Hello Humans! Remember back when I reviewed Paris Adrift? Well, I reckon it’s been about that long since I read a book featuring time travel – so it’s probably time to review another. Nina Allan’s The Silver Wind has recently been re-released by Titan books, who were kind enough to send me a copy to review. I was intrigued by the concept and excited to see how it would pull off such a difficult thing to achieve.
Martin Newland is fascinated by time. Watches and clocks are for him metaphorical time machines, a means of coming to terms with the past and voyaging into the future. But was his first timepiece a Smith, given to him on his fourteenth birthday, or the Longines he received four years later? Was it the small brass travelling clock unearthed in the run-down house for which he is to act as estate agent? And who is the maker of these time machines?
Alas and alack – this book was not for me. For the most part I think this was a matter of personal preference. Books like this are just not my cup of tea – I’ll get onto what I mean by that in just a moment – but please take what I say here with a pinch of whatever condiment you enjoy, just because I didn’t like this doesn’t mean you won’t.
But this book was definitely not for Judiths.
I have a problem with books that are ‘novels told in stories’ because often I find they just don’t work. I have a hard time getting into the stories, which are connected enough that you have to pay attention and hold them in your mind, while also being so disconnected that I spend the time I should be spending getting to know a new set of characters instead of trying to work out how the stories will connect. It’d be like watching Love Actually for the first time but after someone told you how it worked and said there would be a quiz later. I just…it’s too much work I can’t do it.
I also felt a bit like this book felt it was cleverer than it was? I’m not sure the idea of a watch being a time machine (because that’s literally what a watch is) is a particularly unique idea, but it felt like the book was constantly trying to get me to ooh and Aaah at its wisdom – and your girl was not buying it.
It’s somewhat unfortunate because it’s possible that if I had realised what this book was and how it would work before I started reading I would absolutely have read it differently and might have had a different time reading. Which is frustrating because then how much of the negative reaction I had to the book was my fault and how much was the book’s fault.
I genuinely can’t tell you.
What I can tell you with certainty is that I didn’t connect with any of the characters or the plot of this book, largely because it didn’t have enough time in any of the beats of the story to really get to know any of them!
So, overall I’d say that if you know that the ‘novel in stories’ format is something you definitely like I would give this book a try (and then let me know if it’s a good example). If, like me, you prefer something a bit more long-form into which you can really get your teeth – maybe give this one a miss?
My rating: 2/5 stars
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
The Silver Wind is available now!
What say you? Is this a book for you or more of a miss? Let me know in the comments below!