Warrior: The Time Hunters
Berkley, Jul 2008, $7.99
Records show struggling artist Jessica Kelly disappeared on July 10, 2008; blood splattered all over her home implied she was dead. The Temporal Enforcement Agency (TEA) believes an illegal time Jumper killed her to drive the value of her paintings sky high; they think this time killer also took some of her work into the future. TEA sends genetically engineered Master Enforcer Warrior Galar Arvid from the twenty-third century to keep Jessica safe.
Jessica’s roommate Charlotte knows a Xeran assassin is arriving soon. Before she jumps, she knocks out the TEA agents, cuts her finger, and drips blood on Jessica’s forehead, which is absorbed into her body. When the killer arrives, he realizes that Jessica is tainted and needs to kill her. She fights back until the agents awaken; they injure the assassin, who jumps. They take Jessica to a temporal outpost in the fifteenth century Blue Ridge Mountains; there they place her in a regeneration chamber until she heals. They also upload into her brain information of the future where they will take her as history claims she vanished.
The Xeran battle borg Colonel Mercian is assigned to kill Charlotte and Jessica; the latter because the former tainted her. In the outpost there is a Xer spy who is to assassinate Jessica while Mercian kills Charlotte. Charlotte knows the Xer will try to kill her and Jessica again and attempt to steal the valuable T’lin while her roommate will soon face adversaries with Galar at her side.
Time traveling as an industry with tourists, cops, and criminals seems plausible in this engaging Time Hunter thriller mostly because the lead couple is a solid pairing; future and present. The story line abruptly switches from a murder mystery to a pure science fiction thriller leaving too many threads unanswered specifically insight into the various species and the enigmatic Charlotte. Still the prime tale of keeping Jess alive makes for a wonderful science fiction romantic suspense.