Author: Mary Calmes
Length: 14,132 words, 58 pages
Genre: m/m Science Fiction Romance, Time Travel
Blurb: Jeritt Troy is a Scourge, a guardian tasked with patrolling cracks in time and righting the unspoken wrongs in history. His next task is a killer—not just for him, but for his husband and partner, Frost Ramsey, because Jeritt’s not just tracking a bad guy; he’s tracking his previous partner—his best friend.
Brekin Creed is as deadly as he’s ever been, and when Jeritt finds himself both abandoned and stranded in time, he has only a handful of years to figure out what went wrong with Brekin and, in doing so, save Frost’s life. Is there time enough for Jeritt to save Frost, or will he be locked in the judgment of his mistakes for eternity?
Review: This is a story of many different relationships and factions coming together. Jeritt is in love with Frost, his husband and they’re a team of time travelers. Jeritt is a Scourge and equipped with an embedded compass, keeps and watches over the shifts in time, correcting wrongs and setting paths to rights. He has one regret, however happy his current life is with Frost in the very distant future — that he lost his relationship with his best friend and former partner Brekin. But Brekin is rogue somewhere in the past, and Jeritt feels a duty to try to find him and convince him to come back before the plan that is already set in motion and out of Jeritt’s hands will find his friend killed. But when he and Frost go looking for him, nothing turns out like he thought it would.
There’s quite a bit going on in this story, and while I felt like it did come together and I was only lost a few times, it was still a little too rushed for my liking. There are large shifts in time (relative time) where the story relies on thin narration to progress and save space in such a short story. While I understood why this happens, it really lessoned some of the emotional impact later in the story.
You know how when something gets pretty complicated and has to rely on some exposition to explain it? I found that happening quite a few times, and even though I ultimately liked this story, I could only conclude that this plot was just too much for a short story. Beside the fact that the time travel and all the implications of such a thing take a bit to puzzle out, especially when they’re so central to the story in the way it is here, I found myself wanting some of that time to get more of the relationships, both between Jeritt and Frost and between Jeritt and Brekin. Some of this could have been set up beforehand, but again, that would have made this a much longer story. Still, it is one that I would have really enjoyed reading.
I liked these characters. The nature of the plot is really about misunderstanding, especially between friends in a really natural and understanding way, and because of the premise of the story, we get to see different sides of both Jeritt and Brekin. I appreciated that, even in the limited capacity that we see them, especially Brekin. Frost’s purpose is really to serve as the support system for Jeritt. He’s total Alpha material, growly and arrogant at the same time, and while their relationship is the focal point of the first part of the story, it still felt a bit outside of the story for me (told in memory).
This is good story, even though I was picky with some of the details and the delivery of the story. I sometimes get frustrated with short stories that are really undersized novels or novellas. What really frustrates me is when that is needless, like a contemporary story. That isn’t the case here and I understood why the story is written as it is, but it still made it a difficult read and too rushed for me.