The Life of the World to Come was a big disappointment. It's the latest installment in Kage Baker's Company series, and it's clear that the good of the novel has been subverted to advancing the series plot in this instance.
In the The Garden of Iden was a perfect jewel. Mendoza in Hollywood was a little scattershot, but I trusted her to have a plan. Sky Coyote, The Graveyard Game and Black Projects, White Knights were all excellent.
The basic premise is this: Time travel is possible. It's just very, very expensive. So what do you do instead of sending back lots of agents to do your bidding? You start way, way back and grow them instead of importing them from the future. Mendoza and her pals are immortal cyborgs born in the WayBack, but culturally acclimatized to the early 21st century and speaking 'Cinema Standard'. Dr. Zeus, otherwise known as The Man, is not very benevolent father company. Their Preservers hide in the shadows of history, rescuing precious volumes and artwork and occasionally other high-profit items. Meanwhile Time Hurries On, and everyone is waiting and wondering what happens in the year 2355 - when the future falls silent.
She has a plan, all right, but I don't know what it is yet! There's no excuse for issuing this as a standalone novel. She should have sat on this anoter year and wrote the rest of the material. It's half a book and ends in a very awkward place.
Is it funny? Is it absorbing? Yes! And a good thing too or I'd be REALLY mad!