This mind-bending and emotive sci-fi read tackles the potential of quantum time travel and of parallel universes, all of which will leave your mind reeling in somersaults to keep up.
The year is 2045, and our heroine Nev Bourne is the top coder for innovative brain implants that enables users to skip back 5 seconds in time. This device, called SavePoint, proves super popular as it allows you retract something wish you had not said or done, so much so that most of humanity has it installed.
As Nev starts an update of new code for SavePoint 2.0 at 11:33 p.m., she awakens to the morning of that same day. From there, losing consciousness every day at 11:33 p.m., Nev starts to her life in reverse. There’s a glitch in the code that has warped quantum space, and it’s up to Nev to sort it out. She’s both inventive and stalwart, and had me laughing out loud as she internally thinks of her team of male coders as the “brogrammers.” Nev seeks out help from the company CEO, having to sneak into his office to accost him, only to have him throw his hands up in the air without a denial of what is going on, and promptly check himself into a monthlong wellness retreat.
Nev stumbles upon an old college friend from Stanford, the androgenous Airin Myx, who is desperation she persuades to help her figure out what’s wrong with the code. Sparks fly as Airin, a notorious hacker, and Nev have to figure out how to work together with Nev as they both proceed away from each other in time. As Airin moves forward in time and Nev moves backwards, it often gets confusing. Even as Nev falls backward and starts reliving days of her life, Nev can remember all she’s learned since the glitch happened.
Along the way, Nev gets to repair her relationship with a wrongfully ousted colleague, her beyond-needy and arrogant boyfriend, and her deeply religious mother. She also gets to finally stand up to an oppressive C-level manager. Nev also solves the story behind the mysterious, homeless Jim Bone who seems as lost in time as Nev finds herself.
Nev emerges both savior of humanity, and far from the loner she started on Glitch Day.
And the book ends setting up book 2, so we’ll have to wait for the dynamic sibling team of authors to come up with the next installment.
Thanks to Rebellion, Solaris and NetGalley for an advanced reader’s copy.