Timecaster is more of an action/adventure story set in the future than a hard science fiction novel. Nevertheless, J.A. Konrath (writing as Joe Kimball) puts some interesting what-if ideas out there, and they help the story to good effect. It’s a fast read–one cliffhanger after another. Overall, it was a nice mindless escape with the usual Konrath humor, lots of imaginative action sequences, and downright over-the-top violence and sex.
I have a few minor quibbles with the plot, which I’ll leave out to avoid spoilers. There are some anachronistic cultural references that should be long forgotten by the time of the story, but, as those are mostly just punchlines to throwaway jokes; they don’t adversely affect the story.
The book felt short, both in actual length and in the sense that the ending leaves you hanging. It’s as though Konrath held back the final act in order to sell a sequel. Someday, I might read the next one in the series, but it’s not high on my list.
Formatting for the nook was pretty good, with just a few missing characters and a couple of backwards apostrophes. I wish the legacy publishers wouldn’t put so much front matter in their ebooks; the reader has already bought the book and shouldn’t have to click through pages of jacket copy. It felt like padding, as did the useless glossary at the end. Perhaps if there were links to the glossary wherever the futuristic terms are used, it would have been useful. But, honestly, the meanings are clear enough in context, and, by the time you get to the end of the book and realize there’s a glossary, it’s too late to make a difference.