Tom Barren is a disappointment to his genius father, inventor of the first time machine. He has inadvertently caused Penelope, the woman of his dreams to lose her only reason for living, with tragic consequences. But most of all, he is a disappointment to himself. Especially when, after the aforementioned tragic events, his impulsive and careless use of his father's invention causes the erasure of the perfect world into which he was born.
So begins Elan Mastai's time travel caper, narrated by the ever so unreliable Tom. The version of 2016 into which Tom finds himself rudely thrust looks awfully like our own world. There is admittedly no evidence of Donald Trump, but limitless free energy, flying cars, teleportation, world peace and robot maids are sadly absent. Tom's time travelling misadventure disrupted the first trial of the wonderful machine which provided the world with limitless free energy. Guilt ridden, Tom's first thought is that he must rectify his mistake, and return to his proper timeline.
Only it turns out to be much more difficult, perilous and complicated than that.
The novel works on a number of levels. There is just enough consistent handwavery to justify the science fantasy of time travel and free energy. There are engaging and (mostly) believable characterisations. The motivations of the cast are consistent and not manipulated for the needs of the plot. Tom, as drawn by the author has sufficient complexity to keep us wondering what choices he will make. And the narration is both humouros and humane, cut through with insight and honesty as Tom questions his motives, choices and behaviour.
This is a novel which is very much worth your time.