Special thanks to Netgalley & the book publisher, for allowing me to read and review this book, in exchange for my honest opinion.
Currently reading this book, in September, 2020. A Time when the world is still very much in the first wave of the pandemic Covid-19. Hard yet to say what the global impact will end up being. At this point… it’s not good. Hundreds of thousands of people dead, and we are nowhere near a functioning vaccine, yet.
This book’s prelude Starts with an ‘extinction event’ Novel H4N5 Virus (in 2035), which it while it says came out of a melting ice situation, it also implies it was ‘man-made’ (also eerily similar to many threads of data currently shifting around about Covid-19, being fabricated/manipulated as bio-terrorism today) rapidly spreading across the globe…. And I have to say, considering this was published around the time when it was hitting hard in many locations ; and written , obviously, previous of Covid-19 – the intensity and feelings of fright it brought up were pretty monumental. While Covid is not *quite* that bad… it doesn’t take much to stretch the imagination to it being the same. World crushing, society obliterating, humanity destroying….. Reading that prelude was difficult. Fortunately, this is Not the story. It jumps forward, to various time periods, but seems to be approx. 160 years forward as the ‘base’; to a society after humans called the Collective, who’ve been genetically altered, And survived past the extinction event previous. And the Ai’s -called the Cognizant, whom they have created.
The Author commits the number one Rule not to be broken – in the hearts of a reader: ending the story… not at the end, but with a ‘hey buy my next book to to find out what happens.’. LAME. This book was not long, and there is no reasonable reason for breaking it up. Other than to betray the reader. This kind of stuff really makes me angry. When you betray the reader this way – good chance they’re not going to come back and buy more…. I definitely am not. This is poor tactics, and bad actions. Writer should have concluded the story, then left a thread, in which to tie book 2 to.
I found the story to be quite lacking – with a lot of dropped arcs, and poorly developed details. – but easy enough to follow as they jumped through various time periods. (It’s a book revolving around time travel – spoiler.) But it was pretty flat, with not much story to the plot. And a plot that starts in one direction, then forgets it, and wanders off and gets lost. There was so much more I wanted to know.
The 4 main characters that were ‘part of the story’ side – in 2016 could have been so much better. And I hate to say this – but while reading the interactions and dialog between to the two females in the group – it was apparent they were written by a man. Because Women don’t behave like that, or talk like that. I swear – they weren’t ‘best friends’ like the beginning implied, but more of frenemies, the way the one acted – constantly antagonizing the other, seeming like she was about to stab her in the back, and run away laughing at it. Female friends aren’t like that, and it made for a very poor read. Not to mention flat. They weren’t well developed frenemies! Just card board cut out people. Disappointing to have such flat, superficial arcs. Their story line was poor. Let’s go shopping , to spas, and be wined and dined by a rich hunky guy! And fall for him!..oooh. Yawn. I was bored. On top of my annoyance at their pathetic ‘man view’ of women, writing.
More time should have been spent developing all sides of this story. Developing the time travellers. And especially the people who survived the Extinction event virus. The two of then are barely featured in the novel – why? So much time setting up the beginning – they obviously ought to play a big role in why there are still humans alive, not to mention – why they have lives over 150 years? And where did these other ‘counsellors’ who may or may not also have lived as long come from? No mention of that -they’re just there – but in the prologue – the author makes it clear there is only enough serum for TWO doses. And what is their purpose? What is their goal with the time travellers? (Aside from the barely mentioned arc fo gathering genetic materials – which is a thread started and then dropped – lost to the sea of drivel of frenemie conversation.) Then there were the two time travellers. And the AI that is their ship. So much more there that needs to be said!
I would not recommend this book.