Cast in Time: Book 1: Baron de Ed Nelson

de Ed Nelson - Género: English
libro gratis Cast in Time: Book 1: Baron


Ed Nelson Year: 2023 ISBN: 9781953395832

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I voted this a 3 and this could easily be a little bit more but there is a solid reason I believe that even though this was a quick and easy read it was to put it lightly unrealistic. We aren't even talking about the going back in time into the body of a young man part. Its that the main character invents and orcastrates 1000 years of innovation, inventions, and organization in just 2 years. He started with 50 people and by the end of the first book has over 4k and conquered everything in sight.

You really have to not put your thinking cap on for this book. He gives his townfolk ideas and within days its accomplished over and over and over again. We are talking about an age of uneducated serfs and you can honestly say that the main character didnt really have a setback the entire novel. Everything worked, hardly any resistance or pushback. There was some minor struggles but nothing that you as a reader had any investment into.

This says nothing of the main character which could be described as perfect. He is an engineer which nothing to sneeze at but one that has more degrees than I have years being alive. A photographic memory so not only does he know everything at least through books but he can remember everything to distribute to the people. This is not a bad novel considering I read it in just over a day but I really dont care about James. He is perfect with no faults other than being too smart and pushing a project before other projects are complete.

This book is given very high . I mentioned its not a bad book but totally unrealistic even from a logistic point of view and not the sci fi part. Where is the tension, the struggle, the something to get me to be invested into the story. This is about a man in his first life that had everything a man could hope to achieve and here he is in a second life getting more of the same.11 s Felinfoel9 1 follower

This one is difficult. In many ways I enjoyed the series, but in any objective sense it has a lot of problems.

Firstly, the editing. It is obvious that there was little to none. In some places I wondered if the author had even proofread what he'd written. There are myriad spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, something I would tolerate from an amateur fan work, but for a published book that one has to pay for, it isn't good enough.

Secondly, the protagonist. His extreme level of education in conveniently relevant fields was kind of funny. I accepted it with a tongue in cheek suspension of disbelief as a necessary component of the story. His "eidetic memory", however was harder to swallow. He can literally call up a book he's read in his mind and read it word for word, such that it can be dictated and reproduced. This is basically a superpower, and as such leads the author to an overzealous pace of tech uplift which, by the third book, fully jumps the shark.

Thirdly, the conflict. Time and time again throughout the series, things happen with extreme convenience. Don't want to have to execute a rival baron? Okay, he died anyway! Need to expand but don't want to go to war? Okay, abandoned land on your border! Enemy king invading your land with a superior force? Okay, he's an idiot with no strategic instincts! The story doesn't try to explore an idea of a man being forced to stoop to the brutality of the time. Of having to make awful and monstrous decisions or be wiped out. Instead of his 20th century morals coming back to bite him, any potential consequences are magicked away by convenient events. After a few instances of this, it became clear that the protagonist would not face any real conflict or setback. By the third book, this get's so apparent, and the tech uplift so exaggerated that it is clear he will conquer the world with little to no trouble.

Finally, and to me the most annoyingly, the history. The author attempts to wave this away by setting the story in some sort of alternate universe, but this isn't convincing. Things such as towns being in a different place than real life are manageable, if a bit of a strange choice. However, it is clear that before starting this book, the author did not perform the most cursory Google of the time period he was writing in. The first thing you notice, is that everyone's names are simply modern English names with the novelty of their surname being their place of birth or occupation. It is jarring to see 8th century celtic Cornish people with names 'William' (a Norman name), when characters would have names Cynan, Cadoc, Talan or Maeloc. Or the Saxon characters, Ælfwine, Ceolmund or Hrothgar. The repeated handwaving that this is just how the protagonist interprets it through translation falls flat. In fact, until later in the book it is clear that the author assumed the Cornish spoke Old English.
This extends to the political situation of the world. An Emperor in London, Vikings before the Scandinavians started raiding, a Cornish man who had apparently served in a Roman legion, centuries after that was possible. It speaks for itself. The author once again did not research the setting he was writing in.

