Friday, 31 July 2015

Review of The Edge of Forever

I received a copy of The Edge of Forever by Melissa E Hurst in exchange for an honest review and that is what you’re getting. I will endeavor to articulate my thoughts as best I can so sit back, relax, and enjoy.

In 2013: Sixteen-year-old Alora is having blackouts. Each time she wakes up in a different place with no idea of how she got there. The one thing she is certain of? Someone is following her.

In 2146: Seventeen-year-old Bridger is one of a small number of people born with the ability to travel to the past. While on a routine school time trip, he sees the last person he expected—his dead father. The strangest part is that, according to the Department of Temporal Affairs, his father was never assigned to be in that time. Bridger’s even more stunned when he learns that his by-the-book father was there to break the most important rule of time travel—to prevent someone’s murder.

And that someone is named Alora.

Determined to discover why his father wanted to help a “ghost,” Bridger illegally shifts to 2013 and, along with Alora, races to solve the mystery surrounding her past and her connection to his father before the DTA finds him. If he can stop Alora’s death without altering the timeline, maybe he can save his father too.


To start off, time travel is not a genre I generally read. I love watching it but it’s not one I’ve regularly delved into on the page. So yes, I did get a bit confused towards the end as everyone’s dastardly plots were being revealed but on the whole, it was something I enjoyed.

Cliffnotes version: Bridger sees his dead dad who tells him to save a girl in the past. Bridger meets Alora in the past and he tries to figure out why someone wants her dead while she navigates the dramatic waters of high school and deals with a deranged boy with sociopathic tendencies. There’s drama, murder, romance, and science fiction all thrown into a melting pot of dueling first person narrations.

I liked Bridger. I liked Alora. They were both excellent representations of their age and time period and their attraction for one another felt genuine. A lot of my notes on the characters are sarcastic at best because they were acting just the way we expect teenagers to act – which meant I was rolling my eyes and groaning a lot. I count it as a win that I was so annoyed by these two in their dramatic angst.

The rest of the characters filled out the stereotypes nicely – some even going to extremes. My only complaint was the amount of explaining these characters seemed to do. I felt like these protagonists were just telling me what was happening point by point rather than really telling me how they feel sometimes.

Because this story is written in the first person through Alora and Bridger, we’re treated to a slightly distorted view of the world, one I found myself drawn to and simultaneously unfeeling towards. We spend a huge amount of time in the future and I took the scenery as if it were an everyday occurrence. Again, I choose to take that as a win on the part of the author who manages to integrate her readers into this new world, without making it seem new and wondrous to the character, who has grown up in this environment.

In terms of plot, there were various sub-plots floating around that fit into this big melting pot of main-plot with a mix of science fiction and drama bringing everything together in the finale.

The thriller aspect is the one I enjoyed most because it seemed to be in the background, dropping hints until it all came together. The science fiction/time travel did confuse me near the end with the perspective switching – and a character’s motivations that weren’t entirely explained – but was still fun. I usually hate high school drama plots when they’re the main focus (or in this case, a main sub-plot) but I found that I just had to keep reading about these kids when the stakes kept getting higher and higher.

A lot of my Random Notes While Reading do have a bit of a negative tone to them and I don’t want that to reflect poorly on the writing. I was simply so invested in these characters that kept making decisions that I didn’t agree with.

See for yourself:

·        I’m immediately intrigued by the concept of this opening
·         Exposition! Help! I’m drowning!
·         Fourth of July, of course
·         This explains ghosts
·         Ugh, some things never change. Boys are pigs
·         One hero! That’s all I ask: one protagonist with living, good parents
·         Ha! Parallels, I see them
·         I think I sprained something from rolling my eyes. She is a walking cliché
·         Because things couldn’t get worse: poor kid
·         It’s a Cinderella story
·         I could have figured out a lot of this on my own, you know
·         Again, really cool concept but how did you have time to stop and take notice?
·         Well that’s a horrible stereotype
·         Foreshadowing!
·         Okay, murder. Now I’m really intrigued
·         I’m actually sad. How did these emotions creep up on me?
·         Foreshadowing! I still hate the way it’s presented…
·         That’s such a weird line. She’s a contemporary teenager, right?
·         Oh come on, we know that’s a lie. Teen drama. Yeesh
·         Stranger danger!
·         Called it
·         Ah, what?
·         Kinky
·         Honey, that’s not cool
·         Dude, not good
·         This particular storyline has all the makings of a great thriller, I love it
·         Ha! Irony
·         I smell a rebound
·         I smell a cliché
·         No, someone needs to call the police. Teenagers
·         It’s necessary for studying some things. Tee hee. Sex.
·         Dun dun dun! Okay, I didn’t see that coming
·         Dun Dun Dun (we are now in that portion of the novel, ladies and gentlemen)
·         Trevor is so irksome. I just want to sit him down and slap him
·         I’m sensing a disturbance in the force
·         Of course it doesn’t exist
·         Okay, I admit I’m having trouble following
·         Surprise, surprise
·         I feel like I should have some shred of sympathy for mom but I don’t
·         Aw, my boys
·         So bitter, my goodness
·         Ugh, time travel is so complicated
·         Convenient body is convenient
·         Ah shit
·         *Flings book* no!
·         That’s not a secret
·         Why would you say that!!!!

Towards the end, I got a little emotional. I see that. It was a very dramatic ending. One that I’m still processing.

So, in conclusion, Edge of Forever is a great mix of various genres told from the perspective of two teenagers out of time in what amounts to be an engaging story of love, trust, and murder.

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