Author: Michael Crichton.
Never judge a book by its cover. Also, never judge one by the plot written at the back. Timeline by Michael Crichton is a time-hop action drama, traversing the present and the fourteenth century medieval past.
History gets opened up to the present as a professor is marooned in the fourteenth century medieval world. His students are swept off to the headquarters of ITC, the multinational organization that made the technology possible. The plan is to send them back in time and rescue the professor, but things go awry the moment they step into the fourteenth century. Wars, torture, death and rape are rampant and the group found itself fighting for survival.
Timeline does not feature your average run-of-the mill time travel. You are not actually travelling back in time, instead you are travelling across multiverse (amongst the multiple parallel universes).
The plot appeared quiet nonsensical at first. An organization develops the technology to time-hop and starts investing in research around historical sites. Their idea is to dig up these historical sites and reconstruct old castles and granaries. What I find ridiculous is that you are sitting on top of the most sensational scientific invention and you decide to use it to create medieval Disneyland and Universal Studios!
But I could not have been more wrong. The book absorbed me right from the beginning, so much so, that by the second half I could not put it down. The writing is remarkable and the subject matter, well researched. The science part of the time-hop is explained brilliantly, giving you the crux of the things without intimidating you into oblivion.
The beginning is a bit slow and the end is way too predictable. However the action starts soon, and once it begins it stays till the very end. Crichton had me sitting at the edge of my seat in the second half of the book. He made the fourteenth century medieval world not only exciting but nail-biting horrifying, making Timeline a true page turner.