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Comments for All Clear
All Clear: 08/26/14
All Clear by Connie Willis is the conclusion to Blackout. The various Oxford time travel researchers are still trying to get home and the net seems to be completely FUBARed.
These two volumes are really one epically long book, coming close to 1300 pages. For all of those pages, it's very sparse on actual plot. There are a couple of groups stuck in London near the start of WWII. There is another group stuck in London near and at the end of the war. All of them were there to do specific research projects for specific lengths of time. Their deployments were rushed and something went wrong in the process.
Some amount of slippage is normal but all of these deployments have gone noticeably, disturbingly wrong. The research aspects these trips have all been tossed aside as everyone wants to get home.
Most of All Clear is spent with the various characters either surviving being shelled, worrying that the others haven't survived, or trying desperately to get to their presumed pick up spots, even though through repeated failures they've come to realize the net might not being opening at all.
In the end there's some wibbly wobbly time stuff that comes as a direct result of the problems of the net failure. But it's too little and too late. Really this sort of paradox should have been woven in more, rather than being just hinted at during one of the many frantic crowd scenes. These two books would have been a much better story had it been a single volume at about a third the total length.