There exists a secret society where one's ability to travel through time is "gifted" to members only by blood. Those who try to enter the society quickly come to realize that time is a force not to be reckoned with. Alexandra Monir's short story exclusive ebook, Secrets of the Time Society, sheds light upon the world created in her novel Timeless and forecasts the fate that lies ahead for its protagonist, Michele Windsor. Now that Michele is gifted, there are some who will do anything to take that power away.
Winter 1888, NYC: Seventeen year old Rebecca Windsor receives a visit from the mysterious Millicent August, who hands Rebecca a book titled Handbook of the Time Society, insisting she read it. Millicent goes on to explain that she is the founder and president of the Time Society, an organization dedicated to bringing together individuals born with genes that gift them the ability to time travel. Millicent also has a team of Detectors, those who can spot out of place time travelers, who identified Rebecca in NYC in 1918.
Rebecca came by her time traveling abilities through mildly criminal means. Coming clean about it could affect a certain relationship of hers she hopes to steer in a romantic direction. Though she doesn't want to lose the guy, she also becomes power hungry to "have it all".
Fast-forwarding from 1888 to 1910, the pivotal year of TIMELESS, Rebecca is now a spinster, nearly 40 years of age, aunt to Violet (the girl Philip is engaged to when he first meets Michele). Rebecca actually witnesses that initial meeting of TIMELESS's two main characters, unbeknownst to them. She puts facts together and realizes the likely secret of Michele's lineage. Once it's made clear, Rebecca becomes consumed with reversing history, regardless of consequences.
"Behaving out of line with the time you are in has had disastrous consequences for several Timekeepers, so it's important to assimilate."
So yes, we learn a little extra of Michele's lineage, namely the secrets surrounding the father she's never known and what might be the real story behind his disappearance. But mostly it's a rundown of Time Society framework: how the all-important necklace came to have its time jumping properties, the setup, hierarchy, and ground rules for membership in the Time Society, as well as an introduction to Time Society HQ, based in San Diego, CA. Being born and raised in San Diego myself, reading the hotel described as a building disguised as a seaside hotel, "a beautiful porcelain castle with its gleaming white lattice work and turreted red roofs", I can't help but think author Alexandra Monir was inspired by the Hotel Del Coronado (technically on Coronado Island, off the coast of San Diego, but still pretty much considered to be part of the area). I also have to wonder if she perhaps read Richard Matheson's Somewhere In Time (or at least watched the film adaptation) --- another time traveling novel also based at Hotel Del. It was interesting to read that all time leaps within the Time Society have to fall between 1492 - 1991.
Hotel Del Coronado, image © Rick Avena Photography
This 23 page short story serves as a little bridge between Timeless and Timekeeper. It was originally offered as an ebook exclusive, but I've since read that a short story was included in the paperback edition of Timekeeper... I'm assuming it is the print version of this ebook (I read from the hardback edition, which does not have it). If that is indeed what the publisher did, I'm happy with that. For how short this book is, to previously make it available only through e-format felt like something of a cheap money grab. But the story itself is good and definitely entices readers to jump right into TIMEKEEPER.