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The Rewind Files

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  441 ratings  ·  86 reviews
When a bookish junior agent at the U.S. Time Travel Bureau stumbles across a massive conspiracy with roots in 1972’s Watergate, she is forced into her first- ever field assignment - to expose the conspirators and avert World War III.


Washington, D.C. 2112

United States Time Travel Bureau

Regina Bellows, junior agent at the U.S. Time Travel Bureau, is a
Published by Retrofit Publishing (first published September 14th 2015)
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Average rating 4.41  · 
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Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun, fast-paced mystery adventure that's as smart as it is entertaining. So often world-building stories get overly complicated or trip on their own made-up logic, but this book has a fully realized, believable future and lots of great time travel gadgets. Oh-- and it's also really fun to read. READ IT! ...more
Natalie DeYoung
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I inhaled this book. It was just what I needed to read: fast-paced, historical, scifi, clever and quirky.
Time travel stories are the bomb, especially when they're done well. On that note, you should read this one.

Sometime in the twenty-second century, humanity discovered time travel. Predictably, we set out to undo a lot of history’s more appalling moments. Also predictably, this was a horrible idea. History unraveled, and thus was born the Agency responsible for fixing the timeline. Regina Bellows is perfectly happy being a desk jockey, staying safely in the twenty-second century and watching oper
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, 2015
This was such a wonderful read, both great fun and super intense. I laughed out loud so many times, which doesn't happen often when I read, and I spent hours reading with nearly no distractions, which is also a rare occurrence these days.

A+ would recommend.
A time travel book in the hands of a playwright whose bread and butter is dialogue and pacing was just the distraction I needed the past couple of days. Highly recommend!
Stephen Case
Dec 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I stay away from espionage. I also (at least in my own writing) tend to stay away from time-travel. Things get far too complicated too quickly, and it’s all I can do to try to wrap my mind around the paradoxes inherent in even a simple time loop. I also-- to my shame-- tend to avoid twentieth-century history in particular and American history in general in my own work, which revolves around astronomy in the 1800s. The Rewind Files, by Claire Willet, involved all of these.

On the other hand thoug
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An immediately intriguing time-travel adventure, with likeable, vivid characters, Willett’s skilled writing makes quick work of drawing you in to the complex plot of The Rewind Files. You’ll be rooting for Regina “Reggie” Bellows, and the restoration of the mid-20th century, as you remember it, from the very start.

A great mix of science fiction, detective story, and thriller - this story will stretch your imagination around the author’s creative theory of time travel and what alternate histories
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was excellent. As a debut novel one simply could not expect better, I suspect Ms. Willett will be astonishing us with more in the years to come. I certainly plan to enjoy whatever she pens! I have given it my "best of" designation for this year. I do hope it has won a Goodreads Award - it deserves it!

This is a mystery, within a mystery, wrapped in a time travel story. Without giving anything away I will say that I had worked out who Saturn was before the reveal, but Mars blew me away. I di
Steve Tetreault
I am a Sci fi junky, particularly when it comes to time travel. I've read quite a few time travel stories, from great to terrible. This one goes toward the great end of the spectrum. Willett has a facility with words and character, and has constructed an entertaining plot around something I tend to think of as a pretty boring moment in history. But this story works well, maintaining its internal consistency pretty well for a book in which a character can leave someone behind, simultaneously, 18 ...more
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Unbelievably fast-paced, clever and heartfelt. I grew up reading Harry Potter and watching Alias and this novel filled a void I didn't even know I had. Some wonderful meditations on family, fate and faith, where ordinary people must jump (literally) into the unknown, where there are terrible events that were always meant to be and benign realities that never should have been. Fans of sci-fi, history, and comedy will be deeply pleased by this book. Oh and can I add - female characters are front a ...more
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Holy moly, this book was fun. I couldn't stop reading. A little bit Quantum Leap, a little bit All the President's Men, and a touch of Postcards from the Edge... doesn't do it justice. The few places where the first-person narration tripped on itself did nothing to detract from my enjoyment. If you like time travel or political intrigue, this time-hopping tip of the hat to 1972 (and characters with moxie) is worth a spin. ...more
Joana Veríssimo
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've loved Claire's writing for years now, so I'm so glad that I finally got to read her novel!! I was nervous, because scifi is not my genre, but I trust Claire's writing implicitly (truly she has made enjoy reading a lot of things out of my comfort zone) and I'm so glad I picked up this book!!
First thing, I LOVE the world you built so much!! As someone who loves History, I LOVE that time travelling has actual consequences in History and things need to be monitored, but still the way people wou
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Well, thank you Claire Willett. Like many, I’ve been unable to concentrate on much but doomscrolling the news. This book was like a vacation. I was absolutely swept away. It’s great, fun SF. And feminist in all the best ways.

I think one of the things that makes it such a great getaway (aside from smooth pacing, likable characters and unexpected twists) is that each scene has just enough tangible details - the food, the smell, the light, the season, dust, plants, clothes, etc - that it feels rea
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was so delightful, SO DELIGHTFUL: ...more
Miguel Buddle
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was so fun! I love a brilliant and quick-witted woman as a protagonist and when you throw in some time travel and light sci-fi, plus alternative history around the Nixon Era? Hell yeah. The plot moves quickly, has great twists and turns and there are at least a a couple of hard-to-guess turns (and a few easy-to-guess ones). There's even some thoughtful conversation on race. ...more
Janelle McKenzie
Great original story!

