Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Book Review: 'Time Thief' by Anna Hackett

Australian author Anna Hackett became a mining engineer whose work required travelling from icy, subarctic Northern Canada to the heat of Southern Africa, She now lives in Perth, writing ‘stories that combine the thrill of falling in love with the excitement of action, danger and adventure. I write about people overcoming unbeatable odds and achieving seemingly impossible goals. I like to believe it’s possible for all of us to do the same.’ She has close to fifty books to her credit.

TIME THIEF is book 1 in her series she has named The Anomaly Series. In this fascinating first installment Anna combines science fiction, fantasy, paranormal and romance in a story that is best described by her synopsis: ‘Bay North wants revenge, no, she craves revenge. Hunted for her psychic ability to steal time and forced to watch her family die, all she wants is to make the crime lord who's taken everything from her pay. But now he's set the ultimate hunter on her trail and Bay will need all her skills just to survive the gray-eyed, hard-bodied man out to kill her. Ex-Navy SEAL Sean Archer has nothing left but a thirst for vengeance. After his team is killed in Afghanistan by a time thief, he came home a broken man. Now he hunts any of the monsters he can find, ready to rid the world of the dangerous mutation. But when he finally tracks Bay to Denver, he doesn't see a monster or a mutation, he sees a tough, beautiful survivor who ignites a desire he can't deny. During a shootout, hunter and hunted find themselves thrust into a reluctant alliance that shatters all their defenses. Can Sean convince a woman honed in revenge that they can have more than vengeance, blood and killing?’

Anna has the ability to sculpt her characters in a way that, despite their anomalies’ the are readily visible in the readers mind. She introduces her Main character as follows: ‘Bay North stood in line at the Concord Downing Bank and surreptitiously scratched under her wig. The damn thing itched like crazy. She ran a hand down the pencil skirt of her cheap, gray business suit. It was a challenge trying to blend in with the Denver lunch crowd waiting to bank checks and open new accounts. The suit, the foreign makeup and brown wig were her attempt at a chic disguise. She swallowed a snort. She wouldn’t know chic if it slammed her in the head with a pair of designer heels. Out of necessity, she usually wore clothes she could run in. Things might have been different if she hadn’t been born a freak. Her chest constricted. She fought to keep her hands relaxed, to not curl them into tight little fists. Things weren’t different. She breathed out. Imagined the rush of emotions bleeding away like a spent wave.’

It is this polished writing style that sweeps the reader through the book making the 100 page length seem even shorter – but pungent! Terrific little novel, this. Grady Harp, January 18

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.