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Review: Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen

November 27, 2018

About the book

To save his daughter, he’ll go anywhere—and any-when…

Kin Stewart is an everyday family man: working in IT, trying to keep the spark in his marriage, struggling to connect with his teenage daughter, Miranda. But his current life is a far cry from his previous career…as a time-traveling secret agent from 2142.

Stranded in suburban San Francisco since the 1990s after a botched mission, Kin has kept his past hidden from everyone around him, despite the increasing blackouts and memory loss affecting his time-traveler’s brain. Until one afternoon, his “rescue” team arrives—eighteen years too late.

Their mission: return Kin to 2142, where he’s only been gone weeks, not years, and where another family is waiting for him. A family he can’t remember.

Torn between two lives, Kin is desperate for a way to stay connected to both. But when his best efforts threaten to destroy the agency and even history itself, his daughter’s very existence is at risk. It’ll take one final trip across time to save Miranda—even if it means breaking all the rules of time travel in the process.

A uniquely emotional genre-bending debut, Here and Now and Then captures the perfect balance of heart, playfulness, and imagination, offering an intimate glimpse into the crevices of a father’s heart and its capacity to stretch across both space and time to protect the people that mean the most.

My thoughts

Ah time travel raises so many ethical questions doesn’t it? If you get stuck in the past… do you make a life for yourself and risk affecting the timeline or hide away and potentially lose your mind. And what if your memory starts to fail shortly after becoming stuck?

Here and Now and Then is a fabulous story that explores the “what ifs” of time travel. It can be a hard subject to make sense of and Mike Chen does it with style. The emotional beats in this story are craftily handled. Several times I assumed the story might go in one direction and was pleasantly surprised each time by not being able to predict the plot. (Ha! It’s like the author also can time travel!)

This is a clever and emotional tale about a man – Kin Stewart – and what he would risk for his daughter. It also is a love story that goes beyond the usual trope of the time traveler’s love interest. This love triangle story takes us beyond the moment of first meeting. It’s a story that explores an entire lifetime (or two) and what happens to a marriage over a longer period of time… Who do you choose and how do you go on? And what happens to the one left behind?

Characters were deeply fleshed out and well-rounded. Mike Chen navigates the past and the future landscapes easily, giving us enough detail to see main character Kin Stewart at home in each location. The women in Kin’s life are emotional rocks for Kin to cling to. I can absolutely understand why he would not want to give any of them up. I really enjoyed this story. I’m looking forward to more from the author in the future (or the past?)

 

 

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4 Comments
  1. Ohhhh, that sounds like a really good read! I am a sucker for time travel 🙂 Thanks for letting us know about this book!! I just bought myself a new Kindle Paperwhite. I will have to see if I can get this book for it.

  2. wow Great review first of all…And then as for the book, I think reading it would be mind blowing like woah!!!

    • Thank you!! Its a super great book. Time travel is hard to keep straight. This one is done beautifully

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