What do you do when the future is too late, and the present is counting down to an inevitable moment?
Elena Martinez has street smarts, the ability for perfect recall, and a deadline: if she doesn’t find a job before she turns eighteen, she’ll be homeless. But then she gets an unexpected offer from Aether Corporation, the powerful Los Angeles tech giant. Along with four other recruits—Adam, Chris, Trent, and Zoe—Elena is being sent on a secret mission to bring back data from the future. All they have to do is get Aether the information they need, and the five of them will be set for life. It’s an offer Elena can’t refuse.
But something goes wrong when the time travelers arrive in the future. And they are forced to break the only rule they were given—not to look into their own fates. Now they have twenty-four hours to get back to the present and find a way to stop a seemingly inevitable future—and a murder—from happening. But changing the timeline has deadly consequences too. Who can Elena trust as she fights to save her life?
The first book in an unforgettable series about rewriting your destiny in the city of dreams.
Elena is two months from being ejected by the foster care system and still cannot find a job. Help comes when a tech company offers her the chance to take part in their tests for more money than she could have hoped for. Despite her suspicions Elena feels she has little choice but to agree. She is teamed with Chris, Adam, Trent and Zoe, each with different skills for the task ahead. They are being sent ten years into the future for 24 hours to gather information on technology and come back. The scientists are confident that the employees of the company ten years in the future will be there to meet them. What could possibly go wrong?
A lot. They arrive in the future to discover that the tech company is gone, the building deserted so there is nobody there to guide them. As they start to explore the local area, it becomes clear that they are thirty years into the future and don't recognise any of the technology being used in everyday life, which makes them stand out in the wrong way. As instructed, they start to note what they can to take back, through Zoe's drawing skills and with the use of Elena's memory. It is when they try to buy something that they discover that all citizens are entered in a database and if you aren't on it, you can't buy...but why is only Adam in it? Why are the other four not there? It is then that they decide to break the golden rule not to look up information about their future selves...
I grew tired of YA fiction several years ago because of the tropes and the same tired plots. I liked the idea of this one so I risked giving it a try and I really enjoyed it. Part of what made this book was the characters. I liked Elena as the MC as she wants to find a better future for herself and help her foster sister too. She is struggling to get anyone to give her a chance at a job and the offer from the company just seems to be the answer to her prayers. I had sympathy for her and liked the way she stood up for Adam when she first meets him. She is also the smart one who is questioning the situation, and is disturbed to discover that they are not the first attempt to go into the future. I grew to like the group dynamic. I wasn't sure I was going to like Trent and Chris when they were fighting with Adam but as soon as they got to the future and started working together, I grew to like them all.
Things start to get interesting when the group start wondering about why Adam is the only one in the database. It is decided that they should try to find Zoe's sister who might still live in the city and see what she can tell them about her. This leads to a very tense visit to the library to find out more about their future selves and past events. I very much enjoyed this twist in the story and what we find out there starts off a chain reaction of events that is fast paced and entertaining. I don't want to go into any more detail but I will hint at getting help from a couple of future selves which is fascinating. I liked the idea that there was an event in the past that Elena wanted to change but was at a loss as to how she would be able to do it.
It wasn't a complicated story despite the time travel and science elements. It was a story about finding out your future and trying to change it in the space of a few hours. It was tense and dramatic and I kept wondering how they could change things. Also the way it ends sets things up for all kinds of sequels. Time travel fascinates me and if it is done well, it can be quite exciting. This was a book that did it well and I'm interested to see what happens next so I'm going to grab book 2 as soon as I can. I recommend this to those interested in time travel and trying to change your destiny. There is also some romance in it but it does fit the story nicely, and the book is well paced throughout.
Re-read November 2018.