When I began this book I felt like I had read it before, and I realized I kind of had. It felt like a weird combination of the tv show Fringe, the book Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, and this other book Version Control by Dexter Palmer (that I didn’t finish or review here, but it has the same vibe). The central ideas are as follows: (1) there are other timelines, often because YOU were fucking around with going back in time (2) even the smallest change in the past can completely rewrite the future, and (3) you gotta keep your cool when traveling back to the future bc it might be different but you have to blend to avoid being locked up in a crazy house.
The new flavor injected into this chicken cordon bleu is the Idiocracy plot line. If you haven’t seen the movie Idiocracy, it’s basically this normal, average guy gets frozen and wakes up in a future where his mediocrity is genius compared to everyone else. So Tom knows the future that was possible had he not done what he did, but he’s surrounded by our 2016 instead of his and he has no way to help us make things better because he was the disappointment in the advanced timeline or whatever.
This book was so fucking boring. I tried to finish it but I didn’t care about any of the characters, I’d read better books with similar plots before, I have other, better things to read, and limited time to do so. I made it to page 247 and then I finally said “ugh I DON’T CARE” and put it away. It wasn’t even suspenseful, it was just “try to feel bad for this male protagonist who is trying to figure out the consequences of his time travel temper tantrum” and I DON’T CAAAAAARRRREEEEE.
So this one goes in the stack of abandoned books. The plot line makes sense, and if you’re into the time travel type thing you should definitely give this a try, but like Ill Will by Dan Chaon I just had to be like “there’s a story here, and it has potential, but damn it’s unseasoned chicken and I just don’t have time for that.”