I enjoyed the series up to a point. The humanitarian efforts of the protagonist, his political worries (while the tension was still there) and his early technological advancements were interesting and believable. I was rooting for him to overcome the challenge of conquering Britain and beyond, to bring the population a better standard of living. Now that it is no longer a challenge, it is no longer interesting and I don't think I will be purchasing the fourth book anytime soon.

2/53 s Jon SvensonAuthor 9 books102

As with all of Ed Nelson's books, he is a great storyteller but suffers from poor editing. This first book in a new series is no different.

An Army engineer and professional student dies and is sent back in time to Dark Ages Wales. He takes over the body of a local baron and finds decrepitude all around. The village is in ruins and the former baron only cared about himself.

What ensues is an engineering marvel. I won't spoil what these are but the MC gets busy turning around the fortunes of his village. He makes enemies with other barons and friends with a baron in a large city. I did think a lot was overlooked here because of the focus on engineering. Would the townspeople really get on board with doing things differently from how they were taught? I don't know but that doesn't happen.

As I said earlier, the editing is poor but it's not anything we haven't seen before. With Richard Jackson behind us, I'm looking forward to future volumes in this series.

5/5* action-adventure alternative-history farming ...more4 s Randal White899 83

A chance to read something simple

An enjoyable, easy, and quick read. Interesting concept. However, it took too many liberties with the idea. Actually, the constant advances and developments became almost laughable by the end. fiction2 s Nathanael Keeler245 3

good but brief

I enjoyed this story but it is fast moving. I generally moan because stories do not progress very quickly but this one almost rushes. It is good as you get to see the impact of technological improvements but bad in that there os minimal character development.

The book also had varying formatting with one sections shaded. A bit distracting but minor. 2 s Dan1,350 73

Very good! I hope the next book comes out soon.2023 first-book-in-series2 s1 comment Sydney1,326 61

3 Give Them Ten Strokes With A Cane For Being Stupid Stars

Baron is the first book in the Cast In Time series by Ed Nelson.

This book is solely focused on the progression of the Barony he now oversees, paired with his overwhelming amount of engineering knowledge. It's been interesting to discover the processes for these early works of labor. To experience beside James as his people grow beyond their ignorance.

I do wish there was a little more drama or rather emotion behind the writing. The protagonist/narrator is very pragmatic and logical. He has few moments where his humor or desires shine through his ever pressing need to expand and improve upon the land and people he now governs.

I have enjoyed much of this work. I only with the youngest Baron in this book survived. 1 Don Dunham305 19

Read books 1,2,3 of the series :"The Baron, The Baron of the Middle Counties and The Earl"
I rate them at 2.5.
Very derivative of some books that I really d. "The Cast under an alien sun series", The Ring of fire series, The ArchMagus, not nearly as good though. If I had to do it over again, I'd probably go dig around in the Ring of fire series, which is immense and try to find a grantville gazette I haven't read yet.1 Debrac20142,108 18

3.5 stars! I enjoyed it! Jim Fletcher died and was reborn into the body of a medieval Baron in Cornwall! This story is about how he tries to improve the lives of his people!ku1 Seth 266 6

The idea is outstanding

Even though the idea of the story is outstanding, and at no point is anything bad. Very simply the characters within story are all well rounded, there is true civilization building and even what looks to be a story arc. There just is nothing visceral about any one part of the story. The facts are there, the science of development, the various interactions. It just all seems one step removed. I very much look forward to more from this series, it would simply be amazing if the characters could come to life rather than be cardboard cutouts.1 Joel Smith2

good but needs editing

Changes in text format and font are an issue for continuous reading as it does pull you out of the story. Flow of time is also an issue, the main character thinks things or says them and then is immediately told about how it’s happened already despite no time being said to have passed. The romans are mentioned as being in the past with tales of things they used to do. Yet a character is said to have served in the Roman legions. Small continuity errors such as this aren’t too big of an issue and an editor should hopefully help with these things. Otherwise a good premise able character and intriguing setting1 Monika52 1 follower

