The Edge of Forever
Author: Melissa E. Hurst
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Rating: 4 Stars!
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.The Edge of Forever is a thrilling young adult science fiction novel that revolves around the concept of time travel. There are two main characters - Alora and Bridger. Alora lives in the year 2013, while Bridger lives in the year 2146. I wasn't sure how the book was going to work with two separate main characters who come from different worlds and times. The author was able to blend all of those elements together so smoothly that it seemed natural after reading for a short time. The two settings are written with a great amount of precision and detail, so each one felt realistic to me - like I was alongside the characters in each of them. The 2013 world is exactly like our world - except for the fact that there are some people born with Talents; abilities that allow them to time travel, read minds, or teleport. Alora's world was easy to slip into because of it's incredible similarity to our own. Bridger's world in 2146 is a completely different story. It's full of people with the aforementioned Talents - there are even schools dedicated to studying them and furthering one's abilities. Bridger is a time traveler, just like his father - who died only a month before we come to 2146. Bridger is still intensely grieving and his life feels like it's unraveling - especially after seeing his father at a routine school field trip to the past. He knows that he saw his dad there, even though he was never assigned to go there. His father gives him one short message - Save Alora. Bridger's entire life becomes a mission to figure out why his father was at that time and place, why he was risking everything, including his life, to break one of the biggest rules of time travel - to just observe and not interfere or change anything in the past. Bridger discovers that his father was determined to stop a murder from happening - the murder of a mysterious girl named Alora. Bridger decides to break all the rules himself and travels to 2013 to find Alora and figure out why she's so important and who would want to kill her. They work together to unravel the mystery of Alora's past and how it connects with Bridger's father, before time runs out. If they can solve the mystery, they might be able to prevent not only Alora's murder, but Bridger's father's death as well.
Like I mentioned above, I was skeptical about the book due to the whole time travel/science fiction concepts, along with the use of two main characters. I'm really glad I gave it a chance though, because it was much better than I expected or hoped. The author uses detailed imagery and vivid descriptions throughout the entire book, which made the characters and settings feel totally realistic. It was easy to immerse myself into Alora's world, mostly because it's just like ours. There weren't any huge leaps of imagination required, and things just felt normal. I think that writing Alora's world in such a way preps the reader for entering Bridger's future world in 2146 - where, of course, things are going to be incredibly different. I loved reading about all the different Talents and what they could do, along with learning about the DTA - the Department of Temporal Affairs. Usually time travel feels really fake for me in a book, but the author's writing style had me accustomed to both the idea of time travel along with the very different worlds we visit in the book.
If you've read any of my reviews before, you know how much emphasis I put on point of view. In my opinion, it can really make or break a book. With this novel, the author has two main characters - Alora and Bridger. The chapters are told from one character's point of view - usually in an alternating pattern. Since the story is told from the first person POV of both main characters, we really get to know each of them on a deeply personal level. First person point of view allows the reader an inside look at the narrator's mind - their thoughts, emotions, memories, dreams, fears, hopes, etc. There's no other writing style that allows such a profound connection between reader and narrator - and it's by far my favorite. By alternating the chapters by each character's point of view, the we get to experience what's happening in the story through the eyes - and minds - of both Alora and Bridger. I actually loved that the author wrote the novel this way. I loved the personal feeling of the first person POV, but I also enjoyed connecting so strongly to each of the characters and seeing/feeling how they did throughout the book. That was by far the best element of the story for me, and I honestly don't know if I would have had such a good experience if it had been written in a different way.
The plot was exciting and full of mystery - especially with it bouncing back and forth between characters and times. I was intrigued by Bridger's father's story and the reason behind Alora's death - and how it was all connected. I loved trying to figure everything out alongside the characters - especially when a curve ball was thrown in and left me reeling (which happened quite a few times). The author did a fantastic job of blending together several different genres - like science fiction, contemporary, time travel, action, adventure, and mystery - to create a masterfully written story like none other I've read. I very highly recommend this book to fans of the genre as well as to those readers who are looking for something a bit outside the norm and who enjoy reading a variety of genres!
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Melissa lives in the southern US with her husband and three kids. She writes YA science fiction and fantasy, which means she considers watching Star Trek and Firefly as research. She dreams of traveling around the world and maybe finding Atlantis one day. You can usually find her with a book in one hand and a Dr. Pepper in the other. Or consuming lots of chocolate.