Review: Toward Yesterday

Toward Yesterday - Paul Antony Jones

Originally read December 5, 2013


I enjoyed this book. The premise was an appealing one – a scientific experiment involving tachyons accidentally causes everybody in the world to jump back to where they were 25 years ago. They’re in their 25-year-younger bodies, but they still retain all of their memories. People who died during those 25 years are alive again. Who hasn’t had the occasional wish to go back in time and relive their life, but only if they could take their current knowledge with them and use it to make different decisions? Of course, it isn’t quite the same if everybody else goes back in time with all of their own memories in-tact too! I can’t imagine that this is the first time anybody has ever used a similar premise for a novel, but this is the first time I’ve encountered it.


The first half of the book was mostly spent on introducing the characters that would play a major role in the story, and on dealing with the immediate aftermath of the incident. Then about a year passed “off the page”, and the second half of the book focused on the team of scientists who were investigating the incident. I’ll leave it at that, because I don’t want to reveal anything that would spoil the fun of reading the story for oneself and learning about what's happening along with the characters.


I thought the book needed to be a little longer. I would have liked to read more about what happened during the year that we didn’t see in the book. When the incident first occurred, there was pandemonium. I wanted to read about some of the more mundane, day-to-day reactions and decisions made by the average person after everybody had come to grips with what had happened. For many readers, perhaps that much extra detail would have made the story feel too slow-paced. But I personally wanted to spend more time exploring how such an event would affect everybody’s lives.


I didn’t even realize at first that I was reading a book from an indie author. I don’t read them often because my experiences with them haven’t been that great. If nothing else, the dialogue in the indie books I've read have usually sounded stilted and unrealistic.  That makes it really hard for me to enjoy a book, even if it has a good story. That was not at all the case with this book. The dialogue was believable, the characters were interesting, and I enjoyed the plot. So I was very impressed to see this quality of writing from an indie author. The only reason I started to suspect I was reading an indie book was because I encountered more errors than I typically find in a formally published work. There weren’t a ton of them, and they weren’t major, but they stood out to me. I faithfully chose “report content error” on my Kindle and reported each one I found, but as of May 2014 they still don't show processed -- unlike most of the other errors I reported for other books read around the same time.


If anybody is hesitant to try reading this because they’re as skittish as I am about reading indie books, I would encourage you to give it a try. It was a good, solid read.