Past versus Future
Anyone familiar with science fiction will surely be aware of the multiverse. Many works have involved it, and some even involve characters jumping from one universe to the other. Mark Grimshaw’s novel, however, is one which takes place entirely in another universe, on a world almost, but not quite like ours. For one thing, humanity’s native world is called Terra, populated with cities with names such as New Way and Tillago. Common phrases might have a word slightly different from what we know; a motto of one of the branches of the military, for instance, is “leave none of yours behind”. And, of course, Terra is being invaded by time-traveling demons from Hell.
As the title suggests, the main conflict of the novel is between creatures from a thousand years in Terra’s past and a world which feels a great deal like our future. Erica Bareilles, a young woman born with preternatural intelligence, has used her gifts to bring Terra into a golden age. She will do far more than just create technology that could only come from science fiction, like phasers (here called light weapons) and an intelligent robot who is her dearest companion; she will be humanity’s greatest hope against the demons.
For what it is, the book delivers well. It’s a fun, action-packed ride, with an epic scope and plenty of sudden plot twists. However, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped I would. The characters, while vibrant, were flat and two-dimensional, and their interactions at times felt forced, as though they were no more than devices to push the plot forward or tropes the author felt he needed to hit. The romance especially felt contrived, though other coincidences felt so as well.
This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the book. It’s a fun ride, as I said, and the setting was very cleverly used. While some of the changed phrases were a bit awkward, most were an excellent reminder that this wasn’t our world at all, a point driven all the more home by the changed place names. I was fascinated by the differences between Terra and Earth, and the slightly altered setting gave a fresh color to the novel that made it even more exciting to read.
If you’re looking for a quick book that won’t take up too much space in your mind, definitely pick up Past Versus Future. It’s fun, and sometimes that’s all you might ask for in a novel.
|Page Count||358 pages|
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|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|