Key Out of Time

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Author: Andre Norton
Published: 1963
Language: English
Wordcount: 58,523 / 170 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 85.1
LoC Category: PS
Series: Time Traders
Downloads: 10,094
Added to site: 2006.10.29 15086

Ashe Gordon and Ross Murdock, angry about the loss of their fellow agent Travis Fox on the planet Topaz, have travelled to the planet Hawaikan, a warm ocean planet, where they intend to set up a time gate. The world is so different from what they expected that they decide on a risky experiment: travel into the past of the planet, accompanied by two mutant dolphins and a female agent of Polynesian ancenstry.

Show Excerpt


"Look here!" Ross came to the table, his hand sweeping past Karara, as he used his forefinger for a pointer. "We know that what we want could be easily overlooked, even with the dolphins helping us to check. This whole area's too big. And you know that it is certain that whatever might be down there would be hidden with sea growths. Suppose ten of us start out in a semi-circle from about here and go as far as this point, heading inland. Video-cameras here and here ... comb the whole sector inch by inch if we have to. After all, we have plenty of time and manpower."

Karara laughed softly. "Manpower--always manpower, Ross? But there is woman-power, too. And we have perhaps even sharper sight. But this is a good idea, Gordon. Let me see--" she began to tell off names on her fingers, "PaKeeKee, Vaeoha, Hori, Liliha, Taema, Ui, Hono'ura--they are the best in the water. Me ... you, Gordon, Ross. That makes ten with keen eyes to look, and always there are Tino-rau and Taua. We will take suppli


Average Rating of 4.5 from 4 reviews: *****
JoJo Biggins

This book almost got a 5-star rating. However, just as interest builds over the course of the story, it then begins to fade as the halfway point is reached - instead of ratcheting up the tension, excitement lessens. Additionally, there are a lot of minor technical issues with the writing - plot points that go nowhere, motivations that make no sense and are never really explained, etc. Still a good read, just not 5 stars.

In a nutshell, a small group of humans go back in time on a distant planet. They attempt to save the future of the world, and we are left to wonder if they were successful, with absolutely no clues whatsoever as to whether they were or not.


4th book in Norton's time trader series, highly recommended.


I enjoyed this book, I've become a fan of Andre Norton's "Time Trader/Agent" series.

This one is a fine addition to her work.

Shay Stephens

A very good book, better than I was expecting. Smart and adventurous with very enjoyable characters. I am going to read the first book in the series now that my interest is piqued, The Time Traders.

The characters were all interesting and I especially enjoyed the addition of the two dolphins into the story. Very enjoyable.

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