F. M. Busby's stories often involve a protagonist who overcomes a poor, even abusive, upbringing (the Rissa and Tregare novels take this to extremes!) to become a competent hero, involved in various 'space opera' style adventures, usually with some fairly 'hard' science component. Good romps.
Luke Tabor is a physics grad student in a near future university. He get involved in a protest against a new tax, egged on by a charismatic figure, Derion. The next thing he knows, he's in jail with the protest group, which is rescued by Derion, who drags them to his own time in the far future. There Luke and his companions undergo various adventures, being flung around in time by Derion's enemies and allies, as they try to find a way home.
Derion turns out to be one of the Changed, mutants with psi powers, who can move through time. This travelling is restricted to certain 'Islands' in the past, and no one can be in the same time twice. Derion's solution of how to get round this latter constraint is quite interesting.
The complexities of time travelling, and how it can affect the past, is all handled quite well. But the story takes a long time to get going, and is rather choppy. And all the women have secondary, rather passive, roles -- and accept their final fate with mind-boggling equanimity.
An engaging enough story on the whole, but not riveting.
First as Parnell’s lover, then as his assistant, Zelde was mistrusted by the crew – but when the UET struck once again and Parnell died, there was only one choice for Captain: Zelde M’Tana.