Book Title: The Gone World
Author: Tom Sweterlitsch
My Rating: 4/5
I don’t remember the last time I read a decent science fiction novel. The last sci-fi book I read was The Sea Beast Takes a Lover by Michael Andreasen and it was a short story anthology. If you’ve read my previous blog post, you probably know how I felt about it. I was a little hesitant to pick this one up due to my disappointment in recent contemporary sci-fi novels but boy was I in for a ride because this one was an utter page turner. In the next couple paragraphs I will vividly describe why I loved this book.
If you thought the Netflix series Dark was complicated and all, hold your horses because this is the ultimate mind-fucking (excuse the language) novel and at times you lose track of what happened after what and I had to take a moment to recollect, but that is okay because the story and the writing was well worth it.
We don’t often come across female protagonists in science fiction who make you feel good about being a woman, Don’t get me wrong,the story was not set in a happy atmosphere. It was my perfect gloomy and melancholy tale with very little romance. Set against an apocalyptic world where there are organisations running programs to stop the end of the world, but are they really? Because with each time travel,the apocalypse seems to get closer and closer. The protagonist Shannon Moss was a special investigator in NCIS who was done with being a part of those programs and was only up for a murder investigation. In cases where they aren’t able to solve a murder mystery, NCIS resorts to time travel i.e travelling to deep time and find out facts which would not present itself back at present,which is termed Terra Firma. Moss ends up investigating a missing space ship called Libra instead.
Trying to solve a murder with the apocalypse breathing down your neck? Solving a murder by jumping back and forth in time? Yes please! The first line got me hooked to be honest. I didn’t mind the graphic descriptions of crime scenes and corpses as much as I generally do. The story was fast paced and didn’t let me linger on one incident for a long time. The world building was great. The author deftly created a story with the two most alluring concepts, space and time travel. I had so many thoughts popping up in my head while reading this, sometime irrelevant thoughts too such as, why is was the apocalypse termed the Terminus? Is Sweterlitsch a fan of The Walking Dead? Why is the book cover so similar to Dark’s Netflix cover? Honestly, look at the trees! It is a pleasant coincidence. I mean I usually get a lot of irrelevant questions popping up all the tine in my hyperactive mind so that’s no surprise but if I had the chance to ask the author, I probably would.
To wrap things up, Sweterlitsch skillfully crafted a story that keeps you glued to its pages with just the right amount of twists and turns. Oh and if you haven’t watched Dark yet. DO IT. It’s in German fyi so I suggest you use subtitles instead to using the English audio track. Go watch it and come back here and let me know what you thought about it. Tschüss!
Thanks to Penguin Randomhouse for sending an ARC my way.