I almost never go into books without knowing what they’re about. I’m glad I did with this one. I just was in the mood for something bittersweet and saw this one recommended as a bittersweet book, and I knew it was SFF, so I borrowed it. And it captivated me! If you want to skip my review and do the same, I won’t be offended.
But if you still want to know more…
I did not even know this book was about time travel, so I was just as confused and curious about the mystery of Joe’s lost memory and the post card and the lighthouse as he was. It was fun just going along for the ride with him. And what a unique take on time travel it was! It was a type I normally dislike, though with some twists, and this author made it work so well for me.
Joe was an imperfect but good character. I can’t fault him for any of the decisions he made. Kite though… The author created a character who was a terrible, broken person—*SPOILER* he literally murdered multiple people! Normal people, not bad guys! And he did it with no hesitation, no regret, no feeling. *END SPOILER* And the author never tried to cover it up with the good things he did or to make the reader forget it. And yet, she still managed to make me care about him.
I saw some things about this being a romantic book, but I don’t know. There were feelings, some of which were clear, some of which were pretty subtle and/or conflicted, but this story was more fucked up than romantic. It had its moments though.
*SPOILER (feelings about a specific scene near the end)* Realizing Jem hadn’t intended to stay in the future and seeing how he just lost his memory of Kite right in front of Kite’s eyes was so heartbreaking! *END SPOILER*
*EVEN BIGGER SPOILER (the actual ending)* I’m glad it had a somewhat happy ending though. When Joe woke up in that empty house, I thought he was gonna call off the plan to meet up with Kite, and I really thought my heart was gonna break. *END SPOILER*
The story overall just gripped me, despite being fairly slow. I genuinely didn’t know how all the pieces would connect at first, and then I didn’t know what would happen or how things would turn out, all the way up until the very end.
I enjoyed the audiobook by Theo Solomon. There were times when a character was sobbing or saying something with hatred or being emotional, and he would say their lines really casually, and those moments threw me off. But other than that, he sounded natural and made characters sound different enough to tell them apart.
Overall, this was a captivating story with flawed and messed up characters I couldn’t help but care for!
Anyone who likes historical SFF, flawed characters, messed up characters, time travel, and queer not quite romance but definitely feelings.