Author: Robert J. Sawyer
Rating: 3/5 stars
I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
This is a spoiler-free review.
At once, every single person on earth loses consciousness. For two minutes and seventeen seconds, everyone is knocked out. There is mass destruction around the world. People driving cars, swimming, or walking down staircases are hurt or killed. During this time, people have visions of twenty-one years in the future. Some were expected, while some show a future that should be avoided.
I think the premise of this story is really unique and I was interested to see where the author was going to take it. I liked reading what the author thought life would be like in the future (better learn how to drive a flying car). I also like learning about the different theories about time, which I have always been interested in. I think the story did a good job of showing how the flashforward impacted so many aspects of life, like education, insurance, religion, and relationships.
This was one of my first “textbook” science-fiction novels. The author does a good job with the detailed descriptions of the science. The setting is described well and the experiments were explained in detail. I also enjoyed reading the various theories about why the visions occurred. It brought up a lot of cool science theories that I didn’t know about. However, I found that it became a little too much description. When the story turned to science, it felt like the author wanted to get as much of their research into the novel and it didn’t flow with the story. It wasn’t only the descriptions of science. There was a point when multiple paragraphs were dedicated to how two characters got from one location to another and I found it unnecessary.
There was also not a lot of characterization throughout the story. I didn’t feel like I got to know any of the characters and I wasn’t invested in their lives.
The end actually surprised me. I thought nothing was going to happen and then, all of the sudden, so much happened all at once. It was a bizarre ending that0 I don’t completely understand if I am being honest, but I definitely like how the end picked up and become more interesting.
This book is perfect for hard-core science-fiction fans. I enjoyed the premise and wanted to continue reading to find out why the visions happened and how they would impact people’s lives. But, I felt that some of the situations were unrealistic and the characters were unremarkable. Reading this book also made me really interested in watching the TV show.