So, this is my first actual sci-fi review! I’m excited and terrified! Reading this book was definitely a roller-coaster. I haven’t read anything like this, and sometimes I have trouble with sci-fi in books, but I’m glad this is how I got back into the genre. I have to admit, I requested it from NetGalley, and then forgot what it was about. Then I was trying to read the books I had gotten first, but I got several of them in one day, so I made a coworker choose which one I would read by title. So, Daniel Price, you can thank him for me reading your book before several others. Anyways, here’s the blurb:
Without warning, the world comes to an end for Hannah and Amanda Given. The sky looms frigid white, and every airplane crashes to the ground. But the sisters are saved by three eerily beautiful strangers, who force mysterious silver bracelets onto their wrists. Within minutes, the sky comes down in a crushing sheet of light and everything around them is gone. Shielded from the devastation by their silver adornments, they suddenly find themselves elsewhere—on a bizarre alternate Earth, where restaurants move through the air like flying saucers and time is manipulated by common household appliances.
So, this kind of makes it seem like you are going to focus on just Hannah and Amanda, but you don’t. There’s a whole cast of interesting characters. There’s two teenagers, both smart, though one is a prodigy and one is a kind of chubby self-conscious girl (me when I was her age really). Then there’s a buff Filipino with an alcohol problem, a nerdy cartoonist, and a bad guy who comes on and off the stage. I have to say, Price did a great job making these characters realistic (for the most part), and balances their flaws and virtues. You get annoyed, sad, angry, basically you go through every emotion on the spectrum with these people.
The actual premise of this book, ordinary people with superpowers in an alternate reality, seems overwhelming. If I had known, I probably would have put off reading it. However, it is executed so well that I feel like I’m watching a t.v. show (like Heroes). It seems so feasible that these people could have powers, because of the events in the alternate reality. Also, the powers Price establishes are ones that deal with time, or tempus, though one power is kind of like Green Lantern’s only without a ring. I don’t even know it can be considered magic, but what is magic but science that hasn’t been discovered yet? (Pretty sure that’s a quote from a famous person.) There’s portals, aging/reverse aging, people who can move really fast, etc.
One of the things that makes this story believable and easy to read is the fact that Price establishes slang for his alternate world. You wouldn’t think it’s so important, but there are major events that are non-existent in the Altamerica. We don’t think that changing one event can change so much, but it can. Think about the Butterfly Effect then add a new kind of “natural” disaster. This changes everything for America, including our dealings with outside cultures. I want to say that the people are blatantly racist, but that’s not exactly true. No one is segregated or kept from opportunities (that it shows in the book), but the words they use for each other, are just ridiculous. I feel ridiculous typing them, so I won’t. But, in the version of the world Price creates, America has isolated themselves, and so the seed has just stayed planted. Heck, they don’t even allow foreign films! No Star Wars for them (not foreign, but inspired by foreign film).
I really fell in love with this book, though I can’t explain why except it was simply a great read, that took me forever! I really can’t wait for the next one. He better buckle his seat belt and eat right. So, if you like alternate realities, nerdy references, superpowers, or just straight up sci-fi, check this book out.
You can get it here: