evaluation of The End of Eternity at NPR Books says that this book by Isaac Asimov comes close to being a mystery or thriller.
Eternity also works as a futuristic thriller and is particularly effective as a straight-up mystery novel. The last 30 pages of the book move with terrific velocity through a series of startling revelations. Asimov snaps together a dozen story elements cleverly obscured throughout the other chapters.The End of Eternity was written in 1955, and is one of Asimov's lesser known science fiction novels. The edition I read was a reprint edition published in 2011 by Orb books. It had not been in my reading plans at all. I had picked out other books for the 2013 Sci-Fi Experience at Stainless Steel Droppings.. But my husband saw the book in Carl V.'s list of best books and films for 2012. He bought it and I decided it would be perfect for a science fiction read for this month.
This description from a review at SF Signal provides a good introduction without revealing plot details:
Andrew Harlan is an Eternal, those who live outside time, Observe and create Reality Changes which positively affect the greatest number of people throughout history. Only two periods are unaffected by them – the prehistoric age, before time travel was invented, and the far, FAR-flung future. Harlan’s skill as an Observer in the 482nd attracts the attention of Computer Twissell, who arranges for him to become a Technician (someone who actually performs the change) and teach his hobby of primitive history to a student.I enjoyed this book very much. There is a love story which is uneven; women did not figure in the book hardly at all, which I usually find a negative. But I was not reading this book for a love story, and I thought that portion of the story worked well in the context of the overall story.
As usual with books I like a lot, it is hard to define why. Within a couple of chapters I was hooked. I liked the way the time travel issues were just handled. I am not really concerned with whether the science behind the story makes sense. There was not a lot of character development; the story was more plot and idea driven. But I found the characters to be believable and the plot entertaining and thought-provoking throughout.
Check out the Review Site for the Sci-Fi Experience here to see other blogger's reviews and related posts.
I am also submitting this post for The Vintage Science Fiction Month not-a-challenge at the Little Red Reviewer. For that event participants will be "talking about time travel, laser guns, early robotics, first contact, swords and sorcery, predictions for humanity and the authors who came up with it all. Haphazardly, the defining year for 'vintage' is 1979.".