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The Past

(VanWest #1)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  7,715 ratings  ·  242 reviews
The Past is the first book in the VanWest series, about an Enforcer who lives in a dystopian Earth of the year 3000 and works for an authoritarian ruler called the Universal Council. Tasked with travelling through time to stop a renegade sect, that seeks to change Earth’s past, he comes to learn about his dark origins and his unique ability.

Falling in love with the daughte
Paperback, 1st Edition, 195 pages
Published May 20th 2020
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Kenneth Thomas Thanks for your question, Tom. Not at the moment, but I would definitely love to do this in the future. The book lends itself to this medium (as quite…moreThanks for your question, Tom. Not at the moment, but I would definitely love to do this in the future. The book lends itself to this medium (as quite a bit of dialogue) and I personally like audiobooks the most (save my eyes).(less)

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 ·  7,715 ratings  ·  242 reviews

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Jake O'callaghan
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes you take a risk on a new author and it pays off. As someone who has love for dystopian novels that focus on the underpinnings of society, I really enjoyed where the author went with this book. The societal critique/philosophy isn't so strong as to take away from the entertainment value. I can tell that Kenneth Thomas really polished this piece of work as he doesn't run into the standard errors I see with sci-fi and new authors in general - which is to have clear blind spots. In other w ...more
Donna Costello
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
From the very first page you are thrust into a well built dystopian world that grips you from the very beginning and then drags you along for the ride.

I read this book over the space of two days and found it fast paced and enjoyable.

Above all this book is very well written and the character development was superb.

I believe that fans of the genre will find this book enjoyable as will newcomers to the sci-fi genre.
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve always been a fan of a good dystopian story. From early on, I cut my teeth on worlds built by Paul O. Williams, Ray Bradbury, and Ursula K. Le Guin. In recent years, I’ve satisfied my need for new stories with The Hunger Games and Divergent. Imagine my delight in discovering a new, innovative author.

Kenneth Thomas weaves an intriguing story full of twists and turns. Unique characters. Sci fi elements. Gritty settings. The prose immerses the reader in a dark imagining of Earth in the year 3
Píaras Cíonnaoíth
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A well-crafted intergalactic, dystopian space adventure...

VanWest: The Past by Kenneth Thomas is book 1 in the VanWest series. I thought the book was superbly written, with brilliantly drawn settings and characters. The author weaved a well-crafted intergalactic, dystopian space adventure that will captivate the reader from the opening chapter. There’s plenty of imagery in the writing style that makes you feel you are right there in the story, and that’s something I look for in a good book. The
Mel Cross
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Kenneth Thomas has created disturbing accurate portrayal of where we could end up in VanWest The Past. He has written a brilliant and high drama story that is extremely engaging and entertaining. This is a difficult to put down story and the narrative is constantly moving. As soon as you think you have found your feet, it’s onto the next situation and it really keeps you on your toes (and the book in your hands!). A brilliant start to what will clearly be a captivating trilogy! Looking forward t ...more
Teo Acr
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The reader is met with a fast paced thrilling action from the very first pages, so you have to pay attention, because the post apocalyptic world is already unraveling before your eyes. And it is fascinating!

This book is right up your alley if you are a fan of the sci-fi genre, since it talks about packs of mutant dogs, or gigantic carnivorous insects. I was actually smiling reading about sensory deprivation gases causing hallucinations and I was really hoping that our heroes would encounter some
Read it in one go - captivating story, enticing characters and great attention to detail. I originally thought the book would be purely futuristic, so the time travel part and historical bits were a great surprise. Looking forward to the second part to be released!
Steven W.
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
From the very beginning of the book, the author takes us into a future world where we see the Universal Games pitting the protagonist, Captain VanWest, and his team of Enforcers against a rebel group from the Natural Earth Alliance. The engagement encompasses several rounds of fierce competition (stage 3 is especially intense) where VanWest battles against insurmountable odds.

Oligarchs control large swaths of the Antarctic enslaving refugees from the cataclysmic holocaust. As these Overlords see
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Extrapolated a century into the future, VanWest: The Past is an exciting time-travel novel that touches upon the morality of transhumanism and infuses such concepts of technological advancement with an Orwellian Big Brother twist, artfully setting readers for a very promising series. The novel is set in a dystopian future where the advent of technological progress, namely long-distance space travel, has created radioactive pollution that ushered the environmental degradation of the planet’s food ...more
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
VanWest: The Past is a thrilling glimpse into a visceral world of loss and brutality, of power and greed, but also one of hope and romance. Thomas’ daring sense of narration gives readers mirrors with which to hold the enthralling story in a context necessary to understand our own — whether it be a mirror of our own narrow-minded leaders, reflected back to us in the authoritative, iron rule of the Universal Council, or perhaps, in mankind’s tenacity, manifested and brought to life by the charact ...more
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
VanWest The Past, by Kenneth Thomas, is a dystopian scifi novel. In 3000, the battle between the haves and have-nots on Earth has become a divide between genetically enhanced, long-lived Elites and working Citizens.

Our hero, Captain VanWest, is a competitor in the worldwide war games, something between our real Olympics and a dark Hunger Games. If VanWest can succeed here, he'll join the Elites. I enjoyed the references to Roman myth here, and this battle allows readers to see VanWest's characte
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for a fast-paced thrilling dystopian novel that will have your mind up and down like a roller coaster!

Let me start off by remarking how amazing it was to read a story that combined time-traveling, besides a whole new universal organization where not only earth is a protagonist, but also the solar system. Technology is on its highest development and humanity has lost importance.
The author is very careful on giving a detailed description of how the world h
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When I read and started to visualize "the enforcers", they reminded me of beefy, stoic "Unsolid" soldiers from Game of Thrones, but I was keenly aware it can't be just that. The story kept driving me to read further and further. If you think this book is merely about universal war thingy like Terminator, then I am afraid you are wrong, because the plot is beyond what you expect. As you follow our dear Captain VanWest, I bet you could feel so much more. Besides a great amount of detailed action d ...more
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
VanWest: The Past is another entry in the dystopian fiction world that is so popular. Despite sounding like another typical sci-fi dystopian future story, the book is really quite remarkable in its imaginative setting and story telling. It is unique and intriguing with fully-developed characters and a fast-moving plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

It is a dystopian novel with heart and with something interesting to say about the world in which it lives as well as our own. Overall,
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great writer's voice, a science fiction book with depth and a well developed story. Will be recommending it to my Goodreads friends. ...more
Jacob Ryans
VanWest has the makings of being a cult classic. I will be sharing this with my fellow trekkies and science fiction friends. One of the best books I've read this year. ...more
Keith Wilson
Read the free chapter a couple weeks back, Leap to the City of Light, on

Knew this was a winner. Just finished reading the ebook, this author writes a great book. Really interesting take on how events and technological advancements in the 20th Century have affected our future. And if we do not take care of our planet, this future might come true.

If you like dystopia and time-travel with a slice of romance then this is the book to pick up.
Melissa Caudle
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love science fiction. So, when I find a book that intrigues I have to investigate it. This book is exciting and paints a new dystopian world coupled with time travel. So, if that is your thing, you this is a must-read.
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Dystopian novels are by far and away my favourite genre and have been so for as long as I can remember. Kenneth Thomas’ VanWest: The Past, ensures that this remains true and does not disappoint.
In the first instalment of the series, which is set in the year 3000, the Universal Council rule supreme. Obedience by the “citizens” is a must and failure to comply is simply not an option. We follow the intriguing story of VanWest, an Enforcer who valiantly partakes in the Universal Games in order to be
Gustavo Sacramento
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you enjoy thrilling tales and suspense, I can assure you this book will blow your mind away!

With a gripping plot that changes direction every minute, you can't manage to put it down, it just keeps coming at you like a truck on the highway. The Dystopian setting is ideal for developing intrigue and a certain cruel aspect of this raw, yet humbling novel. The characters themselves are a clear reflection of our inperfect human nature, falling victims at times to the simplest worldly desires, aspe
Lia Curtin
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
“The Past” is a fresh and exciting take on much loved dystopian tropes; it gives a new perspective on a variety of genres from time travel to historical fiction to sci-fi.