It might be not the worst book I read but it's a strong contender. How it has such high ratings is totally beyond me. It's poorly written (reminds me of a primary school level composition:"and then I went and did this and later he came and said this") and poorly edited.
I love a good time travel book so I am not a stranger to suspending disbelief, but my goodness, this was too much. Tea and coffee in 8th century Cornwall. Also paper. "Ice delivery service" invented by the MC (who was an expert on literally everything). Servants being friendly with (and being treated as equals by) nobles. Basically everyone being literate. No one being suspicious of the baron's inventions. Yeah.
Once again I find myself regretting there's no zero star rating (or even negative star rating) on Goodreads.
I am sure I won't be reading anything else by this author.1 F. C.137 1 follower

Unoriginal and ahistorical

Cast in Time, if it seems a bit familiar, is a plot that has been done before— in 1889, with A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain. Twain did it better.

An advantage that Twain had was that he was setting his novel in a mythical Camelot, vice an historical Cornwall. Nelson’s book has an engineering prodigy somehow brought back to the Eighth Century, a period about which the author seems to know too little.

The author seems to believe that there were Eighth Century Britons who’d fought with the Roman Legions in Germannia (by the year 476 the Roman Empire had fallen), and that feudal barons in Cornwall owed allegiance to the Roman governor in Londinium (which was by then a city in the relatively minor Kingdom of Essex).

His knowledge of Church and monastic life is little better. He refers to monks as friars (they’re not), and thinks that the second in charge after the abbot was the Senior Monk (it was the prior). At the end of a wedding, the choir chants the Agnus Dei (a prayer for Christ’s mercy on our sins), rather than the Te Deum, which would have been the appropriate prayer of praise.

He has nobles riding in a closed carriage (not to be invented for centuries), and in an era when only the clergy were literate, has a blacksmith taking notes. He also expects us to believe that the daughter of a local baron was more of a feminist than we’d meet in the 18th Century, let alone the Eighth.

The author failed to do his homework, and it shows. While he’s good about avoiding most typos (something indie authors have trouble with— publishing houses have professional copy editors), he also has a remarkable number of sentence fragments; he’s neglected to include verbs.

If he had gone for science fiction vice time travel he would have been far better off; the future requires far less research. 1 Paul Bastek5

A series of events

Totally lacking in character development. Superficial descriptions of a series of events. This book is not worth the time to read.1 Ron170 2

My system was based on arbitrary units, which were the best estimates of the true metric measures , and I hated the metric system in my former life . Why was I trying to impose it now ?

The metric system itself is entirely based on an arbitrary definition of the meter. The original definition of 1/40,000,000 of the circumference of the Earth is both arbitrary and literally un-measurable. The modern definition of the distance light travels in a vacuum in 1/299792458 seconds demonstrates the arbitrariness. One could easily define a foot as the distance light travels in 1/983571056s and wind up with a similarly accurate base unit. There is a more modern definition of some non-integer number of wavelengths of a cesium isotope which was solely selected to match the early arbitrariness.

So , we used the common names for units based on my finger widths . Contrary to popular belief , the foot used didn't reflect any other body parts.

Lies! My foot is about a foot long, as is the inside of my forearm from bent elbow to wrist. The distance from the tip of my nose to my extended arm is about a yard, it is common to see clerks in fabric stores using this method to rough measure bolts of fabric. The US Military is taught to march using a 1 yard stride, this allows troops to reasonably estimate distances. 440 cycles of hup-two-three-four is a mile. At the level of technology available to an 8th century baron in Cornwall feet and inches make the most sense.g-rated isekai Thomas2,275

