A Masterpiece of a Debut – Now is the Real Dystopia? All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

A Masterpiece of a Debut – Now is the Real Dystopia? All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

ALL OUR WRONG TODAYS

by Elan Mastai

10

APRIL, 2017

  • Title: All Our Wrong Todays
  • Author: Elan Mastai
  • Series: Stand-alone
  • Pages: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books
  • Release Date: February 7, 2017
  • ISBN-10: 9781101985137

One of the best books I’ve read in a long time, All Our Wrong Todays, was a far-reaching, insightful, and witty novel, disguised as time-travel fiction. I cried, I laughed, I yelled in frustration as I read, Elan Mastai’s debut. It was an emotional roller-coaster, that tugged at my heart-strings. At first, I was skeptical, the narrator and main character, Tom Barren, is not likable. He has a rather stutter-start of an introduction, he begins the novel with a very shallow and egotistical interpretation of his world, and himself. It doesn’t make him endearing, or empathetic to his quandary. Yet, as the story progresses, Tom begins to grow on you, he reveals more about himself, and word by word, each sentence you fall deeper and deeper into a marvelous story of love, loss, friendship, life, death, and our distorted reality. Man, All Our Wrong Todays rocked my world.

This one is hard to break down in a manner that does it justice. The main character, Tom, is an underachiever in a very over-achieving world. He lives in the perfect 2016, think Jetson’s and you’ll come close. No war, no hunger, they even invented the instant outfit and hair machine that I lusted after while watching the Jetsons. His father invents time-travel and the only reason Tom is involved in his father’s project is because of nepotism. He knows he’s only there because of his father, all the people around him know he’s only there because of the man, but he goes along with it, he doesn’t really have anything else to do. But, in the process of helping his father achieve his dreams, Tom falls in love, with the rock star of the time travel team. And she might like him back…or so he thinks. They share the best night of his existence, and it is followed by Tom unmaking an entire timeline, by a stupid move on his part. Now, transported to “reality,” or what is our reality of 2016, Tom is forced into his dystopian universe, faced with the fact that he annihilated billions of lives and the perfect future. The basis of the plot might seem like a shallow, science fiction, time-travel novel, but it’s anything but. The author’s ability to craft a scene is awe-inspiring, not to mention the witty, self-deprecating narration of Tom that brings it all together.

They had this one moment in the beginning of the book, I can’t describe it because it would give it all away, but it was utterly heartbreaking. The character went from a guy I wasn’t too sure of, didn’t actually like, maybe kind of pitied, to a man I could really get behind, root for, and care about, with just one line:

“For just a moment I had a home.”

I stopped the audiobook and I cried, because it made Tom come into perspective and then shattered everything. That doesn’t happen often. It happens rarely, actually. The narration was done by the author, which is usually a red flag for me, but you can tell that Tom was and is part of Elan, so his narration was perfect. Not technically perfect, but it fit the mood, and the narrator’s voice.

The science of the book was another thing, the amount of research, technical knowledge, and brainpower that was required to write this novel was another accomplishment that I give props to the author for. I had to look up his bio to see if he had some sort of advanced degree with MIT or something, the science jargon was that convincing. But, no, he’s a writer, a screenwriter from Canada, who is currently working on the film adaptation of this book. That should be an interesting movie.

I can’t rave about everything, though. I did run into some issues. The author is quick and repetitive, with a jumping and often confusing pace, similar to Vonnegut, whom he mentions a few times within the pages, so I’m assuming he was trying to emulate. There is one scene which is a repetitive use of curse words over and over again, which I would have skimmed over in a book – but was forced to experience in full-force via the audiobook. The climax was also very confusing, and I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t go into detail, but there were moments when I was lost within the details. But, nothing that took away from the novel. My only advice when starting this book, give it time…let it sink in. Hopefully, you’ll love it as much as I did.

“We all have parts of ourself we want to cut away.”

A Masterpiece of a Debut – Now is the Real Dystopia? All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

Published by Dutton Books on February 7th 2017
ISBN: 1101985135
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction, Time-Travel
Pages: 373
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher

You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we'd have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren's 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed . . . because it wasn't necessary.
Except Tom just can't seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that's before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.
But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be.




