the story is sound and well-structured, even though it didn’t necessarily move in the direction I was anticipating. To be honest I was a tad disappointed that it didn’t deliver on this anticipation, or indulge as completely as I had hoped it was going to; it did leave some yearnings in me a touch unfulfilled, and without spoiling, leads toward a surprisingly downbeat culmination, without a real antagonist or payoff development of the underlying threat. For me, I think, the real issue was that it didn’t really seem to delve into the fundamentals of its time travel aspect, nor the native American element of the backstory - I felt that it wasn’t really made clear what the connection was between the mammoth bone and the time machine, and in this respect I did find the overall product a touch disjointed. I wonder if the book’s blurb may perhaps be a touch too revealing, its events not unfolding until late in the story and only forming one part of it.
Still, I am sincerely loath to make any criticism of “Myth Agent”, purely because MacFadden is such a tremendous author. She is all but flawless, her language and grammar superb, and she provides a real sense of the era, which feels so authentic it could almost have been written in the first person. Although she creates what for some could be a complicated, non-linear timeline, with confusing intersections and points of crossing, she does so without missing a beat. Watching all the strands of this tale being seamlessly and flawlessly woven together is a pleasure to behold; there is no single error – either editorially or in the time-shifting narrative; she ties her dates together perfectly, clearly knowing the story and its characters, intimately. This is a very clever and dedicated author, with a strong ethic of hard work and attention to detail, whose work I am very keen to read more of.
In : Book Reviews
Tags: l-a-macfadden time-travel fantasy historical-fiction