Baron, the first novel in Ed Nelson’s Cast in Time series, offers an intriguing approach to alternate history. New histories require new timelines, so how do we get the multiverse going? Here are some of the usual options: a dream, a time machine, a magic portal, or a natural split in the timeline. Nelson puts them all in a pot and stirs. Our hero, James Fletcher, is a combat engineer, West Point class of 1939, who retires as a general and, after a stint in the Peace Corps, spends most of his golden years in MIT graduate programs. When he dies, he unaccountably wakes in the body of a 24-year-old 8th-century Cornish Baron who was knocked unconscious in a fall.
Twain’s Connecticut Yankee, he sets out to upgrade the technology of his holdings. His backstory makes him the ideal guy for the job. He sets about improving his small barony's sanitation, agriculture, and armed forces. He makes as much use of his Peace Corps experience as he does his military training. Nelson keeps a narrow focus, so a reader needs little knowledge of early Cornwall. Reviewers have noted some anachronisms, but these are waved away by a difference in the timeline. My main complaint is that most people accept his rational changes without much fuss. Their religion or political assumptions seldom get in the way. Would it were so.
science-fiction1 Patrick Young205 1 follower

3* (series through bk 3)

So I love this genre and have spent countless hours reading about making gunpowder from scratch, creating a blast furnace, optimal length of a saddle tree for horses durability, etc… I was hoping this would be a really nuanced look at how a modern engineer might boot strap a primitive civ into industrial era but it falls a bit short.

First major issue was MC beginning to pave a 10 mile road in cement with a village of around 1,000 people…. how feasible is this assuming all resources are available??? Ha, a mile of hwy takes 21,000 yards of concrete, a standard concrete mixer can carry 10 yards. A yard of concrete mix weighs 4,000 lbs. if we’re generous and say a wagon in 700s can carry 2,000 lbs so we’re talking 42,000 wagon loads PER mile, obviously this is completely ridiculous especially considering they’re also building blast furnaces to forge spring steel for better crossbows to fight of impending invasion.

After 6 years when MC decides to skip muskets and build an AK47 is when this series got too much for me.

That said it was relatively entertaining mindless escapism but no where near as good as Destines Crucible or Island in the Sea of Time. Kurt255 1 follower

First off, I need to acknowledge that I am a sucker for these kinds of time travel books. From Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court to 1632 to this book, I love these types of stories. So, understand that this review is ly written through rose colored glasses.

That said, I really enjoyed this book. The author tells more than shows, which is one knock against it, but it's a light, easy-to-read story otherwise. If you're even a minor science nerd, you'll enjoy the simple-yet-accurate descriptions the author provides on how to accomplish one technological feat or another. And the story moves along at a good clip, never really feeling as though it gets bogged down anywhere.

The cover is terrible and is a great example of why you shouldn't judge a book by it. To me, it looks one of those Frommers Travel Guides, only gloomier. Still, a minor quibble overall.

All in all a very fun book. Andrey180 3

Not really a novel

It's kind of hard to review this book. Theoretically, it's about a very experienced modern day engineer being reborn as a Middle Ages baron and introducing technology. Practically, it's really about an almost bullet point- list of things we are randomly told about that seamlessly mixes actual science and technology with the author's outdated views on society and politics. One specific example is when the village children are put in school for the winter and over the course of three months we are told they get from not knowing letters and numbers to fifth-grade level reading, writing and mathematics and all through one simple trick that the modern world has forgotten- frequent beatings both in school and at home. This whole topic of the school is brought up, told and finished to never be brought up again over the course of two short paragraphs. The whole book is written that. Jean Oakes99 2

World Building Adventure

I enjoyed the writing and the story in this book. It has a very fast-paced world building theme. (Maybe slightly unrealistic in its speed.)
I have always enjoyed the almost "Robinson Crusoe" theme of bringing modernization to an ignorant, but not stupid, society.

Even though the author doesn't spend a lot of time on his characters, you still see them as whole people and wish you knew more about them. If you prefer a story that is carried mostly by events and action, you will definitely enjoy reading this book.

I would rate this book PG. I think there was mild language, sexual references - but nothing explicit, and medieval violence.

I recommend this book.

(Read with Kindle Unlimited subscription and listened to with Alexa Android app. )
Graeme Dunlop308 2

I only read maybe 6 chapters of this before putting it down.

So look, anyone who can get a book published deserves praise. And the author has published many, many books which seem to be enjoyed by many people. So well done there.

For me, it really did not work, mostly due to the writing style. The chapters I read were mainly exposition with no character development at all. The dialogue was stilted to the point of sounding puppets having a conversation. And there were a few times where the tense changed suddenly, from past to present and back to past again - and I don't mean that in the sense of time, but in the sense of grammar. These things suggest a lack of good editing.

