Book Review: Extracted

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When a young man invents a time machine to save his father, he didn’t intend to break the world in the process.

Three `heroes` are extracted from their timelines at the point of their death. Their mission: save the world.

But while two are trained, the third is not and instincts only go so far. Hiding out with the dinosaurs buys them some time. Somehow, police officer Safa and war-veteran Harry must train insurance investigator Ben so they are ready to face their mission.

The heroes are being hunted, however, and even a time machine won’t give them enough time.

Author: R.R Haywood

Title: Extracted

Publisher: 47North

Date: 2017

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When the opening of a novel makes you laugh out loud – on a train, no less – you would hope you were going to be in for a good read. I had such high hopes for Extracted by R.R Haywood.

It let me down so badly.

If I could write this review on the beginning and the end, then I would be raving about it. The characters come across as well developed and the type of hero you want saving the world. The dialogue is realistic and fantastic. While the premise is a touch cliché and a little absurd, it is delivered in a way that you roll with it.

The middle, however, ruined this entire novel for me.

Now, learning you are not only dead to everyone you know and love, but that time travel is possible and there is a dinosaur outside of your window is a lot to take in. But Ben’s character suffers a mental break in the middle of the book.

And it drags on…

…and on.

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Safa and Harry both prove themselves to be well developed characters and Safa’s patience with Ben despite her usual no-nonsense manner makes her an extremely likeable character. Harry, too, is a gentle giant that gets into your heart.

But regardless of how cool the other characters are or how much your mind is spinning over the standard time-travel dilemmas, no one wants to read for an extended period of time about a character moping around feeling worthless and sorry for themselves.

Even when Ben focuses again, you don’t empathise with his character because rather than trying to help save the world, he has been so focused on himself that you lose that initial bonding with his character.

It disconnected me from the book and I really lost my enjoyment. Admittedly, the end did rescue it slightly (but was also confusing and was definitely there as a ploy to make you want the next book), but by that point, I was so fed up that it didn’t have the impact it was supposed to.

Extracted could have been so brilliant and I was so disappointed it wasn’t.

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