Review of Secondhand Daylight by Eugen Bacon and Andrew Hook
Although the first section felt manic and uneven as Green hurtled through time, the second point of view offered lovely perspective on human connections and duty to each other.
Green is just an ordinary young guy, dancing, drinking, living it up. But something's off: he's started hurtling through time, and he can't stop, which means he can't hold onto relationships or grasp his present before he's off again.
Zada is a scientist from the future who becomes aware of Green's problem and seeks to help him. But doing so may require her to jump into Green's timeline, and she knows that there's no assurance she'll ever get back to her own original time again.
A meeting of the two characters could alter their lives forever.
I had significant difficulty getting through the initial portion of this book. Green's party-guy, train-of-thought-spewing, reactive personality made it tough for me to follow what he was trying to express and tough to care about him as a character. The early scenes felt zany and disjointed, even without the time travel element. I was very close to abandoning the book.
But I'm glad I stuck with it. The calm and thoughtful perspective offered by Zada's later point of view made for a far more cohesive story--and that's saying something, as the novel is, after all, a time-jumping frenzy in a futuristic setting.
It's unclear whether the book's having been written by two authors accounts for some of this drastic split.
Alternative perspectives later in the book (family, friends, and Zada) served up a surprisingly vulnerable, sympathetic Green that was not evident to me in the early portion of the book.
The story centers around Green's activities, but because of the shift in point of view away from his own, he largely drops out of the plot and the story takes off without him. The off-screen, forward-thinking future version of Green didn't jibe with the early image of him for me, but his unexpected, spot-on predictions and savvy intuition allow for the resources for the most interesting portion of the story to occur in the future, as a crack team attempts to understand how to send Zada back to meet him in time.
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I received a prepublication edition of this title courtesy of NetGalley and John Hunt Publishing: Cosmic Egg Books.