Apparently you can add Time-Travel But Like From The Future Back To Our Time Instead Of Other Ways to the list of Raych’s Easy Buttons (along with Mad Relatives, Stoic Treks Over Frozen Wastes, Balls Jokes, and Wry Footnotes. Someone write me a book with all of these things and I swear I will kiss you on the mouth). This is a thing that I dig, fellows. I like the perspective on the present that it offers, the variation on the usual dystopic Remember how crazy we used to be with our resources/digital media/legs and now we have no water/social interaction/legs? Variety, I like your spice.
Ok but that was sort of an unnecessary aside because this book isn’t about that as much as you (I) had originally thought. Because the blurb is all, Zed is from the future where everything is Perfect and he’s part of a crack team that comes back into ‘history’ to keep people from keeping other people from killing yet more people. Like, the Revisionists want to come back to stop 9/11, but he has to be like, Nay, I will stop you from stopping that, because if someone changes history (even the bad bits), who knows how that will affect the Perfect Present?
And then the first few chapters are actually about that, and Zed walks around all This era is so bizarre for the following reasons etc etc etc and you are like, Yes, we are bizarre like that, and then he kills some people who are trying to stop some bad things but then the next chapter is just about, like, a regular dude who is not from the future and who has ordinary-person problems. And the chapter AFTER THAT is about Tasha, a woman whose brother was killed in the war, and a chapter still more after that is about Sari, the nanny-maid-slave-of-all-trades for a Korean diplomat.
And thing and then another thing and then finally, like all the best Guy Ritchie films, all the bits come together. And the WHOLE THING is about memory and history and how we account for our pasts and what we keep in our brain-pans and what we tweak a bit so that it jives better (what we revise, ya dig? We are all revisionists).
And it makes all sorts of sense until maybe halfway through, when it deviates from that bit of sense and starts wandering towards another one and you read to the end like When are we going to get some definative answers re: what kind of sense we are making but you don’t, and one of two things might be true and either of them makes this a very different book. Ambiguous endings! I love you much. But also you give my brain a case of the hovering angst for, like, a day. MY BRAIN likes to know where the landing pad is, which is again maybe a commentary on our need to make sense of things etc.
A ripping good read, have I mentioned?