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Chewed my way through the second volume of this year's winner of both Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novel (having read the first half in June).

It is a mild improvement on the first volume, in that there are actual signs of plot around page 400 and again around page 600. But the tone is wearyingly sentimental as ever, and the characters just dull apart from the two cheeky kids; and in the end, if the time continuum is going to respond to time travellers in such a way as to preserve History As We Know It - and there is never any good reason for Willis's characters to think otherwise apart from her need to inject emotion into her writing - it's difficult to get excited about it. I also spotted more errors of setting here than I had noticed in Blackout - premature mention of the Jubilee Line by over three decades, and reportedly vast distances separating the Tower from Stepney (actually about a mile and a half apart) and St Paul's from Bart's (five minutes' brisk walk).

I suppose the good news is that it will probably take Willis another six years to publish her next book; the bad news is that it too will probably win awards it doesn't deserve.

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