Review by Karl Verhoven
Another book, another artist, this time Pere Pérez, picking up after the supposed death of Ivar, Timewalker in Breaking History. It’s a far younger Ivar we see in the opening pages here, one living in ancient Mesopotamia before being pulled through time by Dr Neela Sethi, using tricks he taught her in the future. Well, in some future anyway, as this is time travel we’re dealing with, and the fluctuating possibilities of the future have already been given a thorough airing.
This Ivar may be younger, but catches on quickly, and writer Fred Van Lente has some fun with his attitudes being very much of his original era. As the topic running through the book is alternative universes the problem soon becomes intelligent dinosaurs with a society modelled on Ancient Rome. As amusing as this is in places, over the opening two chapters there’s again the sense of marking time that prevailed in the previous book. Van Lente has a definite ending in mind, and it’s a decent one, and once he’s warmed up here he fills in all the gaps prompting questions over the previous two books.
He also skims along the thin line dividing love and hate, and ensures that despite what may have seemed to be the case, there is no definitive fate for either Ivar or Neela. When it comes to their relationship, though, Van Lente never convinces. The clever way in which messages are passed back and forth over time raises a smile, but a love that’s supposed to straddle the ages just doesn’t ring true. Van Lente’s much better when delivering funny lines. Ivar ends up in a gladiatorial arena at one point. “My apologies mistress”, blathers a servile dinosaur, “a clerical oversight, nothing more I’m sure…” “Well undersight it” screams Neela as Ivar’s in mortal danger.
Pérez is solid enough in delivering the story, and the sequences set outside time show he’s not a man afraid of some work, but overall there are very few pages that stick in the memory.
As this series appears to have been planned from the start to run twelve chapters, a little more plot, a little less repetition and fewer diversions would have served it well.