Review based on ARC.
I've struggled with how to review this book. After finishing the book, I learned that there is one woman and potentially several others who have made accusations against the author for abuse of various kinds. These accusations do not appear to be substantiated--at least, not as of yet. Do you support an author who engages in abuse? Is it relevant to the review? So, I'll simply say this: I absolutely do not condone abuse of any kind against anyone. I also absolutely do not condone false accusations of assault. Since the truth of the matter is not known to me at this time, I believe it makes the most sense to review the book solely on its merits.
When I finished this book, I was completely satisfied with the story. Although it's not perfect, it is complete.
So, the premise. I LOVE the premise. In this not too distant future, people can look at a moment (several moments) of their relationships to see how they fare in the future. You can look at your current relationship or a hopeful relationship or a past relationship (assuming you get back together) to see how it all works out and if your'e satisfied with where you are at that time.
And so our protagonists do. Evelyn, quirky librarian and volunteer book-reader, looks into her future to see how things work out with her musician boyfriend. And Godfrey, cell-phone recoverer, is bullied into doing the same with his to-be fiancee. And neither is altogether pleased with the peek they see. So they go peeking a little more, hoping they'll stumble onto a future that satisfies them more.
With classic elements of a romantic-comedy, a "what-if" tale about how our desires to know the future to our detriment unfolds. I read it quickly, in a sort of blur of needing to know how it all unfolds! It is funny and at times sad and at times poignant and thoughtful and, best of all, interesting and unique! I love the concept of getting a quick peek into your future -- but only as it pertains to romance. I love the limited quality of this futuristic technology.
And Sherl did a great job with his characters. Of course Evelyn and Godfrey are well developed, but the peripheral characters are all relatively three-dimensional and interesting. I definitely want to know more about Dr. Chin's back story, and I'm curious about the lost significant others along the way...
Overall, a great story, a great read, a great hypothetical exercise. Although it's true the science could have been more fully developed, the characters a little more robust, you hardly notice these things as you speed through Sherl's world and pal up next to his characters.
FOUR of five stars.