Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn’t happened yet.
Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture – being kept apart, overhearing each other’s anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There’s no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It’s from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that’s about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future . . .
I have heard amazing things about this and I was not in the least bit disappointed! Right in there with the drama and action, it starts with Em in prison and Finn in the cell next door. We have no idea what's going on, where they are or why but then it all changes and they are busted out to save the world!
I cannot tell you how gripping this story was and it barely let me go through the whole thing! Nothing was revealed too early, so I had to guess quite a lot of it. After Em and Finn is out of prison, they are sent back in time to kill someone. The fact that we don't know who it is, or even how they are connected to him, made it even more complex and intriguing in the best possible way. Time travel a sure fire way to get me interested - and this one was dramatic and original, coming together like the pieces of a puzzle. And hey, for once I guessed things right!
It was spilt narration between Em and Marina, the present and the past. I thought this was really interesting, it kept the pace really well as Marina's story, at least the first part of it, was pretty normal. That was a welcome breather from me having a panic attack over what's happening to Em, that's for sure! I know some complained that Em was distant but I really felt for her - she has had years to grow a tough skin when she shouldn't have had to. And Em and Marina's voice were so distinct, you could really tell what time had done to them.
Now for the boys. Finn, past and present, was sweet and heroic, bit of a jackass, but funny. Whereas James was unfortunately misguided, even as a teenager. He had some terrible things happen in his life and I am not all that surprised by how he turned out but it was still horrible to see what power does to even the best of us. And Em and Marina's relationships with both boys was interesting. As I said, the girls' voices were different and you could see the progression of her friendship with Finn developing alongside her realisation to James' mood swings.
All in all, I cannot spoil anything because that would ruin it but I can say that this might just be the best time travel novel I have ever read. It was gripping, entrancing and incredibly well written, with its threads of time woven together almost effortlessly.
Published 1st August 2013 by Bloomsbury. Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for e-copy.