1963’s Key Out of Time is the fourth in the Time Traders series. Until 1993’s Firehand, it was the final novel in the series (and it was definitely the last Time Traders book Norton authored solo ) so for thirty years this book established how the series ended for its fans. It paints a rather gloomy picture.
As far as the Americans know, the attempt to colonize Topaz with a crew of brainwashed Native Americans (a crew that included series regular Travis Fox) ended in catastrophe. In fact the Topaz mission did not go well … but it was not the calamity it appears to be from Earth’s perspective. Travis’ co-workers and friends Ross Murdoch and Gordon Ashe have no way to know that their friend and his fellow Native Americans are alive and well . It is with some trepidation that Ross and Gordon join a new team of colonists that is heading out to another terrestrial world, the sea world called Hawaika.
At first glance, Hawaika seems to be a paradise world: vast seas dotted with idyllic little islands. However, the apparent tranquility conceals a mystery. The colonists found Hawaika by following an old star map, a relic left by the Baldies, an alien culture that vanished long ago. The Baldies also left maps of Hawaika, maps that look nothing like the current planet. Something dramatic must have happened to transform the world the world so thoroughly.
And thanks to a mishap with a time gate, Ross, Gordon, and their friend Karara (and some photogenic dolphins) are going to be given the chance to find out just what happened — in person!
There will be spoilers.
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