Our first impressions of The Sphere

Find out The Space Girls’ first impressions of SPSFC3 contestant, The Sphere: A Journey in Time by Michelle McBeth.

As part of the Self-Published Sci-Fi Competition, my team (The Space Girls) has been given 25 books to read. Of this initial allocation (or ‘slush pile’), we are reading the first 30% and then voting Yes or No on whether we’d like to continue reading further. You can see our full allocation in my previous blog.

Here are the team’s first impressions of The Sphere: A Journey in Time by Michelle McBeth. (You can find all of our first impressions posts here.)

The cover of The SphereBook blurb

Adelaide loves her job, but who wouldn’t enjoy traveling to the past to unravel the great enigmas of human history? The rules and regulations of her mysterious workplace may seem rather severe, but their need becomes apparent when a coworker returns from a mission decades older and unable to remember his life in the future. Adelaide embarks on a desperate journey through time to save her friend before he becomes trapped in the past. When her own timeline takes an unexpected turn, the fates of everyone she knows are at stake, and the secrets she uncovers put her own life at risk.

First impressions

Nancy: Great book so far! Our heroine Adelaide is a meek bookworm that knows how to play the bagpipe who works for a secret time travel agency. Seems to be top secret like Men in Black where agents’ lives are heavily restricted and they are only supposed to obey orders from their superiors and do their job. All of Adelaide’s decisions make perfect sense given her personality, and the main conflict of the story is just beginning right in the ⅓ cut off point. So far, I am enjoying this book very much and have nonstop ovations for it so far. (Y)

Kerry: I ended up reading 60% in one go and so decided to finish it. I won’t spoil the ending here but I thoroughly enjoyed the first part of the book; the daily life of Shakespeare and the time frame was well done, as were the effects of time travel. A number of questions were raised, like Who is this Agency that Adelaide works for? For all their scientific knowledge, why are there only two spheres, what are they exactly and how do they actually work? All very intriguing so this a definite yes. (Y)

Katherine: It got off to a refreshingly good start, which was cool in how you gradually learn this maid is actually an undercover time traveller trying to uncover who one of Shakespeare’s sonnets was written about. Slight inaccuracy in the suggestion that Shakespeare only bathed once a month and the servants once a year, mind, but it is a very common myth. Definitely feels a fresh enough take on time travel to just go and find out possibly small facts. Nice to see her missing the period she was immersed in.

It slows down a little then when she goes on holiday, with just the background buzz of the mystery Byron who might be a fellow time traveller and the fact that she’s under constant surveillance. That’s up to 27% so far. But it all ramps up at 29% with her being called back, so that’s cool. Something’s gone wrong with her friend’s mission. Or rather, he’s come back too old. 

The book was an easy and good read but I lost track a tiny bit towards the end and think it could have wrapped up a little neater. (Y)

Status: Quarter-finalist