Amy's Reviews > Syncing Forward

Syncing Forward by W.  Lawrence
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it was amazing
bookshelves: book-club-pick, 2015-books-read, cryogenics, time-travel-group-authors

I think that our most realistic expectations for time travel into the future would be a type of travel that would be a one-way ticket with no turning back. The time traveler would either travel at the speed of light or would be placed into a type of suspended animation and would return from their travels or be reanimated to find that the world has become the future. In books like Hollow World and A World Out of Time, the time traveler has no friends or family to miss and, thus, they feel more psychologically able to deal with the passage of time upon their return to the future present. However, if a person finds themselves hurtled through time outside of their own choice and if they're leaving a family with young children behind, the experience is something else entirely.

This is exactly what happens to the protagonist in this book. He is deprived of all the experiences involved with being with his wife and elementary-school-aged daughters as they grow up. But, because of the nature of his state of slowed-down animation and the limited ability of drugs that can restore him to normal time, he is able to visit with them for very short periods of time throughout the years. Unfortunately, while hours pass for him, years are passing for his family. The triumphs and tragedies of a lifetime pass him by in mere days. He awakens to find everyone's life moving onward, new members of his progeny being born, and the world changing in very extreme ways.

Experiencing this with Martin makes for one of the most emotionally charged books that I've read in a long time. I certainly didn't expect my eyes to tear up on multiple occasions while reading a time travel novel. The realistically rendered details of the everyday life experiences that Martin is missing are sharp reminders of how precious our time with friends, family, and co-workers is. It's these relationships that ground us and create a framework for our life experiences. Losing the opportunities for these experiences is a source of great psychological anguish for Martin.

The future that Lawrence creates in this book is not one that I'd hope for our planet. The U.S. has fractured into 2 countries. Technological advances of the future become more miraculous but then turn for the worst. It's one thing to find yourself alone in a future where you can make a new life for yourself and try to live a new normal. But it's another thing entirely to arrive in a future where such an option is not easily possible.

I didn't find convincing the raison d'etre of the terrorist organization that wreaked havoc throughout the book. I didn't think that their founding purpose was strong enough to turn them into such extremists, willing to give their life for their cause. By the book's end, it turns out that they are justified for their beliefs. But in the past where they originated, I can't imagine finding enough people who could believe so fervently in their cause.

Otherwise, I found myself completely absorbed in this book and somewhat besotted by it. I'm intrigued by the idea that it may be turned into a movie.
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Reading Progress

June 25, 2015 – Started Reading
June 25, 2015 – Shelved
June 25, 2015 – Shelved as: book-club-pick
July 7, 2015 –
94.0% "I don't want to only have 6% of this book left ... even if it is emotionally draining."
July 7, 2015 –
96.0% "I thought I knew exactly what was going to be in the crypt. Glad I was right. :-)"
July 7, 2015 – Shelved as: 2015-books-read
July 7, 2015 – Shelved as: cryogenics
July 7, 2015 – Shelved as: time-travel-group-authors
July 7, 2015 – Finished Reading

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