Review: Edge of Forever by Melissa E Hurst

Edge of Forever
Melissa E Hurst

Sky Pony Press
I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher

Released June 2, 2015
256 pages
YA / Sci-Fi

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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.

Oh Edge of Forever, I so badly wanted to like you. You had all the things that made it sound like you were made for me – time travel, a male and female narrator, interesting future tech, a mystery across centuries and quite possibly multiple versions of the same person existing at the same time. And yet, something about Edge of Forever just left me disinterested and occasionally annoyed.

The book starts with Bridger, who is from a future where genetic modifications are come and have resulted in some people having special abilities. He happens to be able to travel into the past to help record historical events that are then used in simulator games and historical reenactments. During a trip to a past presidential assassination, his father – who died months before under a mysterious government-cover-up situation – tells him to go save a girl Bridger has never heard of or knows where (or when) to find.

Meanwhile in 2013, Alora is living with her aunt, who refuses to tell her anything about the childhood or parents she can’t remember. She keeps having weird blackouts that she doesn’t want to tell anyone about and the popular boy in school (who is also kind of her cousin through marriage) who is usually mean to her suddenly wants to date her. To be honest, she’s pretty uninteresting and oddly unconcerned that she blacked out for hours on end.

Of course the two get thrown together and shenanigans occur.

If I try to pin point why I wasn’t into Edge of Forever, I keep coming back to the fake future slang that Hurst tried to make happen. Not only was there a fake curse word, there was also the use of “wild” in replacement of “freak” in the sense that, when normal people would say something made them “freak out”, Bridger would say it made him “wild out”. Had it been used sparingly, it might have not made me grind my teeth, but instead, it seems to pop up every third page of Bridger’s chapters. I wanted to yell at my Kindle to stop making “wild” happen. The sheer repetition prevented me from truly buying it as a slang phrase. It just felt forced.

The writing also felt lacking in editing so that transitions, especially between conversations to inner dialogue, felt awkward and amateurish. There were also awkward asides and injections that made it feel a little more like a first draft than a polished piece. I think this book could have used a little more development to feel more cohesive.

But overall, I just didn’t really care for Alora, who not only is a main character, but also a McGuffin, so that means Edge of Forever was really not the book for me. The future slang felt forced and uncomfortable, and I think I really wanted a more developed story with more interesting characters to carry it.

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. Opinions are obviously all my own. Your mileage may vary.