I'm afraid all of that pulls me out of the story. I just wasn't enjoying it enough to persist. I am genuinely glad that other people enjoy these stories. But I wont be reading further. Jon Cook27 2


Too many seeming anachronisms, to make the setting terribly realistic. A "Viking" found in the village at least 100 years before the raiding really got started. Coffee available in trade before the Sufi monks first discovered it... etc. Those two could be argued...

But the lack of reference to Wessex (the ancient kingdom), the references to Rome including a miller who must be at least 200 years old to have served in the Roman legions in Germany but still be alive in 715 are less ambiguous.

Also as a well read chap with some sort of educational award for civil engineering I find it surprising that he is using sink holes to get rid of waste. I'm sure there must be a pithy saying about fouling your own water sources... Murphies_law646 6

Highly historically incorect story. Coffee, tea, paper, sugar and crossbows were unknown in Western Europe in this era. The Roman empire had left Britannia about 300 years earlier.. There existed no English language by then, just different Celtish plus Saxon and Denish languages. England was NOT united at that time and a feudal system as described did not exist the society still was rather tribal..

The entirety of the social interactions in the story are totally historically incorrect and highly naive. The absurdely huge riches stolen from the predecessor of the protagonist and his perfect memory are way too convenient to make a good story. It is hillarious that his defeated enemies only have absurdely small families so the protagonist can easily replace them..fantasy Dwayne Lindsey10

Daydream come to life

This story started well with an out of body transfer to 1300 years ago in a mythical land, pre-medieval England. The background knowledge and ability base explination went pretty well with short overview type narration. When it got to the good part, survival and prospering in the midst of long-long-ago, it stayed as kind of a cliff notes story instead of a full-blown story. Should have been at least 2 or better 3 times longer with much more detail. Eagerly waiting for part 2. Tony Hisgett2,792 33

I nearly gave up after the ‘so called’ prologue, that was definitely not a prologue. Why do authors start a book with something that happens later in the story. It's many new TV shows that start with so many clips of what’s going to happen in the showthere is very little point in watching it.

However I d the idea behind the book so kept going. It turned out to be an interesting read, although further into the book the author gets carried away and the progress made by our hero becomes a bit ridiculous.

If possible I would have given 3.5 stars.
historical review Br1cht114 4


Classic "Gary Stu" story about an overpowered guy that everybody s and that displays the worst of Western society in that it projects "Western" morals into the past.

The writing is quite mediocre if one judges kindly.

I do not know where this new trend of Power fantasy comes from but it is a symptom of an ill, people nowadays wants instant gratification in all matters and it has reached pathological levels.

I´d recommend S.M Stirling or Taylor Anderson for less childish material. Dannan Tavona698 5

Surprisingly good

Alternate universe, time travel, world building

The story starts in 715, so it's long before Alfred the Great makes an appearance. The castle on the cover conveys the idea, but is obviously Norman construction. Bring modern ideas and tech to pre-medieval England.

Only complaint is odd line breaks and font changes. While well written, the author doesn't know his way around a word processor. Usually, that can be remedied. Hope this Baron won't end up "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court." I'm in for book 2. Kd Slaughter4

for those that love western civ, time traveling possibilities and an engineering background

This is a great “what if” scenario story. It’s not at all meant to be historically accurate in many ways but meant to be enjoyed as a simple entertaining story for those that love western civ, time traveling possibilities and how one can possibly use today’s known engineering knowledge in far past cultural situations. Pleasant simple entertainment not to be over-thought or over-analyzed — just enjoyed for what it is. Linda Brown379 4

Really, really good!

I really enjoyed this book. I mean, who doesn't enjoy time travel books. This had a twist more along the lines of reincarnation. A ninety year something old retired soldier ends up in the body of a 25 year old Baron back to AD 750 or so. Smart and educated, he brings modern health and invention to a needed time. By God, he brings a clean smell to sanitation. Heh!
Frank Bertino1,653 16

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