Title: Lost In Time
Author: A.L. Lester
Length: 173 Pages
Category: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Time Travel
At a Glance: I didn’t know if I was going to actually like this story, but A.L. Lester had me from the start. I couldn’t put this book down, and I want more.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: Lew’s life is pleasantly boring until his friend Mira messes with magic she doesn’t understand. While searching for her, he is pulled back in time to 1919 by a catastrophic magical accident. As he tries to navigate a strange time and find his friend in the smoky music clubs of Soho, the last thing he needs is Detective Alec Carter suspecting him of murder.
London in 1919 is cold, wet, and tired from four years of war. Alec is back in the Metropolitan Police after slogging out his army service on the Western Front. Falling for a suspect in a gruesome murder case is not on his agenda, however attractive he finds the other man.
They are both floundering and out of their depth, struggling to come to terms with feelings they didn’t ask for and didn’t expect. Both have secrets that could get them arrested or killed. In the middle of a murder investigation that involves wild magic, mysterious creatures, and illegal sexual desire, who is safe to trust?
Review: In A.L. Lester’s The Gate, the free prequel to Lost in Time, Matty returns to the farm and his brother Arthur, who is ill, after a long absence. Matty sees the state his brother is in—disturbed sleep, piles of books, notes, and papers everywhere—and throws himself into working the farm and caring for Arthur. As Arthur gets worse, he makes Matty promise to keep the Gate shut and destroy the books. Matty happens to discover a book that Arthur had marked, which contained an archaic form of English, plus odd notes that his brother had written.
As days go on, Rob, a friend and farm hand, and Matty become close. Then, on a particular evening, Rob tells Matty he’s found something strange in the barn.
And now I have to stop, because if I go any further, I will give the plot away. What I will say is that The Gate is a well written, too short but tempting story. I was very interested to see where it would lead. What it leads to is the intriguing novel Lost In Time. I usually don’t go for fantasy, sci-fi and mystery rolled into one, but I have to say I’m hooked!
In 2016, the world has split. The Border is a protection against the Outlands, where creatures seeking energy lurk. The Border is power and danger; if misused, a person could find themselves in situations beyond their control. Certain humans have an ability called the Pull, and are known as Workers. Workers keep the Border repaired.
Mira is a Worker and has big dreams of being a jazz singer. She has an opportunity to get a job doing just that, and uses her Pull and a book of spells with the intent of getting the job, but the ritual goes awry.
Lew Rogers is Mira’s foster brother. He also has the Pull, and is a Worker at the Border. When he finds his sister is missing, with the intent to find her, he follows the ritual as precisely as he can. Lew finds himself in the year 1919, and knows pretty quickly that something is amiss. After a freak accident, he takes the name of Ellison “Lew” Tyler, and is offered a job as a photographer by Callum McGovern, who is starting a newspaper. Lew knows he doesn’t have the experience, but it eventually leads him to photographing for Scotland Yard, and gives him even more of an opportunity to search for Mira.
Alastair “Alec” Carter has returned from several long years of war. He took the position of uniformed constable, and was promoted to Detective Inspector with the Metropolitan Police. He becomes involved in a strange death at a hospital for Servicemen, and is attacked by something beyond reality. When a vicious murder occurs, Alec watches closely as Lew photographs the body, and, from Lew’s reaction, Alec gets the feeling that Lew knows something. The more Alec pursues Lew, the more he finds himself entangled in a world beyond belief. But even though Alec and Lew have some explosive moments, they also find a forbidden attraction between them.
I didn’t know if I was going to actually like this story, but A.L. Lester had me from the start. I couldn’t put this book down, and I want more. The only way I can describe it is that it’s a modern-day London in the early 1900s fantasy, sci-fi and mystery. The author gives a solid look at the backgrounds of both Lew and Alec. They are strong characters who have somewhat of a rocky beginning, and develop a gradual interest in each other. And, they both have their concerns about not revealing their attraction.
There are so many interesting secondary characters—Mira, Talley, Kelley, Archie, and Grant—who each bring an interesting aspect to the storyline. I highly suggest reading The Gate first, as it’s a short novella that introduces the mysterious Gate as well as Matty, his brother Arthur, Rob and Lin of the Frem, and opens the door for Lost in Time. A.L. Lester also provides a sneak peek at the next installment, Holding the Border, and I can’t wait to see where it will lead and who is willing to stay in the 1900s.
You can buy Lost in Time here: