In this story, time travel is effected by time machines which are very well camouflaged but very bad designed: as coins which have to be flipped for activation. They always get lost in a gutter, an unsuspecting finder flips it and is stranded out of time or somebody steals it to make a nice necklace for his granddaughter. For travelling, I would prefer a gauntlet instead but that's an other story from an other author ;) .
The heroes are around 16 years, living in rural U.S.A. so I felt reminded of Heinlein or Simak novels. O yeah, so I missed that it's rubricated under "young adult or teen". Now, who does not love Heinlein's "The Star Beast" regardless of his age?! What are the dogs in Simak stories are big green lizards in this one, a little dumb but helpful and likeable. I enjoyed reading "Arrow Of Time" anyway. The second category is "hard sci-fi". Now, the sci-fi is not that hard ... no explanation whatsoever of time travel, it is just invented and done, and and yes, there are parallel universes in this story but only to enable one of the acting persons to effect a seemingly impossible escape. It still is SF as I understand it - make an assumption and extrapolate it's moral, technical and social impacts in future times. And in the best tradition of stories of juveniles, it points out how the heroes reach adulthood.
Three stars from me for "good SF, better than many others". Maybe it shows my appreciation that I downloaded more Novels from this author!
Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven.
This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
(review of free book)