February 25, 2021

Adrian Tchaikovsky: "One Day All This Will Be Yours" (ARC Review)

Title: One Day All This Will Be Yours [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: None
Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Sci-Fi, Dark Comedy
Year: 2021
Age: 16+ (note: for the complexity of some of its concepts, it's best appreciated by grown-ups, but it's suitable for young adults as well) 
Stars: 5/5
Pros: Complex, clever, perversely funny. Packs a lot of surprises for a book so short, and even manages to pose a serious question despite reading like a politically incorrect romp.
Cons: If you don't like anti-heroes and open endings, this one won't be your cup of tea.
Will appeal to: Time-travel aficionados who aren't afraid to dip their toes into dark humour.

Blurb: Welcome to the end of time. It’s a perfect day.
Nobody remembers how the Causality War started. Really, there’s no-one to remember, and nothing for them to remember if there were; that’s sort of the point. We were time warriors, and we broke time.
I was the one who ended it. Ended the fighting, tidied up the damage as much as I could.
Then I came here, to the end of it all, and gave myself a mission: to never let it happen again. (Amazon)

Review: First off...DISCLAIMER: I requested this title on NetGalley. Thanks to Solaris/Rebellion Publishing for providing an ecopy. This didn't influence my review in any way. Also, please note: this is a very short book (under a hundred pages), so that's why my review is shorter than usual and not broken down into sections.

Since the book's blurb is enthralling (enough for me to request a review copy), but a bit cryptic, here's mine: After the war that broke time itself, the last man living in the last future goes out on a limb to preserve his never-ending peace, until an unexpected visit changes everything. But, you know - whatever. ODATWBY has got a killer premise (no pun intended) however you look at it, and one I've never encountered before.
This is such a perfect little book. I mean, it knows what it wants to accomplish, and it's perfect in that regard. I usually reserve 5-star ratings for books that - among other things - sport characters who really vibe with me on some level, but the rules don't apply here. The main character is an anti-hero if you ever saw one...but the author manages to have us sympathise with him. The other characters have their own agenda as well, and will stop at nothing until they get what they want...except they're not evil. Judging from the official blurb, one would expect the lead to perform a noble act or two in order to avoid more destruction, and maybe to go back in time in order to prevent it to happen at all...but that's not the case, because after all, humanity has never been able to abstain from breaking everything that is - even time itself eventually - so why bother? Also, didn't going back in time use to be a huge chunk of the problem, until it became THE problem? And isn't time irreparably damaged anyway? Part philosopher, part misanthrope and part cynic (but with a dark humor streak), the nameless lead - supposedly the last man living in the last future - just want to keep enjoying his high-tech (mock) Arcadia and playing with all of history...or what shards of it remain...except one day (so to speak, because in the last future there aren't "days" anymore) a big, totally unexpected "something" thwarts his plans big time (or so to speak, because time...well, you know the drill).
So...this novella is outrageous, over the top, entertaining and hella creative, packed with small and not-so-small twists and (mostly) never-heard-of time-travel outings, and even peppered with the cleverest spin on the grandfather paradox. On the other hand, as I said, it poses a serious question: is there anything humanity can be trusted not to break, although in good faith? Really, the best of both worlds 🙂.

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  1. The last man in the last future is an antihero. Sounds like the author really packed a lot into that small package, which I always find impressive. Glad it was such a hit for you.

    1. "The last man in the last future is an antihero."
      Haha, that alone is so very unique, isn't it?

  2. That really sounds unique. I love a unique storyline.

  3. Well damn, now I wonder if we actually will break time one day lol. I love when an author really know what they want to do with a book and just fully commits and makes it work! This one certainly sounds interesting. I'm glad taking a chance on the cryptic blurb worked out well for you!

    1. "Well damn, now I wonder if we actually will break time one day lol."
      Right? 😂 If we discover time travel for real, it might happen!

      The blurb was cryptic, but interesting - and it's not that it didn't tell the truth, but more like, it painted the lead in a different light than he turned out to be. One would expect a hero of sorts. I'm sure it wasn't intentional though.

  4. The dark humor appeals to me, I must say. And "going back in time" being part of the problem as well. Reminds me of time Salvager and the Morgaine books- both which kind of explore how we might actually "break" time by messing around with it.


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