And our narrators are some of the least likable characters I’ve ever encountered. Despite knowing how and when the war ends, where every bomb falls in London and believing that they cannot change the course of history no matter what they do, every character allows themselves to be pushed around by others and they worry constantly about alterations to the timeline. Also, despite knowing something has happened to prevent them from returning to the future, when our characters finally manage to meet up (after a series of ridiculous co-incidences that prevented them from doing so for most of the book) do they discuss their number one problem? No. They’re too worried that their fellow time-travelers are too mentally fragile to handle such a discussion.
Ultimately the plot feels contrived, the characters are unlikable and the one decent plot hook goes frustratingly undeveloped from chapter four onward. How this novel won both a Hugo and Nebula award I’ll never know, because despite persisting with this book long after I normally would, I cannot bring myself to continue the story with All Clear.