Category Archives: time travel

[Review] The Here and Now – Ann Brashares

Book Title:                  The Here and Now (Standalone)
Author:                          Ann Brashares
Number of pages:  288

Synopsis:

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth.

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.

(re: Goodreads @ The Here and Now by Ann Brashares)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:

– Depicts the post time-travel life which reads more like a contemporary romance despite having elements of science-fiction.
– Various thought-provoking elements and themes presented in a very wishful way when regarding the plausibility of the future environment.
– Basically The Prenna Show, where events unfold in favour of the protagonist with no sense of urgency and tangible consequence.
– Unsubstantiated world-building necessary to set-up the dystopian-influenced Community; ultimately leaving gaps in the narrative that may lead to further questioning. 

Initial Thoughts

Dear desk, I have marked you with the blunt force from my head. For this I apologize.

I think I enjoyed the idea of liking the novel more than actually wanting to read it. Does that make sense? I hope it does because now that this one positive is out of the way, I can now detail everything that was very off to me about this read. This might be the angriest review yet.

Full disclosure: I received an advanced reader copy of The Here and Now through NetGalley for an honest review. I extend my thanks to Random House for providing me the opportunity to review this book.

Disclaimer: There may be spoilers inherent to this review from this point onward.

Continue reading [Review] The Here and Now – Ann Brashares

[Review] The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare – M.G. Buehrlen

Book Title:      The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare (Alex Wayfare Series #01)
Author:              M.G. Buehrlen
Number of pages:
  416

Synopsis:57livesofalexwayfare_bookcover

For as long as 17-year-old Alex Wayfare can remember, she has had visions of the past. Visions that make her feel like she’s really on a ship bound for America, living in Jamestown during the Starving Time, or riding the original Ferris wheel at the World’s Fair.

But these brushes with history pull her from her daily life without warning, sometimes leaving her with strange lasting effects and wounds she can’t explain. Trying to excuse away the aftereffects has booked her more time in the principal’s office than in any of her classes and a permanent place at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Alex is desperate to find out what her visions mean and get rid of them.

It isn’t until she meets Porter, a stranger who knows more than should be possible about her, that she learns the truth: Her visions aren’t really visions. Alex is a Descender – capable of traveling back in time by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife. Alex is one soul with fifty-six past lives, fifty-six histories.

Fifty-six lifetimes to explore: the prospect is irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with soulful blue eyes keeps showing up in each of them. But the more she descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want Alex to travel again. Ever.

And will stop at nothing to make this life her last.

(re: Goodreads @ 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:

– Integrates various historical periods (western, prohibition era, etc.) in the time-travels.

– Character depth of protagonist is generally fleshed out well although she follows-through with questionable actions void of real caution or consequence. There is little development in minor characters and relationships.

– Plot twists can be easily identifiable as pacing is concerned but is otherwise a well-written engaging read.

Initial Thoughts

As listed on a previous Top Ten Tuesday (TTT: Debuts I’m Excited For), I was excited for a new time travel, speculative fiction-esqe novel and then this came along. With buzzwords like limbo in the synopsis, it isn’t hard to imagine the potential this book carries to be great. And while I’m not a time-travelling connoisseur, I do appreciate a good time-travel read here and there.

But my feels for this book are on neither extremes of the spectrum; seemingly stuck in its own feels-driven limbo, if you will. It’s neither here or there, positive or negative.

Let me elaborate.

Disclaimer: There may be spoilers inherent to this review from this point onward.

Continue reading [Review] The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare – M.G. Buehrlen

[Review] Backward Glass – David Lomax

Book Title:                       Backward Glass (Standalone)
Author:                              David Lomax
Number of pages:      
315

Synopsis:david lomax - backward glass (cover)

Crack your head, knock you dead, then Prince Harming’s hunger’s fed.

It’s 1977, and Kenny Maxwell is dreading the move away from his friends. But then, behind the walls of his family’s new falling-apart Victorian home, he finds something incredible–a mummified baby and a note: “Help me make it not happen, Kenny. Help me stop him.”

Shortly afterwards, a beautiful girl named Luka shows up. She introduces Kenny to the backward glass, a mirror that allows them to travel through time. Meeting other “mirror kids” in the past and future is exciting, but there’s also danger. The urban legend of Prince Harming, who kidnaps and kills children, is true–and he’s hunting them. When Kenny gets stranded in the past, he must find the courage to answer a call for help, change the fate of a baby–and confront his own destiny.

(re: Goodreads @ Backward Glass by David Lomax)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:
  • If time-travelling is your niche, this is a pretty stellar read.
  • A suspenseful, thought-provoking literary piece that will have you trying to fit the pieces of a puzzle.
  • Characters are generally relatable and can be rooted for.
  • Definite information overload (and voids) at times that with persistence will come full circle; hard work pays off.
Initial Thoughts:

What the (expletive goes here) am I reading?

That was me with this book. And by no means is this a bad thing. Nah. I was totally reeling in how intricate all the pieces ended up fitting together in this narrative. Everything was definitely thought through: from the nuances in dialogue to the historical inclusions (c’mon, this dude referenced Star Wars and Nintendo—so many feels, and yes I classify these as historical. Problem?). So for his debut novel (at least I think so) Backward Glass is great for all the right reasons.

Honestly though, I felt like I was reading some sci-fi mystery with tinges of Criminal Minds going on: having to profile the shit out of everyone and everything all for a long deceased baby. But wait, time traveling, changing history; all that good stuff to start the whirlwind of Kenny’s mission and by proxy the plot. So despite many aspects being cryptic and seemingly confusing at times, the journey was quite thought-provoking. But I’d like to think that it was value-added to the story telling so all my grief in note taking was well worth it.

Enough about the overall, let’s start with the basics:

The opening line in the synopsis is so eerie to me; it’s (another expletive goes here) children’s rhyme. That is just dandy. Imagine if you heard that while walking through a porcelain doll shop (in a child’s voice no less). I’d shit myself. The rest of the synopsis presented itself to me like the childhood television show: ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?” which is awesome in its own right. The spook and thrilling factor was enough to get me to pick this book up. And then it begins with a page of (time-travel) rules that provided no context but hit all the marks of intrigue and confusion that essentially pulls you right into this story.

It’s pretty difficult to review this novel without giving away too many spoilers, but I’ll try my best despite not having too many issues with this well crafted novel.

Let me elaborate on all of this:

Disclaimer: Potential spoilers inherent to this review from here onward.

Continue reading [Review] Backward Glass – David Lomax