I received a review copy of this book through Netgalley; all opinions are my own and honest.
Summary: In 1967, four female scientists worked together to build the world’s first time machine. But just as they are about to debut their creation, one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project—and future of time travel—in jeopardy. To protect their invention, one member is exiled from the team—erasing her contributions from history.
Fifty years later, time travel is a big business. Twenty-something Ruby Rebello knows her beloved grandmother, Granny Bee, was one of the pioneers, though no one will tell her more. But when Bee receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Ruby becomes obsessed: could it be Bee? Who would want her dead? And most importantly of all: can her murder be stopped?
Genre(s): Adult, Sci-Fi, Mystery, Women’s Fiction, Speculative Fiction
Representation: gay & bisexual primary characters, F/F relationships, Seychellois (Black) primary character, primary characters with depression/anxiety/bipolar disorder
Content warnings: mental health issues, self-harm, blood
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The premise is fascinating: time travel as a career and institution, run by women. And there’s fantastic diversity, with mental health/psychological concerns (the title doesn’t just sound cool! It actually represents a major concern in the novel), POC, explicitly gay/bisexual characters. Mascarenhas’ approach to laying out the murder mystery clearly respects the reader’s intelligence — we get to peek at scenes from various points of the timeline and through various characters’ eyes, and it’s up to you to put the pieces together if you don’t want to just sit around and wait for the Big Reveal; at the same time, there are lots of academic and ethical questions to consider.
All that said, I had some trouble connecting with the characters and getting really invested in the plot, because this is a very concept-driven novel, which I don’t think I’ve actually encountered before. (I actually took a few days’ break from this book, during which I retained enough of the previous information to keep up but not enough to want to jump right back into it.)
This is such a unique read, so if you’re even a little bit interested in sci-fi and mystery I’d give it a try.