Author: Kate Heartfield
Released: November 6th 2018
Alice Payne Arrives is a new take on time. Yes, I know, time travel has been done a million times, and will likely be done a million more times. But that won’t stop me from trying new books and series. In this particular case – I’m glad that I gave it a chance.
Alice Payne Arrives is the first novella in the series, but it’s one worth following I think. There’s time travel, obviously, danger, thievery, and attempts to save the world, overly complex plans, automatons, and even an endearing relationship to follow. In short, it’s got a little bit of something for everyone.
Alice Payne Arrives is fast-paced, holding true to its novella format. It didn’t waste any time bringing the reader into the thick of things. We were quickly introduced to all of the main characters involved, their motivations, and how they’re connected to the main plot.
There were a lot of time jumps in the story, understandably. Thankfully they’re all clearly delineated, stating the timeline at the beginning of each chapter. For a series that spends a lot of time bouncing around between centuries, this is a vital trick to use.
Even with its shorter length, there is an astounding number of details included inside. It’s clear that Kate Heartfield spent time researching the individual periods she was throwing her characters into. The details led us to imagine a rich environment, while not lending to an overly verbose description.
There are a long of strong moments in Alice Payne Arrives. Everything from the gender and race of the main characters to their stubborn and determined natures showed their strength. All three of the main characters are driven and not afraid or ashamed of who they are. It’s such a rare trait and not something to be ignored.
Following multiple characters at once allowed us to get to know them individually, while also showing us different plots and points in time simultaneously. Alice is more grounded in the past (well, the past to both us and Prudence) where Prudence was born in the future, but spends most of her time…well everywhere and everywhen.
Heartfield truly explored the complexity of time travel here. The entire basis of the plot is based on the Butterfly Effect. How changes can cascade beyond prediction or control. Is there a right way or alter time? We know there’s bound to be a wrong way. Is any alteration too much, or would some alterations be for the greater good? These questions and so many more are raised throughout the course of the book.
Alice Payne Arrives was a fast-paced and enjoyable novella. I loved the different perspectives and twist that Kate Heartfield threw into the mix. At many points I found myself drawn into the debates of the series – about the ethicalities of time travel. But that’s probably no surprise to anyone that knows me.
I’m looking forward to the following novellas and all of the adventures that our leading ladies are going to have. I’m sure they’ll end up creating just as many messes as they’re trying to clean up, but it should make for an interesting read!