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Brooke Shaffer

Author, Ski Patroller, and Pasta-Eater Extraordinaire

Time to Kill

Tommen Forbes is basically your average sixteen year old: hates school, likes girls, desperate to get his license so he doesn't have to be stuck at home. Oh, and he's really a hundred and sixty years old with the ability to bend Time, to make it go faster or slower at will.

His dad, Homicide Detective Walter Forbes, also has this ability. They are called Timekeepers. They answer to the Hands of Time and are charged with protecting Time itself from criminal Runners.

When women start turning up dead, all the evidence points to Runner involvement. As Walter digs deeper, he discovers that their killer is no ordinary Runner; he's a notorious hired hitman with a sickening lust for death. Worse, his Time abilities far supersede anything Walter or Tommen is capable of.

When the killer turns his sights on the father and son, it becomes a race against time to bring this menace to heel.

FAQ (Contains Spoilers)

Q: Does Tommen get paid for his extra "overtime"?
A: Not for the extra hours per se, but he gets a higher hourly rate to make up for it.  But yes, he does get paid.  Micah and Micaiah can be pricks, but they're not cruel.

Q: Will we ever learn the real cause of the fire? *shifty eyes*
A: Um...it was electrical.  Not everything that happens is sinister.  Most, but not all.  Sorry. o_o

Q: Why didn't Tommen get a ride home with the twins?!
A: Because he is sixteen years old, and he don't need no stinking babysitter.  He can take care of himself.

Q: Lily seemed to imply that she knew Walter's backstory.  What is it and how does she know it?
A: Lily has the wealth and the resources to get that kind of information, regardless of how well Walter tries to keep it hidden.  And then there was that whole deal about the twins knowing his story, and Micah dating Lily...you know.

Q: In the hangar, first Walter didn't want Eric and Varad with them in the Wheel, and then he said to bring them.  Why did he change his mind?  Why expose them to Time like that so they would have to become Timekeepers?
A: That question is actually answered in the second book, but the short version is this: Just being mildly exposed, they would be able to see temporal distortions, but be susceptible to Time attacks and other Time-related incidents with no way to defend themselves.  By exposing them completely and having them able to Band Time and potentially become Timekeepers, they gain the ability to defend themselves.

Q: So do normal people and Time Agents react differently to Time attacks?  What about the murdered women?
A: They are affected differently.  Simple Bands are not the same as full-blown Time attacks.  A simple Band would be Tommen.  A Time attack would be Rifun.  Rifun used simple Bands on the women to immobilize them.  If a normal person is hit by a Time attack, depending on the severity, the side effects could be anything from mild disorientation to full-blown exposure.

Q: How much exposure does a person need to become a Time Agent?
A: It sort of depends.  It's a bit of a sliding scale, like the amount of alcohol for a person to become drunk (not a perfect analogy, FYI).  For Timekeepers, it is sufficient exposure to Bands and other Timekeeper abilities.  For Harvesters, it usually involves either being prematurely Harvested (such as Lily), or being anointed with a Time Capsule of sufficient quantity.

Q: Does that make the residents of Openly Engaged Civilizations all Harvesters, then?  If they just drop by the market on errand day, wouldn't they be constantly "anointed" as it were?
A: In olden times, yes, but the Merchants developed a technique to weed out that property in their Time Capsules.  It has to do with the different purities and types of Time Capsules.

Q: Can a Timekeeper become a Harvester or vice versa?
A: It is possible.  It is unusual, though, given the general animosity the Timekeepers and Harvesters have for each other.

Q: Why, oh why, did Tommen pass up the cake in Chapter One?  Birthday hate aside, it's CAKE.
A: Yes.  Yes, it is.

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SafeBooks Ratings

These are my personal, what I believe to be honest ratings for the benefit of the faint of heart.

 

Language: 7.5/10

Considerations: Type of language, frequency, and context

 

Violence: 6.5/10

Considerations: Type of violence, frequency, graphic detail

 

Sexual References: 4/10

Considerations: Type of reference, explicit content, context