I am a huge Science-Fiction fan when it comes to television and movies but find myself not reading too many Sci-Fi books. In an effort to familiarize myself more with this genre, I looked up the best Sci-Fi books of the year and “The Gone World” popped up on a few lists. The premise got me interested right away because I love anything to do with time travel and altering the time line. You will enjoy this book if you like stories that keep you guessing the entire time and leave you with questions even after the last page is read.
Shannon Moss is an agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service—she’s also a member of a secret division within the Navy that can travel through time and space. She is assigned to investigate the murder of a Navy Seal’s family and find his teenage daughter who is missing. By going forward in time, Moss hopes to be able to determine where they eventually found the girl so she can go back to the present and rescue her. In this book, time traveling to the past is not a possibility. Adding to the drama is the existence of the Terminus, otherwise known as the end of the world. A ship in the time travel fleet has witnessed this event but the timeline keeps changing and the Terminus is getting closer and closer.
This book was a real mind bender. While reading, I was trying to keep track of the various time lines and characters and was pretty successful until the last third of the book when everything was upended. From the very first page I was unsure if what I was reading was really what was happening in the present or if what I was reading was just another alternate timeline that was created when Moss went into the future. This book is confusing, there is no other way to describe it. If you like your books to wrap up nicely and explain everything, this is not the book for you. I found myself writing down questions as I was reading that were never answered and in any other story I might have found this frustrating but anything that has ever been written about time travel is complicated. I didn’t start this book thinking I would understand everything. I will say that the epilogue to this book seems to be VERY divisive among readers and I still don’t know what to think about it. It does fit into the overall theme of the book but was a bit jarring and left me thinking long after I had finished. The movie rights have already been purchased and I am looking forward to seeing how easy the movie will be to understand!
Overall, this book was part mystery, part thriller, part science fiction and was an interesting read. It’s not for everyone but I think that people who enjoy entertaining, thought-provoking, science fiction will find it worth reading.
Author: Tom Sweterlitsch
Rating: 4 Stars