Permafrost by Alastair Reynolds (2019)
Thanks to Greg at Book Haven for the recommendation!
If you enjoyed the Netflix series Travelers, then you'll enjoy this novella that has a similar premise. Decades in the future, humanity is on the brink of starvation. A group of scientists seek to make a tiny change to history that they hope will save them. They've discovered a way to transport a human consciousness into the body of another person in the past, and they plan to use that person to carry out their mission. But they don't anticipate the problems they'll run into, both with the host mind and others who seek to stop them.
This was an amazing story, and I couldn't stop reading it, wanting to know if the scientists would succeed. At less than 200 pages, the story moves quickly and the action never stops; nothing is unnecessary here. Although some of the science stuff went over my head, I still thought the story was well-written and engaging. The characters, both in the past and the future, are interesting. I'm always drawn to time travel stories, because of the ethics, the implications - it's just fascinating. This surprisingly heartfelt story is a great addition to the genre. 4.5 stars
Replay by Ken Grimwood (1987)
Thank you to Dani at The Restricted Section for the recommendation!
In 1988, Jeff Winston dies of a heart attack - and then wakes up in his college dorm room in 1963, with all his memories intact. So begins a cycle in which Jeff relives these years of this life, only to always die in 1988.
It did take me a bit to get into this book. The writing is sparse, almost clinical, at the beginning, and transitions between events were practically non-existent. But, the more I read, the more I got into it. This was a really interesting take on time travel. Jeff doesn't know why this is happening to him and he can't control it. So many questions were raised - if you could live your life again, would you do it differently? Use your knowledge of the past to make a lot of money, have the family you always wanted, find a way to stop devastating events from happening? But, would it be worth it knowing everything would reset upon your death and revival? What would that do to your mental state? For awhile, we follow Jeff through his life cycles, but then another character is introduced that changes everything, and that's where the story gets even more interesting! I really don't want to give too much away, and I highly recommend experiencing this story for yourself! 4 stars
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