“The Lane Betrayal” is a cat and mouse race through the past as Mark Lane transports his family—his wife, two daughters and two sons—to 1865, just as the American Civil War is ending in order to hide from the billion-dollar corporation Mark has betrayed. Except it’s not really a betrayal, Mark discovered the nefarious plot of the CEO and in order to prevent that man from going into the past and changing key pieces of history in evil ways, Mark absconds with the devices first. The Lane’s have planned this escape for months, and so they leave for 1865 with a plan and the materials they need to blend into their new era, and for the most part they succeed! Which made this story relatively tension free until the last 30% of the novel.
If you’re looking for a pretty cozy adventure through time that isn’t overly complex when it comes to explaining how time travel works or the devices themselves, then this will be a good book for you! I personally am not a huge fan of hard science-fiction, which time travel usually falls in, so this was a nice break from that. However, I did wish I felt a bit more transported to 1865. The characters often marvel at how they get to witness history playing out in front of them, but this is where that tricky “show don’t tell” line comes in. The reader is often told who our time travelers are interacting with, or told how someone is brave or is kind, but rarely see it in action. Which made this book easy to read, but created superficial characters that didn’t sweep me away as I expect historical fiction to do. This was possibly compounded by the fact that the time traveling characters very rarely needed to modify what they did or said in order to fit into their new surroundings. Let’s just say, I thought someone would catch on the Lane’s in one way or another much sooner!
Blending into the past isn’t the only thing the characters are concerned with, as the billionaire they wronged is able to send an assassin back to the past to both retrieve his property, and “deal” with the Lane family. Though I do wonder why the villain even bothered with that. If he was able to send an assassin back in time, certainly he could go about enacting his other evil plans with changing the past? That may have been explained, but if so, I missed it along with what points in history the CEO is actually going back to change which inspired the Lane’s to act. It’s alluded to, I think, but never explicitly said, so the stakes felt a little low to me.
That being said, I did enjoy how each family member was determined to make the most of their time in 1865, helping where they could without altering history, and getting involved with the community they were in. The family dynamic was sweet, the parents loving, and the siblings helpful; it was a very positive family experience especially when it seems so popular lately to have tragic family home life in every book you read. But ultimately, I wanted to be transported to 1865 in a more visceral way, I wanted more tension and to worry about the Lane’s maintaining their facades, which is why I am giving this 3 stars. But maybe all of this will be addressed in the next book, which I am looking forward to reading! And thank you to the author with providing a copy for an honest review.
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