The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart
2/22/22; 336 pages
The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart is a highly recommended time bending science fiction mystery.
January Cole is the hard-bitten head of security for the Paradox
Motel with an AI drone named Ruby as her constant companion. A former
Time Cop, January is now Unstuck, a condition that resulted from
entering the time stream too frequently
which results in unexpected jumps ahead or back in time and will
eventually be the cause of her death. She is still grieving over the
accidental death of Mena, a
waitress at the Paradox, but her brief glimpses of Mena during the day
help keep her going. Now January's problem is keeping control over the
wealthy clients staying at the Paradox, the only hotel adjoined to the Einstein Intercentury Timeport, and this job has just gotten more difficult.
A blizzard is rolling in, time travel destinations, flights, and transportation have been shut down and the ultra wealthy clients who can afford these luxuries are not happy and very demanding. Three raptors are running loose, clocks are jumping around in time, and electricity is flickering. Guests are demanding the best accommodations and unhappy when their demands aren't met. Time travel technology is about to be privatized and powerful people are present, wanting to stake their claim to it. But more concerning to January is the body in room 526, a body only she can apparently see, and a killer only she can catch.
This is an action-packed, detailed and complex adventure that moves
at a rapid pace throughout. I enjoyed the melding of science fiction to a
detective novel in a locked-room murder mystery plot. The Paradox Hotel does require your full attention while reading because Hart packed a whole lot of detail into the novel.
The large cast of characters can initially seem overwhelming, but
they will sort themselves out as you read. January is an interesting,
irresistible, and sometimes annoying main protagonist. She has an
attitude. She is sarcastic, abrupt, insightful, funny, fearless, and
vulnerable. She is also in a tense time-bending situation that only she
can solve because she doesn't know who else she can trust or if she can
even trust herself.
I loved Hart's The Warehouse but I didn't connect with The Paradox Hotel quite as much. I do think, yet again I need to caution an author
to reign in their
personal political/social views
to a degree as it diminishes the novel, income inequality (the
ultra wealthy vs. the rest of us) in this case. I am looking forward to
Hart's next novel.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House.