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Take Back Tomorrow Paperback – January 24, 2012
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The pace of the story is quick, and the time transitions are handled well. Overall, this is a good novel, one that even readers with little interest in sci-fi might enjoy.--from Publishers Weekly. This review is of a manuscript version of this book.
My overall opinion is that this is a brilliant concept for a book and the author is an excellent writer who will deliver to the reader a fantastic story.--Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Expert Reviewer
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What makes this more fun, though, is that science fiction stories are the macguffin at the heart of the plot. SPOILER. Here, we aren't selling drugs, or fencing goods, or robbing banks. Rather, the characters are going into the future to steal science fiction stories and books and to bring them back into the past to republish as their own. So, get this, the book is really a science fiction book about science fiction books. Once you buy into the idea that traveling to the future just to steal future books is what you would do if you could time travel, (as opposed to, say, get stock tips or info to get rich gambling), then the rest of the story is easy to take.
This is especially so for sci-fi fans. The author knows the genre, especially from the 30's on, so there is a lot of name dropping about obscure, but real, magazines, serials, publishers and authors. For example, when a future thief mentions in passing a plot that he's brought back, you''ll recognize it as Isaac Asimov's "Nightfall", a story that Isaac can't write in 1941 because it's now already been written. That adds a lot of fun to the read, assuming you're a fan.
Now, the writing itself is serviceable. The main characters are appealing enough to hold your interest. There are some very nicely staged scenes and some sharp set pieces, but there is also a fair amount of more clunky narrative bridging those scenes. There is a fair amount of monologuing and a lot of scenes in which one character explains what's going on to another character. I don't mind that because it is very helpful, in both noir and time travel fiction, to have characters help the reader keep track of what's going on. I guess my point is that this isn't a "literary" or "great writing" read. It's a clever, fun, slightly goofy, time travelling Valentine to sci-fi wearing a noir costume. If that sounds at all interesting to you, by all means hop aboard.
Please note that I found this book while browsing kindleunlimited freebies. I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
For the hard-boiled detective lovers, Levesque's plot is a race against time involving henchmen, a wealthy and ruthless publisher, a missing father, a strange and powerful drug from a mysterious Oriental. It wouldn't be much of a stretch to imagine the leading male character, Eddie Royce, being played in a movie version by Humphrey Bogart.
Mr. Levesque did well with his development of the leading female character Roxanne who is an aspiring writer but who makes ends meet by posing for the lurid, action-packed covers that sold the magazines of the day, with their weird tales of space colonization and alien invasions.
The writing is polished. When Eddie makes a leap into the future, circa 1985, Levesque had to "reverse engineer" the scene, trying to describe our past in a way that seemed like both Eddie's future and present simultaneously. A neat little trick, that.
Take Back Tomorrow offers an intriguing premise, and there's something very enjoyable here for lovers of both noir and science fiction, and for lovers of inventive story lines in general. I smell movie rights.
Author of Blank Slate Boarding House for Creatives
Although the phrase "page-turner" has become a cliché, there really is no better way of describing the result. My first attempt at this review was written at 3am, when I finally finished the book. Unfortunately, I seem to have pushed the wrong button and the review disappeared into the ether.
Levesque is one of the few SF writers who really understands the phrase "leave them wanting more." His stories, including Take Back Tomorrow, have hugely satisfying endings instead of seeming like weak lead-ins to a sequel. Yet, the world's and characters he creates are so compelling, that upon finishing this book, my immediate thought was "What else has he written that I haven't read yet?"
Take Back Tomorrow will sweep you along its tortuous time travel turns, and leave you wanting to read more of the author's works as well as discover or rediscover those old stories from the SF pulps of the 1940s.