Descoteaux Delivers Another Hilarious Sci-Fi Adventure
4 out of 5 Stars
As if celebrity aliens and loveable Bigfeet weren’t enough, the staff of “The Tattler” is back to the future with complicated time travel, absurd paradoxes, and imaginative creatures that would make the writers of Doctor Who weep with joy.
The second installment of the series, “The Tattler: Losing Time,” offers another hilarious romp, now through time, with a more loveable Barry Young. My problem with the first novel was how juvenile and selfish Barry was, and Descoteaux absolutely redeemed him this go round. This book left me rooting for him, longing to know what happens to good ol’ Barry in the final installment, even hoping it’s something good.
This go around, we’re introduced to a whole host of new characters, mostly via time travel. Our new leading lady is a sassy, burned-by-love time travel cop from the future, Aileen Buckman, who needs to save the world from her shady work colleagues. And she’s willing to sacrifice everything to do it. Another new face is a fascinating, but very controversial figure: the time traveling gangster who goes by the name Jive Turkey. In the heart of everyone’s favorite theme park, lives the Anomaly, who is stuck somewhere between alive and dead, ravaged by the paradoxes of time travel. Finally, Rupert Blix, a man with complex motives who destroys everything in his wake.
Barry, Nikki, and a host of alien and other preternatural beings return to fill the pages with hilarious, but poignant commentary on how dangerous time travel and other technology could be. This time around, Descoteaux is a little less subtle with his commentary. In his first novel, one could tell that his goal was to gently focus on ecological issues. If we didn’t take care of our planet, we could lose it like the invading Kardashian forces. This time it was abundantly clear that it was an exposition on how technology could be the death of us all. But the subject was still approached in an entertaining and tasteful fashion, so it was well done and typical for the genre.
My absolute favorite part of this story, is that the road to Barry’s redemption fixes a great deal of the ills of his world, but takes so much away from him. None of us can know if he’d have made the same choices if he’d known what he would lose, but I like to think he would have. I like to think he’d have changed the world for the better, no matter what it would cost him on a personal level. But maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part. A simple desire to see a more lovable leading man.
The female characters are again pretty badass. And they seem to have taken on less of a problematic, damsel in distress tone than in the previous book. Descoteaux has fixed a lot of the problems I had with the first novel. But, like his first ones, the main characters aren’t the ones that shine. The preternatural characters and the new, strange mix of characters offer the most intriguing character studies. He poses and answers interesting questions about the potential of time travel and how it would affect humanity. Personally, based on his story, I hope we’re still a long time off from discovering the technology, if it’s ever on the horizon.
If you enjoy humorous sci-fi stories that take a turn for both the heartbreaking and heartwarming, this is a great story for you. If action-packed chases, and a will he get the girl storyline are your cup of tea, this book is also for you. I certainly enjoyed it, and can’t wait to hear the rest of the tale Descoteaux has to tale about Barry and his wild collection of friends.
Content Warning: People eating (not caniablism), Cursing, Fear