Title: Future Shock
Author: Elizabeth Briggs
Published: April 1, 2016
Note: I received a free ARC copy of this upcoming release for the purpose of a book review. As always, receipt of an ARC has no bearing on my choice to review or my rating. I only posts reviews of books that I recommend.
Elena Martinez has hidden her eidetic memory all her life–or so she thinks. When powerful tech giant Aether Corporation selects her for a top-secret project, she can’t say no. All she has to do is participate in a trip to the future to bring back data, and she’ll be set for life.
Elena joins a team of four other teens with special skills, including Adam, a science prodigy with his own reason for being there. But when the time travelers arrive in the future, something goes wrong and they break the only rule they were given: do not look into their own fates.
Now they have twenty-four hours to get back to the present and find a way to stop a seemingly inevitable future from unfolding. With time running out and deadly secrets uncovered, Elena must use her eidetic memory, street smarts, and a growing trust in Adam to save her new friends and herself.
This blurb had me at “eidetic memory.” I’ve burned out a bit on “special powers” lately, and it was great to come across something a little more mundane yet unique. I hadn’t read a book with such a character before and that’s always a great way to get my antennae perking up.
Characterization and badassery
Elena’s tough, no two ways about it. She grew up in rough circumstances and while the book doesn’t dwell on that, it did shape her into a fighter. I admire that about her, and her instinct to protect the defenseless.
Plot and pacing
There aren’t a lot of twists and turns, but the story propels itself at a good clip without wasted chapters or frustrating habits like internal monologue or self-indulgent angst. The plot itself is clean and does a good job of tying up all of the thematic elements even though it leaves room for future books in the series.
Prose and editing
I can’t really comment on the editing, since I received an early ARC, meaning that a lot of copyediting and formatting is yet to come.
The prose is simple and straightforward, as you’d expect for a YA book.
I don’t recall any humor. Not all books have to have it, of course, but I think a couple good laughs would have augmented the emotional arc of the story. These are teenagers, after all, and they tend to be pretty good and finding things hilarious even when they’re in a tough spot.
I enjoyed this story in its own right as well as for the change of pace it gave me. I particularly like finding something that veers away from the hot trends in fiction because new ideas always intrigue me. Elizabeth Briggs did a nice job of putting this story together and while I have a quibble or two about the ending (see spoiler if you want details), she wove it all together in an “ohh, that explains it” way that made for a satisfying ending.