Time in the Dark


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The man, named Ingold, is a warrior and a wizard, able to cross between the two worlds, and is looking for an escape hatch for a special person from the growing terror of the Dark. When Ingold arrives at a safehouse in the California desert he crosses paths with Rudy, an artist trying to repair a broken-down car. Gil and Rudy choose to support Ingold and are drawn farther than they ever imagined.

The writing is vivid and does a nice job of creating the atmosphere of tension and danger. World-building was done well enough that I felt as if I was there. She edged her way back toward the dark gate, feeling herself beginning to shiver, her feet icy on the marble pavement.

SOUND ON SOUND

The silence of the place was terrible; even the screaming flight of that first night would have been more welcome. Then she had been in a crowd, though unseen; then she had not been alone. Silent and terrible, the lurker waited on the threshold of that dark house, and she knew that she must flee for her life. She would not be able to waken out of this dream; she knew that she was already awake.

Mostly, though, plotting feels rather genre standard, with some upgrades. Characters are above average. Although Gil is a loner of course , she has a great deal of knowledge to draw from, as well as her intuition. Surprisingly, however, she finds her physical skills are the ones in demand, a definite counter to stereotype. Rudy comes from a family-oriented, hard-scrabble background but works as an artist, again a more unusual take on the typical fantasy male stand-in.

I wish I had found this series when it was first published in ; I would have loved it, far more than Brooks or Donaldson, which were filled with misogyny even a teenage girl could recognize. Now, decades later, it feels above average for genre, if somewhat uninspired—but I suspect that is more because of my changing reader expectations for fantasy.

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View all 11 comments. I made the mistake of reading this novel and this series after seeing the second Aliens movie which is my favorite of all the Alien films.

When I was younger, I read a lot Stephen King , but only because everyone else at school was reading it and it irritated my mother or so I thought. After a couple of years on a steady diet of horror, I became bored and nothing was frightening or thrilling any longer. I picked up The Time of the Dark , mostly because it was another story along the lines of I made the mistake of reading this novel and this series after seeing the second Aliens movie which is my favorite of all the Alien films.

Donaldson 's Covenant series. At least the premises was similar: a contemporary person from our world is transported, in some inexplicable way, to a world in a different time and place, where magic is indigenous and a struggle for survival is imminent. Hambly surprised me with her ability to thrill me, and even at times scare me. I would attribute this to her ability to make me care deeply for her characters.

And when they were in danger, I was on the edge of my seat. Hambly writes the most convincing and inspiring female characters of any author I've read. May Update: Reread this again and updating my review for Fantasy Literature. View all 6 comments. Oct 05, Mike Shevdon rated it it was amazing Shelves: fantasy.

This is a book I return to, again and again. It is my comfort read: the book I pick up when I am too tired to read something new. That sounds odd given the subject matter, but within moments of picking it up, Hambly's prose is invisible to me and I am trudging down the road with the refugees, blinded by snow, freezing and wondering what's out there in the darkness I can recommend this book on so many levels.

The characters are people you come to know, like friends.

Their voices become This is a book I return to, again and again. Their voices become familiar, their mannerisms comforting. The setting is rich and gritty, you can smell the animal dung, taste the bitter smoke on the breeze and hear the chitter of the dark as they float between the trees.

In many ways this is an archetypal fantasy book. It contains all the fantasy tropes, the wise mage and his apprentice, the warrior, the princess. Yet each of these is new and fresh, even ten years later. Each develops throughout the book, and the series as a whole, so that by the end we feel we've grown with them. For the writers among you, especially those writing fantasy, this is a lesson in how it's done.

The year Daylight Saving Time went too far

The real challenge will be maintaining a critical view without getting lost in the story and waking up four hours later thinking, "where did the time go? My tastes have changed and my standards have risen. This remains, though, one of my all time favourites.

If you've never read fantasy and you want an introduction that will bring the genre sharply into focus and leave you hunting for more, this is a great place to start.


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  4. View 2 comments. Nov 10, Stephen rated it liked it Shelves: , fantasy-high-and-epic. I almost gave this one four stars, but decided to stick with 3. That said, Barbara Hambly is an excellent writer and I will certainly read the next book in the trilogy.

    Barbara Hambly's books do things for me which very few fantasy authors do. First, she puts female characters in leading roles of strength, intelligence, and power. Even other female authors tend to continue relegating women to roles as side-interests to a story rather than the main starring role. Barbara Hambly isn't afraid to do that.

    She also fleshes out her ladies with multiple character traits, helping me to find bits and pieces of each one that I can empathize and relate to, unlike most Barbara Hambly's books do things for me which very few fantasy authors do.

    She also fleshes out her ladies with multiple character traits, helping me to find bits and pieces of each one that I can empathize and relate to, unlike most wooden one-dimensional female roles. This book does something else to me. It celebrates and validates my love of thinking. The main character in this story is a scholar. Another main character is a wizard, who makes it very clear early in the story, that being a wizard is not about magic so much as it is a love of knowledge and deep abiding curiosity. These are things I can relate to, they are the best way to define who I am and how I try to live my life.

    So instantly, Barbara Hambly takes us nerds, we geeks, we vilified and sarcastically lampooned people, and she makes us In The Time of the Dark Barbara is not afraid to look at the deeper side of human nature, philosophy, sophistry, and the meaning of civilization in terms which are easy to follow, but deeper than the Marianas Trench if you're willing to go where she leads you. Another thing the Time of the Dark does which very few novels ever do for me any more is it surprises me. Whenever I feel I have a handle on the rules of this world, the general gist of the plot lines and even the sub plot lines, Barbara Hambly will throw you a surprise hairpin corkscrew turn in the road that you never saw coming.

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    Personally, I love it when an author can surprise me. So many of the books I read for entertainment come off as so cliche'd and predictable that I tend to yawn my way through them. Not Barbara Hambly. She'll take you in directions you don't expect. Reading a novel about magic? Bet you didn't expect the laws of physics to show up! Watching a civilization be destroyed?

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