Time Crawlers by Varun Sayal – Book Review

Time Crawlers by Varun Sayal – Book Review

Time Crawlers by Varun Sayal

Time Crawlers

Author – Varun Sayal
Pages – 100
Released – 2nd July 2018
ISBN-13 – 978-1983180507
Format – ebook, paperback
Reviewer – Julie
Rating – 4 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
This post contains affiliate links.


1. Nark-astra, The Hell Weapon: The weapons he possesses make him the destroyer of worlds, and he burns for revenge. A high-tech take on ancient Indian mythology.

2. Death by Crowd: The dark desires of the masses; darknet websites fueled by a crypto-currency. What lurks in the background – an advanced artificial intelligence?

3. Genie: He rubbed a lamp alright, but what he got was the shock of his life. An entirely sci-fi take on the djinn myth.

4. Time Crawlers: There are individuals who exist in multiple time periods at once, and there are those who know about them….

5. Eclipse: No attacks, no blood-shed, yet there was an invasion and a conquest. Who are these shapeshifter aliens being hounded by an eclipse?

6. The Cave: The fate of an advanced imperial race hangs in balance as a dark celestial entity meets a legendary protector.

Review new 2021

‘Time Crawlers’ is the first offering from Varun Sayal. It consists of six diverse sci-fi stories, concentrating on parallel universes and artificial intelligence.

The short story format is I believe the most difficult discipline to write and indeed to review. There is little time for descriptions, scene setting, misdirection or character development, so the author is relying on immediate impact to engage the reader.

I enjoyed the mix of emotions along with the moral messages and the author’s cynical sideswipe at aspects of our own world. I particularly liked the idea that the concept of magic is actually just unexplained science.

The first story ‘Nark-Astra – The Hell Weapon’’ is action-packed and sets the bar quite high for the subsequent tales. My particular favourite is the dark and disturbing ‘Death by Crowd’ as I fear just such a scenario could actually happen! After that, I appreciated the humour of ‘The Genie’ which is an excellent counterbalance to the previous story; definitely a salutary lesson in taking time to read terms and conditions before committing to anything!

Several of the stories are written in conversational format and read rather like a play script. This technique works reasonably well but the dialogue needs to be snappy to keep the reader’s interest. One of the stories has similarities to a full length novel I reviewed last year, which was a shame because the twist would have been excellent if I hadn’t come across it previously.

Varun Sayal has a vivid imagination and I think this collection of stories will appeal to its target audience. I confess to getting rather confused at times but overall enjoyed the book. At 100 pages it can be read in a couple of sittings. I think this author shows promise for the future and award four stars.

Reviewed by Julie

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About the Author


VARUN SAYAL is an engineer and MBA who has been involved in theatre as a playwright, actor, and director, and has also been an independent movie-maker. His genre of writing is predominantly science fiction blended with mythology and a sprinkle of the gruesome actualities of life. In his own words:

“I live by the quote, ‘a true art calms a disturbed mind and disturbs a calm mind.’”

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28 Responses

  1. Emma Mane says:

    Now this sounds different. Not normally a short story lover but I might have to get this book.

  2. Great, I hope you enjoy it too.

  3. Looks interesting. Nice cover and would be a nice quick read.

  4. Susanne says:

    I love the sound of this book! I haven’t read any short stories in a while, so I am going to pick this up. Thank you 🙂

  5. I’ve been into short stories lately. I’ll have to check this one out.

  6. Tasha says:

    Fantastic review. I have never been able to get into sci-fy neither on the screen nor in a book. ( apart from Fifth Element) I should give this another try as tastes do change.

  7. Hmmm I feel like reading a book more like a script would be hard for me but this sounds interesting – excellent review!

  8. Melissa's fandom world says:

    That cover and synopsis look so intriguing! Great review!

  9. I usually don’t read sci-fi but enjoyed your review. Stellar review as always!

  10. DJ Sakata says:

    Glad you liked it

  11. Stormi Johnson says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one. I think these short stories would leave me wanting more.

  12. Melanie says:

    Oh cool, great review. This one sounds really different.

  13. It is very interesting.

  14. We don’t get asked to review many short story books.

  15. Wonderful, I hope you enjoy it.

  16. Thank you. Sci-Fi isn’t a genre for everyone.

  17. Glad you like the look of it. Thanks

  18. Thank you. Not something I read often either.

  19. I’m not often a lover of short stories either.

  20. Great review! This sounds really interesting!

  21. Finitha Jose says:

    I am not into sci-fi that much, but this one looks interesting

  22. Thanks, it really is.

  23. I agree it, it is interesting.

  24. Great review Julie, this is actually the first time I have heard or seen this book and it looks and sounds absolutely amazing and very intriguing as well. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.

  25. Thank you. I’m glad that you like the sound of the book.