This Must Read Science Fiction novel might be a good choice if you’ve read and loved the following books:

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A Diverse Read That Takes a Bit of Patience to Read…Finding Gideon

A Diverse Read That Takes a Bit of Patience to Read…Finding Gideon

FINDING GIDEON

by Eric Jerome Dickey

03

APRIL, 2017

  • Title: Finding Gideon
  • Author: Eric Jerome Dickey
  • Series: Stand-alone, but it is part of the Gideon series
  • Pages: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books
  • Release Date: April 18th 2017
  • ISBN-10: 1101985496

Finding Gideon was marketed as a stand-alone, even though there are more stories in this series, and technically it is, but I did feel that I fell feet first into a story that I wasn’t ready for. I think it had to do with the main POV in the beginning which was Medianoche, which starts out in a place I didn’t want to be. I didn’t like him, I didn’t want to read about him…and it kept increasing. Dickey tried to explain his backstory, but then just as you were getting comfortable, another tidbit was introduced and I was lost in someone else’s backstory. It got confusing at times and I stopped reading the book at a few points, only to pick it back up again, thinking it might a failing on my part. Maybe I wasn’t in the mood. Because I did want to like this book.

The overall gist of the story is that there are bad guy vs. bad guy, each one has a length backstory of why they are bad. Gideon, the somewhat redeemable bad guy, is one set on revenge against the hired killer that is sort of his nemesis. But, Midnight – or Medianoche isn’t an easy target – and that guy is set on killing Gideon even more. There is a lot sex, but none of it romantic. There is a lot of violence, which is all quite gory, and there are a lot of cool references to usually not featured places, which I thought was the best part of the book. But, it’s all packed into 450 pages that seem to go on forever.

My overall experience of the book was not a good one, unfortunately. I found the writing style hard to digest, I can only describe it when your ten-speed is on some crazy setting and you pedal and pedal and the pedals move fast, but you aren’t going anywhere. The anticipation and anxiety was high, the talk of killing and revenge, when only ten minutes passed in the book. It was all devious thoughts in the characters head. Then I was popped out of the book because something didn’t make sense, or a phrase I didn’t get. I liked exploring what it meant – but it’s hard to get back into a book like this.

I did like the diversity, and the descriptions of the different places, the authors knowledge of certain aspects described in the book, and the intensity of the entire novel. I wish I could have gotten into it more. Maybe if I read the first books, I would have. If it looks interesting, go back and check out the Gideon series.

“Everything was as normal as it could be for people like us.”

A Diverse Read That Takes a Bit of Patience to Read…Finding Gideon

Finding Gideon by Eric Jerome Dickey

Published by Dutton Books on April 18th 2017
ISBN: 1101985496
Genres: Adult, Mystery Thriller
Pages: 448
Source: NetGalley

A professional job turns personal for jet-setting contract killer Gideon in this sexy, thrilling page-turner by New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey. As a hit man from the time he was very young, money, women, and danger have always ruled Gideon's life; but for the first time, the job is taking its toll. Neither Gideon nor the city of Buenos Aires has recovered from the mayhem caused during Gideon's last job. But before the dust has settled and the bodies have been buried, Gideon calls in backup--including the lovely Hawks, with whom Gideon has heated memories--to launch his biggest act of revenge yet . . . one he believes will destroy his adversary, Midnight, once and for all. Yet Midnight and his second-in-command, the beautiful and ruthless Senorita Raven, are launching their own revenge, assembling a team of mercenaries the likes of which the world has never seen... and Gideon isn't their only target. Gideon will need all of his skills if he is to save not only his team, but his family as well. Dickey's new novel stirs up a whirlwind of sex and violence that spans the globe . . . and leaves no moral boundary uncrossed.




This diverse, suspense thriller might be a good choice if you’ve read and loved the following books:

P.S. I haven’t read many books like this one, and I only like to compare books that I’ve read…so this is a nebulous comparison.

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A Diverse Read That Takes a Bit of Patience to Read…Finding Gideon

Finding Gideon was marketed as a stand-alone, even though there are more stories in this series, and technically it is, but I did feel that I fell feet first into a story that I wasn’t ready for. I think it had to do with the main POV in the beginning which was Medianoche, which starts out in a place I didn’t want to be. I didn’t like him, I didn’t want to read about him…and it kept increasing.

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