Series: The Company #1
I didn’t know much about this book going into other than it was about time travel. Oh and The Company works to preserve art and stuff from the past. This is technically true, but it may not be in the way you’d expect.
Rather than have to spend a lot of time in the icky past, the time travelers have developed a system wherein they travel back in time, make some of the natives into cyborgs so that they don’t die inconveniently, and have those native-cyborgs train other native-cyborgs to gain more of a workforce. So the main character is basically a cyborg who was born in the 16th century and only ever travels through time the long way around. But she does work to preserve knowledge and plant specimen information for the future and has to deal with the prospect of her own immortality. She’s sent to England to gather samples from Iden’s garden.
There’s a heavy romance angle to the plot and some silliness happens, but it’s the kind of a silliness that is somewhat excusable in a nineteen year old even if she’ll eventually become jaded and immortal. I wasn’t tempted to slap her although I may have caught myself wincing a couple times.
Overall it was an engaging read and the way that the operatives would listen to radio broadcasts of current events in London reminded me of History Bites, i.e. what it would be like if people during Mary I’s reign could create radio broadcasts. I was a little skeptical of the hand-waving regarding cause and effect and recorded history at the beginning, but eventually I just got sucked in.