Tim Tigner Explores Humanity’s Greatest Wish
Aging is a concept which, for the moment, is holding us powerlessly hostage, and has been since the dawn of time. Though our efforts to extend our lives have definitely succeeded, we have yet to find anything which can undo the ravages of age, making it one of our most highly-regarded fantasies. However, as Tim Tigner looks at it in The Price of Time, it might be a stone best left unturned.
Being a standalone novel apart from his Kyle Achilles series, The Price of Time introduces us to two new characters, the ex-CIA agent Zachary Chase, and Skylar Fawkes, bound to play a big role in the story.
The story begins by following Zachary as he investigates the disappearance of a former roommate of his, Lars. Seemingly inadvertently, he stumbles onto the darkest and most shadowed conspiracy he has ever witnessed, one seemingly hell-bent on preventing him from discovering some type of secret held by a bunch of corporate bigwigs. Needless to say, Zachary accepts the challenge.
On the other side of the fence, eight members of a corporate board have made a discovery and kept it entirely to themselves: an actual fountain of youth. However, immortality does not mean invulnerability, not to mention the lack of aging will eventually be impossible to conceal.
They have plenty of problems to deal with, and somehow their solutions involve Zachary, as well as a woman named Skylar Fawkes, destined to be what they call a “replacement” for one of the board members.
All seems to be going relatively well for the immortals, until they begin to die one by one. Someone they cannot see nor predict is out to get them, and by a cruel twist of fate, Zachary and Skylar become their best hopes at staying alive and immortal.
The Cost of Immortality in The Price of Time
I think I can speak for the majority of us when I say we’ve all more or less thought about immortality and the consequences it would carry not only for us, but also the people around us who don’t have it. I think it really doesn’t take long to come to the conclusion it’s far from being an ideal concept, especially when taking into consideration what the human mind was designed to handle.
While I wouldn’t say the idea itself is unique, I do think most authors don’t explore it in the same amount of depth as Tigner did in this medical thriller. Whereas I was expecting the vast majority of The Price of Time to focus on Zachary and Skylar, I was pleasantly surprised to see Tigner paying equal attention to the corporate immortals, effectively building them up as profound beings in their own right..
Though at first I saw them only as ominous villains who wanted to hoard some sort of secret for themselves, the more we learn about them the more we come to understand what considerations they have to deal with when it comes to eternal youth.
They definitely have some interesting discussions between each other, and I very much enjoyed watching them trying to figure out workarounds to problems they couldn’t escape, such as the visible lack of aging for instance.
I would venture to say there’s even a comical aspect to it, with a constant superposition between the supposed power of immortality and its real inconveniences.
I’ll be honest, I never expected a medical thriller to push me to think for myself about how I would handle my own immortality, if I would even want it in the first place, and how terrifying it would be if everyone had access to it.
The Chase and Fawkes Roller-coaster
So far I’ve been talking mostly about the book’s exploration of immortality, but don’t let it fool you into thinking this is a slow-paced philosophical book. Rather, it manages to be thought-provoking while still primarily focusing on the action and advancing the story at all costs.
In my opinion, Tigner deserves a huge amount of praise for achieving this double effect where even the more philosophical passages are related to story progression in one way or another. If anything, I felt the personal need to slow down a bit from time to time to digest and process everything I was reading. This is definitely the kind of novel you could eat your way through without even realizing it.
Both Zachary and Skylar make for awesome and lovable protagonists in every sense of the word. Although they certainly fallible and not all-powerful, they are clever, resourceful, and determined in whatever endeavours they undertake. I think Tigner managed to strike the perfect balance between incompetence and unrealistic prowess, especially for Zachary.
The plot itself is rather expansive in its nature, offering elements of philosophy, medical thrillers, and even a whodunit-type mystery with the immortals dropping one by one.
Though for most authors this undertaking would have been a tad too ambitious, Tigner adeptly manages and juggles all the elements to have them complement rather than work against each other.
Along the way there are plenty of plot twists, action sequences, and overall intrigue surrounding the secret of immortality, all leading to a conclusion I can truly call satisfying with a clear conscience. Even if you’re not the type to go for all the philosophical stuff, there is still much to be gained from this book.
The Final Verdict
The Price of Time by Tim Tigner is certainly a unique book in the medical thriller genre, offering a fast-paced, intellectually-stimulating, and action-packed story led by well-written and lovable protagonists, revolving around one of mankind’s oldest and (so far) least achievable fantasies.
If you’re looking for a powerhouse of a thriller delivering in every aspect, this novel would definitely make for a fitting choice.
Tim Tigner is a former Green Beret and counterintelligence officer who began writing thrillers in 1996 while staying in Moscow.
His writing gained a lot of success when many of his stories became bestsellers, most notably his Kyle Achilles series, including titles such as Pushing Brilliance and The Lies of Spies.
He has also written some standalone novels, including Coercion, Leonardo and Gabriel and The Price of Mind.