The world within the book is established easily and comprehensively; the reader is quickly engaged by the various moral and social conflicts. The action shifts easily between vastly different settings and I was particularly impressed by the attention paid to details which helped to establish the historical context for the read
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thomas has managed to present a perfect blend of the future and the history in his sci-fi title 'The Past'. There is much thought put into the world-building and, as a result, the futuristic, as well as the historical setting, feels alive and three dimensional. The same can be said about the characters who feel true to life and guided by their own conscious. VanWest's journey is truly gripping and, at its peak, nail-biting. I'm eagerly awaiting the next instalment in the series 'The Present' to ...more
Kelly McDonough
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Set in the year 3000, Kenneth Thomas effortlessly manages to cover all the bases with his first book in the series. It blends sci-fi, time travel, and utopianism together along with an engaging romantic subplot. This action-packed page turner had me briefly wondering if this is where our society is headed. However, I quickly became lost in the worlds Thomas created. The characters are fleshed out and believable. Loved the futuristic setting, but also thoroughly enjoyed the time travel that takes ...more
Sachi Kulkarni
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Could not keep this book down. It was truly an amazing dystopian novel. I love a good dystopian novel, and often I am too critical of them, but this one was super good, especially as I didn't know what to expect. Thomas delivered 10000%! The dystopian world was incredibly well built, with so many twists and turns that were completely unexpected being thrown at you! My favourite kind of novel is one that keeps you on your toes till the very end, and this one really did. I actually didn't know how ...more
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A masterpiece, story is superb. Really love the chapter when VanWest travels back in time to Paris, the setting and the suspense. Enjoyed the ending too, can't wait to read the next book. ...more
Cris Deliv
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Past is a novel that kept me engaged from the very beginning until the final closing sentences. A dystopian tale set in the year 3000, there is never a dull moment in this fast-paced, thrilling and adrenaline-fueled story. The characters are enticing, well-written, relatable and simply jump off the page. Kenneth Thomas crafts a world that eerily reflects the worst aspects of the society in which we find ourselves today. It is scarily easy to imagine a future for our own world that is not so ...more
Oyerinde Adeola
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Adored the apocalyptic book! This is indeed a great reading for those interested in sci-fi genes and also interested in time traveling. The story describes VanWest as the lead character as He traverses ethical, environmental , and societal disputes through an era more than 3000 days after the completion of civilization. The intense action plot has many inner lessons to be taken away from and shows how important it is to take care of the earth and our duties to our societies. The story also focus ...more
Aaron Reynolds
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"The Past" is a must-read for anyone that enjoys a Dystopian setting with a fresh new perspective. Thomas brings something new to the genre as it mixes the intriguing concept of time travel with historical fiction in a post-apocalyptic world.

I highly recommend the first installment in the series for anyone looking to get lost in a deep and encouraging read this summer. It will leave you thinking as you develop feelings for the characters involved in the story. Thomas is an outstanding author th
Goodness Patrick
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Intriguing, suspenseful, and captivating!

I had a hard time dropping my phone while I was reading VanWest's story.

I fell in love with the characters in the story. Set in the year 3000, I think this novel mirrors a bit how our society will look like in the next century with the rate of pollution and hazards we're exposing our environment to.
I could almost imagine the story as the descriptive ability of the writer is beyond the ordinary.
If you're a fan of sci-fi, time travel, and utopianism, you'l
James Houghton
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The first installation in Kenneth Thomas' 'VanWest' series is an enthralling vision of a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future - set in the year 3000 - punctuated by the brilliantly crafted themes of time-travel and causality.

We follow our hero, Captain VanWest, as he squares up against a controlling and brutal society controlled by The Universal Council, to compete for his freedom and the chance to travel back to 1951. The ensuing action is sizzling and hard to put down, the carefully constructed
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British author from Windsor. Currently living in Amsterdam, working on the 3rd book in the dystopian, sci-fi series VanWest.

2020 Readers' Favorite Book Award Winner for Time-Travel. VanWest: The Past.

2020 IAN (Independent Author Network) Runner-Up for Science Fiction. VanWest: The Past.

Other books in the series

VanWest (2 books)
  • The Present (VanWest, #2)

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