Time Crawlers by Varun Sayal || ARC Review

“Sin is geographical.”

A collection of six uniquely fascinating and diverse Sci-Fi short stories, Varun Sayal’s Time Crawlers provides an interesting take on the complexity of the university and intrigue regarding parallel worlds. From magic lamps to disturbingly dark societal practices, Time Crawlers provides entertainment for a wide audience.

Title: Time Crawlers
Author: Varun Sayal
Goodreads: Link!

Genre / Themes: Horror | Science Fiction

Publisher: Kindle Direct Publishing
Publication Date: 2018
Format: eBook; ARC
Pages: 100

Alien Invasion, Dark Artificial Intelligence, Time-Travel, High-Tech Mythology, Djinn Folklore, Telekinetics, and life-consuming Cosmic Entities are some major themes in this book which has six tightly-knit, fast-paced Sci-Fi stories.

Source: Goodreads

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review; thank you for the opportunity to read and review this novel. This in no way sways my review or opinion of the novel.

I have very mixed thoughts regarding this collection. Though some of the short stories were truly fascinating and dived into such fascinating complexities, the majority of the stories in Sayal’s collection were either too slow for my liking or provided too much content for what’s supposed to be a short story.

In order to provide a more well rounded review, each short story will have a mini paragraph containing my thoughts rather than a “pros” and “woes” list of the entire collection.

CONTENT & TRIGGER WARNING: This book contains physical and mental abuse, substance abuse, sexual assault (mentioned), assisted suicide, torture, and vulgar language.

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. (Source: Goodreads)

Though the mixture of mythology and Sci-Fi are very interesting, Sayal’s intense amount of information to explain the short story ruined the plot. Rather than the dialogue and description discussing the action scenes and intensity of the battle more, Sayal burdens the story by providing too much back story which takes over the plot. With the addition of a number of grammatical errors and a dialogue that switched between adult to middle grade level reading, this story didn’t pass the bar for me.

Writing: Description Heavy; Minor Dialogue


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? (Source: Goodreads)

Intensely eerie and horrific, Death by Crowd is a phenomenal take on a world where our more primal and animal instincts take over the darker parts of the internet. Using violence as a source of entertainment and income, this interview based story leaves you feeling defiled in both mind and spirit. With a fascinating discussion on the concept of sin and a touch upon the ancient methods of torture, Sayal’s connection to our own world’s fallen humanity is twisted yet intriguing. And the final sentence? Completely and utterly disturbing…

Writing: Interview Style; Dialogue Heavy



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

A comical banter between a young man and a genie, this short story is the perfect comic relief in a collection of fairly dark and heavy stories. The genie is by far the best character, as she’s full of sass and walks with pride. With topics of “Terms and Conditions” and “unions” put into place, Sayal uses this very witty interaction to highlight upon serious and concerning issues in our society today regarding these very topics.

Writing: Dialogue Heavy


Time Crawlers

There are individuals who existing in multiple time periods at once, and there are those who know about them… (Source: Goodreads)

A fascinating intake on the concept of time travel through the term “time crawlers”, this interview based story provides an overarching insight into the concept of parallel worlds and time. Though certain offensive word choices should’ve been removed (i.e. lunatic used in a medical sense) and the interview jumped around a lot, the ending completely through me off guard and leaves readers questioning who are the sane ones in this story…leaving you to question the reliability of the characters.

Writing: Interview Style; Dialogue Heavy



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

The main characters struggle with his identity and purpose in the world kept me fairly engaged, as his world and whole way of thinking goes 180 within seconds. The parts that focused on his character’s mission were interesting, but the dialogue between him and the secondary character was boring and at times hard to follow. There are also a number of grammatical errors, more so than the other stories.

Writing: Description Heavy; Some Dialogue


The Cave

The fate of an advanced imperial race hangs in balance as a dark celestial entity meets a legendary protector. (Source: Goodreads)

The Cave is the most disappointing story in this collection; though the plot hooked me in, the story had me bored and frustrated with the first page. The dialogue among the three central characters felt forced and scripted, with no natural flow or rhythm. With the Middle Grade word choice (though an intelligent topic) and a lack of action occurring, The Cave simply fell apart for me. There’s also an incredible amount of unnecessary information in this story, which is unsatisfactory when reading what’s classified as a short story.

Writing: Dialogue Heavy


Though a number of the short stories in Sayal’s Time Crawlers were truly fantastic, the number I disliked and the issues I found outweighed the remarkable ones. The number of grammatical errors and the number of instances that felt drawn out made this very difficult to read at times. However, I truly believe those who have a great interest in science fiction will enjoy this collection of short stories, as they provide a number of interesting takes into the types of parallel worlds that could exist both in fiction and non.

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Author of Bookmark Your Thoughts, both the Tumblr and WordPress book review blogs. I'm a tea drinking, book loving librarian who just loves literature.

4 thoughts on “Time Crawlers by Varun Sayal || ARC Review

    1. It’s unfortunate because there were parts I truly loved, but the things I disliked outweighed those. I was shocked by how the language sometimes sounded rather academic or adult, and then would suddenly reflect Middle Grade reading level. There was also at times WAY too much content. The reviews on Goodreads were all fairly high, so I thought I would enjoy it more…

      You might have a different opinion than me, but the first story and the last one are the worst out of the series. If you want to give it a go, you should try some of the ones in the middle of the collection. But that’s my two cents ha-ha!

      You’ll have to let me know what you think afterwards!


      1. Hahaha thanks… Start from the middle… This is the first I would be doing that 😉😉😂😂. But I understand what you are saying. I saw the reviews too and I didn’t believe most of them… I usually don’t, if they are too superlative, especially when there were harsh words and events in it…

        Liked by 1 person

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