The Unexpected Gift of Joseph Bridgeman By Nick Jones

What is it about?

Meet Joseph Bridgeman, a reclusive insomniac with a weakness for ‘The Beatles’ on vinyl and a constant headache. When his annoying accountant suggests hypnotherapy might help him sleep, Joseph accidentally discovers he can time-travel and things get a little complicated.

With the help of Vinny, a local record shop owner, Mark, his old school friend, and Alexia Finch, his hypno-time-travel guru, Joe sets out to change the course of his life. He needs to get back to 1992, the year his world fell apart, the year that Amy, his sister, went missing. The only problem (apart from his clothes disappearing) is that the further back he goes the less time he gets to stay there.

Can Joe master his new-found gift before time catches up with him?

Thoughts?

I have been working my way through the time travel genre like a starved dog presented with steak and something I have noticed from my journeys through the genre is a majority of the books start slowly and Joseph Bridgeman is no exception. We spend most of the first third of the book being introduced to Joseph’s nuances and persona, it was a little bit of a slog I must admit, although made easier with Nick Jones’ quirky humour.

The further along the book we go the more you understand the first third of the book was setting up the platform for Joe’s character development, which for me was brilliantly done and in my opinion the best part of book. Joe has a real journey of discovery from cover to cover, to say he grows on you is a real understatement.

From a time travel perspective the form of time travel is one of my favourite ones so far, Joe’s journey to understanding and controlling his abilities rightly make up for a large percentage of the book. There are of course all the staples of time travel entertainment I.e. ripple effects etc but Jones uses a simplified version and has his own take on some of the rules which I feel were necessary. There were a few cool instances of nostalgia in the book but I really feel like it was under utilized as is often the case.

On the whole it was a brilliant book, I didn’t see the end of the book going down as it did and that is almost always a pleasant surprise! I can’t wait to read the second instalment.

Rating – 72/100

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