Friday, February 28, 2014

Wagers of Sin

By Robert Asprin and Linda Evans

Skeeter Jackson is a young scammer with a checkered past. Living with two parents too self-involved to care for their child,  Skeeter turned to petty theft in rebellion. He then became the victim of a random time gate that landed him in the camp of Genghis Khan’s father. Skeeter had to learn to survive the harsh conditions of the Mongol steppes.  Five years with the Mongols taught Skeeter survival skills but when he was rescued and returned to his parents in modern times he still could not cope with his parents’ indifference. He ran away and eventually ended up on Shangri-La Station where he earned his living stealing from and scamming the tourists on their way to visit the past through the time gates.
Skeeter joined a group going back to Roman times. He had a plan: he would go to the Coliseum and pose as a bookie and take peoples’ bets on the outcome of contests and then go back through the time gate with his takings before the gamblers can collect on their bets.  An ill-advised scheme that backfired when one of the bettors turned out to be a ferocious gladiator who, upon discovering Skeeter’s scam, pursued him through the time gate and into Shangri-La Station, determined to get back his gold and kill Skeeter for making a fool of him.

And that’s how the story begins, with Skeeter in hot water with an enraged Roman gladiator. It adds in several other story lines, too many to mention here. Most of the related story lines are fairly interesting, but the best is the story of Skeeter. The only story line that was not as interesting was that of Margo which was quite boring and could have been left out of the novel to good effect.

This is the second book in the Time Scout series and probably would make for better reading if the reader is familiar with the first book, Time Scout, which I was not.

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