Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Review: Here and Now and Then

Here and Now and Then Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I pretty much love time travel books, particularly ones that are well done and have rules and constraints. This is one of them.

Kin is a secret agent time traveling enforcer. He gets his orders and carries them out. His assignments have to do with people who have changed events through a time traveling blip. The most often offenders are trying to play with the stock market or some other monetary gain. The book opens with Kin taking out a target but not before the target shoots him where his beacon is imbedded, purposely cutting him off from his own timeline, 150 years in the future. The quandary is that he is to not have contact or interfere with others or events in order to keep the timeline pure. Yet as the years drag on, he forgets his other life (it’s a time traveling truism that you can’t comprehend too Times at once for long. Horrible headaches). By the time his retriever finally comes, Kin has spent 20 years living a life in his past.

With all the rules and regulations, how will the agency view his years in the past? His life lived? The lives he changed? On the other hand, how does he settle into his old life in the future after spending decades in the past? Hint: time in the future did not pass at the same rate.

I can’t remember what the book description included so I want to be very careful about what I say but the conflict was quietly engaging and resolution very satisfying. Actually, quite clever and heart warming. I think that is the problem I’ve had with time traveling books in the past is that the ending leaves me feeling sad. Not this one.

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