Rating: 2 STARS
Genre: Science Fiction
Type of Story: Short Story
Summary: The time travel story with a dark side. A man died while the snow fell. His body would be hidden until summer, but there are strangers in the woods today. During a long forgotten Christmas, three time travelers come to town. Is their presence just a coincidence or are there darker secrets hidden beneath the ice?
Review: “Christmas Past” tells the story of three time travelers searching for answers who arrive in a strange place in an unknown time. They are trapped in a maze of time travel portals and, after finding a man who they believe can help them, stumble upon a stunning secret.
This story appears to be the first of a series (The Timewasters), and Owen does a nice job of creating a fairly entertaining story. It was difficult to get a clear sense of the characters. Graham, Mark, and Annie are the three time travelers, but through a lack of characterization it is difficult to get a sense of what makes them tick. The story started out well and had an interesting premise, but then due to an overabundance of description it lost me in the middle before bringing me back for a solid ending. Owen has a flair for descriptive writing. I could get a very clear sense of where the characters were and what they were looking at, as evidenced below:
The room was small but covered in an ambitious amount of clutter. The doctor himself appeared oblivious to it and invited them in without a trace of embarrassment. A fireplace smouldered in the corner, but the rest of the room’s contents sprawled out around a delicate armchair. Books lay upon every surface, most left open or askew.
But the description went overboard at times. I think science fiction authors feel the need to over-describe because of the unique elements within their stories. The ending was well done, and sets the stage for more Timewasters stories to come.
One of the primary issues with “Christmas Past” is the lack of correct punctuation and several missing words. This is the primary reason for the review rating of 2 stars. I do not know if Owen had a professional editor go through this story, but I recommend that he have someone proofread it. Owen has the makings of a solid story here, and perhaps the genesis of a series that could be continued to greater lengths in the future. But before he goes down that road this short story should be proofread to eliminate the errors that are present.
Available at: Amazon
Author Site: Website