Blood of Father Time: Book One, The New Cut

Written by Alan M. Clark Stephen C. Merritt & Lorelei Shannon
Review by Mary K. Bird-Guilliams

Time travel stories are a mix of fantasy and historical settings, and this collaborative effort by three authors manages to mix in elements of horror as well. One of the boys who accidentally follows a new creek cut into the past remarks: this sure isn’t like the Disney movie, and that description would be also be fair advice for the reader as well. The violence is frequent, explicit and relentless, relieved occasionally by flashes of humor and reflection. The series title, from a grandmother’s saying “the blood of father time only runs one way,” will be continued into two more volumes, the second to be entitled “The Mystic Clan’s Grand Plot.”

A number of questions are raised in this first part. The book begins with an alcoholic man remembering the past, and we continue between his attempts to make sense of it and the narrative itself of the three boys who go into the early 19th century at a particularly unsavory spot, where the regular denizens are rough and the river pirates who prey upon them even worse. The present-day efforts of Joel to dry out and stabilize himself end abruptly about 2/3 of the way through, while in the time travel sequences two of the three boys return to their homes. A short excerpt of the second volume indicates a return to the past. This is going to appeal mostly to guys for the dogged determination of the boys to survive and the tests of strength and will between them.