This time around, the action starts in media res, but plural, as the first chapters whisk readers through a host of years, locations, first-person perspectives, and unpredictable revelations as Vincent and his trillion-dollar company Quantum World face his old adversary Philip Naradin, the kidnapping of Vincent’s daughter (and future Quantum World CEO) Nozomi, and the combined forces of the G7, who want what Vincent and Philip control: intreton, the electromagnetically unstable element that powers Philip and Vincent’s wildly profitable innovations.
Readers new to the Time Corrector books should start at the beginning, as this volume draws on a Marvel Universe’s worth of complex, reality-crossing backstory. (Explanatory footnotes help.) Even seasoned readers will likely find the first hundred or so pages a challenge to track, as Datta vaults, in brisk and immersive passages, across years and POVs, with Vincent eventually teaming up with Philip—who is, through timeline shenanigans, also kind of Vincent’s father—to prevent the world’s powers from seizing intreton. Datta loves hinting at Vincent’s plans without tipping readers off too much, and the novel becomes clearer as it goes, building to spectacular set pieces, like Vincent demonstrating a Time Corrector’s powers in the Oval Office, or a quick jaunt through 20th century conflicts as the G7’s fighter jets threaten Philip’s island. For all its doubled selves, corporate intrigue, time-crossed suspense, and reality-in-the-balance epicness, the stakes are human and personal, with a touching ethos of sacrifice powering the climax. Lovers of time-travel complexities will relish Datta’s truly mind-blowing twists.
Takeaway: The most ambitious entry yet in this brain-twisting time-travel series.
Comparable Titles: Jon Evans’s Exadelic, Max Barry’s The 22 Murders of Madison May.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A-