Here and Now and Then, by Mike Chen

Kin is a time-traveling agent helping to capture inter-time criminals. One one mission, he’s stranded in 1996 with no way to contact his rescue crew. As hope of rescue drains away, so does his memory of his life in the present. He begins a new life in the past. Now, eighteen years later, his retrieval unit arrives far too late. It’s 2014, and Kin has a wife and a teenage daughter. In the present, a fiancé awaits him after he’s been gone for only two weeks.

In some ways, this is a classic sci-fi story of time travel and space-time continuum. In others, it’s a literary story of a man caught between two lives due to traumatic memory loss. This second is the reason I picked up the book, because I’m generally not a time-travel, sci-fi kind of person. In reading it, I ended up in two minds. It was a well-written book, with the science well-thought out and the government protocols believable. At the same time, a few plot developments felt a bit cop-out. I can’t give specifics without spoilers, but I will say that if the circumstances had been tweaked in a few of these situations, the characters would have had far more difficulty in adjusting. Some of the conflicts were too easily resolved. Perhaps it wasn’t literary enough for me? I also would have loved to see some of the situation from other points of view than Kin’s. Kin’s focus was extremely narrow, and to see through the eyes of Penny, Miranda, Markus, or others would have helped to round out the book a bit more.

Still, it was a solid book that managed to keep my attention even while in the midst of a turbulent time at home. It would have been easy to give up and take the book back to the library, but I always wanted to persist, though it took me weeks to finish purely due to circumstances. To me, that’s a mark of a good story.

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
This entry was posted in 2019, Adult, Prose and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Here and Now and Then, by Mike Chen

  1. Pingback: A Beginning at the End, by Mike Chen | The Zen Leaf

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