Ph.D student Simon is writing his thesis on the Stones and Ancestor worship, so he goes to visit the actual place. For a moment, he’s treated to a vision of an ancient ritual and he thinks it’s just a hallucination brought on by his research. Eleven months later, on Thanksgiving, he visits the Stones again. Having lost his Gran, and since she is the one who he celebrated the holiday with despite being British, he goes there to be close to her. But he never expects to come across a man dressed in clothes that aren’t right for the time.
Aubrey had attempted a ritual to go three hundred and sixty five days in the past. Instead, he was somehow thrust three hundred and sixty five years into the future. He will do anything to get home again so that he can warn his friends about the danger that is coming their way. Though Simon is skeptical, he can’t help but believe Aubrey. There is something about the man that draws him, and their connection seems magical.
Together they begin to research the ritual that Aubrey used so that they can send him back in time again. They know that they have to complete the ritual at Yuletide, but a month doesn’t seem very long. They grow closer, and their relationship is more than just friends. Simon grows to love Aubrey, and he doesn’t want the man to leave. But as truths are uncovered, the trust they’ve been building is broken. And something far more sinister has come as a result of the ritual. Time is running out, and Simon has to make a decision. Can he do what he really must in order to help Aubrey?
I admit it. This title totally drew me in and it was the reason that I picked up this book. Not only is it perfect for the story within, but I’m a sucker for alliteration. And there was a lot about this story that I liked. Berrisford has a knack for writing engaging and endearing characters. I found myself rather amused with Aubrey and some of his antics. And though he seemed rather opened minded for a man from 1647, this could be mostly explained by the freethinking group he belonged to. What really worked for me here were the motivations of the characters and the way they grew as the story progressed.
Simon has had a hard time of it. His lackluster relationship has ended and he’s lost the one person that meant the most to him in the world. With is focus solely on his Ph.D work, he’s a bit stuck in a rut and hurting. He was actually the perfect person to find time traveler Aubrey. Because of his research on the Stones, it wasn’t too big a leap for him to ultimately accept that Aubrey was telling the truth. And he really needed someone like Aubrey to appreciate him and tell him how beautiful and amazing he was. I found that I liked how cautious he was about Aubrey, but that he was also willing to throw that caution to the wind and seize what was before him. Simon may be a bit of a dichotomy, but it absolutely worked.
Aubrey I had just a little bit harder time with. Despite the fact that he knew he would be traveling through time, and even though he ended up centuries in the future instead of one year in the past, he seemed rather accepting of the change in time and adapted too easily to be believable. That being said, he was a well-drawn character that had me grinning at times. I very much liked his attitude, strength, and loyalty. I also liked that he wasn’t perfect, and that he was hiding some truths. He wasn’t perfect by any means, but he felt real.
I did have a few small issues with the story, though. The repeated use of Time Lord and time traveler in reference to Aubrey did get a bit wearisome as the story went on. I would have liked to see a more varied way to describe him. And while I very much liked the twist of the darker consequences that came with ripping a hole in time, I would have liked to see a little bit more lead up and more in depth plot regarding it.
For the most part, this is a light read with just enough angst to give the story heft. The tale is told well, and the pacing really works. If you like stories where people are traveling through time, and don’t put too fine a point on the details, then this one is the story for you.