The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch
“There is no design. The universe isn’t kind or cruel. The universe is vast and indifferent to our desires.”
When I read the synopsis and it started with "Inception meets True Detective in this science-fiction thriller of spellbinding tension and staggering scope. The Gone World follows a special agent into a savage murder case with grave implications for the fate of mankind," I had no idea how much did the movie Inception describe this thriller. With its confusing twists and turns, it is one hell of a ride if you can by pass the technical language and the sometimes dull dialogue.
My boyfriend bought this book for me a year ago, a year ago I started it and it wasn't until yesterday (almost a full year later) that I was able to finish it. I feel as if I was able to transcribe this book into a movie it would be incredible and top all the charts. However, as a book format it often confused me and left we wondering what was going on.
The Gone World is a sci fi about time travel and the end of the world. It tells the story of Shannon, an undercover officer for a secret branch of the NCIS. Her job is not only to solve crimes, but also travel through time to solve crimes that haven't happened and stop them before they do or uses the future to figure out a crime from her time (terra firme, which is supposed to be the present time).
This seems simple enough, however that is not the only thing that is going on. She also has to figure out that the end of the world is near and every year it gets closer and closer. Another plot twist is that Shannon herself has seen the terminus (as they call the apocalypse). When she traveled to the future she got stuck in a world where the end of the world was already there and she was "crucified" and was saved, however she looses her leg.
Another story line talks about 'echoes' which are basically doppelgängers of the people that people that exist in some parallel universes who have traveled to the present time and taken the place of the people in the present. Confusing, I know.
The writing style is very technical, which confused me even further. It is an adult book, hence the reason why I was probably falling behind in understanding the context and the confusing twists. It is also very dark, very somber. The main character is not one I will remember, she was depressing and I honestly have no words to describe her because I felt that although I was seeing the world through her, the world was described more than her own thoughts or personality. The times we are inside her head I found myself not entertained.
The book is not bad, it has amazing reviews on Goodreads. People praise this author for the thrilling chapters and the excruciating themes he discusses in the book. There is no real 'bad guy' even though you might think there is. In all the possible future's the bad guy changes so it shows how the black and white line between evil and goodness is very thin. However, I don't think this book was for me. I would however see this movie, if it ever is adapted, in a heartbeat.
“Nothing blinks out, nothing ends. Everything exists, always exists. Life is but a dream, Shannon. Self is the only illusion.”
--- 2 stars ---