The future that people figured in the 1950s that we’d have? It happened. In Tom Barren’s 2016, people ride around in flying cars and walk on moving sidewalks. Everyone works in laboratories and food never goes bad. Even though Tom lives in a utopia, he feels as if he cannot find his way. Through a hasty decision, Tom ends up in a time travel mishap and ends up in our 2016: the world that we know. Here, his career is different, his family is different and from his utopian background, this new reality feels like a dystopian wasteland. Torn between his desire to forge a new life in this new reality and fixing the flow of history, Tom finds himself on a search for answers to figure out what the future is truly supposed to be….
I do not read a lot of sci-fi, but I decided to give All Our Wrong Todays, the upcoming debut by Elan Mastai, a try after reading (and loving!) Dark Matter by Blake Crouch last year (you can check out my review for that one here!). I am so glad that I did; I ended up loving this book. It had a little bit of everything: humour, tension, family dysfunction, a love story and some truly big ideas that made you question and left you thinking hours after you finished reading.
I absolutely LOVED the way this novel was narrated and formatted. The novel opens with our narrator, Tom Barren, stating he has to tell the story in the third person for him to be able to express himself fully. After a chapter, Tom gives up and goes back to the first person. Not only was it completely original, but also was filled with tiny quirks that I loved. For example, the first sections of the book are technical and filled with explanations of time travel and science; our narrator gives us a “summary” every few chapters to explain, in layman’s terms, what has happened thus far. I thought this was awesome! It helped me stay grounded in some unfamiliar topics and allowed me to stay fully connected to the book. What an original way to connect with a larger audience. The chapters are also quick and to the point; it made it very easy to read this novel in a couple of sittings.
I also loved the character of Tom; I was such a sucker for him throughout my reading. He is a little pitiful but equally witty and endearing. I was rooting for him throughout; it was a nice change of pace, after all of the thrillers that I read, to have a character you want to succeed! I found myself feeling for him throughout the novel and I loved that I was able to really connect with his plight.
I did find, like I found with Dark Matter, that at times the book became a little too technical for me, but as a reader who does not often read science fiction, I do not fault the novel for my ignorance.
Overall, if you enjoy novels with a science fiction element, or you loved Dark Matter, you will love All Our Wrong Todays! And did I mention that the author, Elan Mastai, is Canadian? This book can do no wrong! I am giving it 5/5 stars!