Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Next Together, by Lauren James

Katherine and Matthew have a way of finding each other through history.  From their first incarnation in Carlisle in 1745, and again in 1854 in Sebastopol, and then again in 2019, and finally in 2039.  Each time, they end up trying to prevent an imminent catastrophe (and incidentally falling in love).  Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they fail, but each time one or both of them dies.  And the cycle repeats again.

Told out of sequence, the novel jumps around time periods fluidly and, towards the end, the characters do as well.  This leads to some pretty fast paced storytelling and a good deal of suspense.  A blurb on the cover promises “heartbreak” but there isn’t much of that, although a fairly breezy post script does provide a satisfactory conclusion.

The novel is rough in spots.  There’s apparently an additional timeline in WW II era that was cut out of the story, but a few stray references remain (which seems like sloppy editing).  And while the 2019-era Katherine and Matthew are cute and adorable, we don’t get much heat out of the rest of them.  I think this is a great entertainment and I enjoyed the set-up (what’s not to like about an adventure that transcends multiple epochs?), but it's not terribly deep and my emotional involvement in the characters was minimal.

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