Loved the characters and the twists and turns in the storyline. You may have turned me into a Watergate nerd.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book in two sittings. I stayed up late to finish this book because it was a "well, i'm ONLY a hundred pages from the ending. I can't stop now" type of book. What I truly loved about my take away from this was how it left me wanting more not only in this series but wanting to educate myself on the topics it peruses. Before I started The Rewind Files, I was quiet but unapologetic about my very basic knowledge of the Watergate Scandal. After finishing the book, I strangely find myse ...more
Sara Habein
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-book, arc
This book is so much fun. It's breathlessly paced, endlessly interesting, and full of kick-ass women. My only minor quibble is some of the dialogue is bit over-explanatory or maybe a little forced for the sake of getting a sassy line in, but I don't even really care about that -- the book is such a great read otherwise. This is perfect for both teenagers and adults (or even tweens, if you don't care if they read some some mild swearing), and this makes me really want to see some of Claire Willet ...more
It's the year 2112. Regina Bellows works as a tech in the Time Travel Bureau. She is the daughter of two time travel legends: Leo Carstairs & Kate Bellows. Since the invention of time travel, the main job of the agents at the Bureau is go back in time to patch happenings to make sure they happen so history doesn't unravel further. One day, there is a huge chronomaly showing up on the timeline that hasn't been there before and she is sent back to 1972 to figure out what was causing it. With the h ...more
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read it in one day- I couldn't put it down. I generally don't love science fiction, because I have a hard time keeping track of the "rules" of the created universe. These rules I got, because they made sense to even my non-sci-fi-inclined brain. And I LOVED the narrator. She's hilarious, and we'd totally be friends if she were real. This book is a great mix of funny, awesome history (I learned stuff!), likable characters, and amazing plot twists. Generally I get annoyed when plots are too twis ...more
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book. A conspiracy uncovered that time travelers have to go back and foil to save the world- what's not to love. The dialogue is smart and funny and I kept thinking- this would be a hilarious movie. I tore through this one with a vengeance, in past because of the plot pacing and in part because it was just so fun. It did get a little tangled near the end when all of the plot pieces had to be explained to make sense of them- but it is time travel, at some point it is bound to get conv ...more
Jamie Beth Cohen
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is not the kind of book I would normally read. I'm not into scifi or time-travel (generally it makes my head hurt). I do generally like historical fiction, but I don't know a lot about the Nixon administration - just what I've picked up in popular culture. HOWEVER, I loved this book. I think it was the relationship between the characters that really held my attention but the plot is also compelling and the twists and turns are believable and enjoyable. I LOVED THIS BOOK! I hope there's a se ...more
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
As someone who tends to shy away from time travel books, I can say this was easily one of the best works of fiction I've read in a long time. I find a lot of time travel stories a bit hard to follow, but this author does an amazing job of keeping the reader on track with what's happening without being boring or resorting to elementary writing. Another thing I find lacking in a lot of recent books is great character development, but this book has that in spades. It's a good day when you actually ...more
Anthony Brown
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book of two halves - the first half deals with the hero living in 1972 and the second half is a more traditional time travel adventure and all the paradoxes that can happen.

The first half I thought was excellent. The author really brings to life the characters and life in 1972. The second half, although good, I do not think lives up to the first half, as it becomes a chase through time story
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Love reading authors I know personally. This was a very engaging book. Page 20: my brain hurts. Page 60: plot twist and I'm hooked! Loved the dialogue. And now I want to read All the President's Men. Super bonus points for the dialogue reading like real people actually speak. Comes from the author being a playwright and I so enjoyed it. ...more
Abby D'Ambruoso
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic time-travel adventure with strong women and minority characters. The premise is fascinating, and I was sucked in to the fast-moving plot very quickly. By chapter 3 I couldn't put it down, and by the last chapter, I didn't want the book to end. Thankfully, the author has indicated she may be open to a sequel.

Shannon Fisher
Oct 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
OMG this book is the funnest.

Badass, sassy, loveable, smart-as-hell female lead, anti-racism, familial bonds, friendship, time travel, un-boring history lessons, and brilliant writing. What else could a reader ask for? A good giggle? All the feels? Check and check!

Seriously. Read it before it hits theatres. Because it will, you guys.
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this down! I love all of the characters and their relationships. The story was suspenseful and kept me on my toes, trying to guess the twists. This book was fun and full of wonderful women, full of nuance and thoughtful considerations of the world. And the time travel was well explained! 10/10 do recommend. ...more
Kaitlin Phillips
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Do you like history? Does time travel sound cool to you? Do you have feelings? If yes, this book is for you. Fast-paced, fun, funny, poignant. I just finished and I want more! Really hope this becomes a movie, too.
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
This was so good and so much fun. It has an excellent mystery, heart wrenching family drama, hilarious and sometimes alarmingly realistic characters, and of course time travel shenanigans that would make the Doctor's head spin. Cannot wait for the further adventures of Reggie and co. ...more
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Claire Willett is an award-winning playwright from Portland, Oregon whose works include the play Dear Galileo; the musical Carter Hall; the chamber opera The Witch of the Iron Wood; and The Demons Down Under the Sea, a stage adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “Annabel Lee.” The Rewind Files is her first novel. She holds a B.A. in Theatre from Whitman College (Walla Walla, WA) and currently lives in h ...more

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