Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Here and Now

The Here and Now  by Ann Brashares

Prenna and her mother immigrated to New York five years ago...from the future.

When Prenna was only five years old,  a mosquito-borne plague began killing millions of people.  The world of the future is warmer and wetter, and the mosquito season is always. A few plague-immune people travel backwards in time to try to prevent the pandemic...but the rules that govern the community of time travelers seem designed to prevent changing the future.  They must stick together, avoiding attention from contemporary medical practitioners, and absolutely avoiding inclusion in the historical archive--print, photography, and video--and above all, they must never develop a physically or emotionally intimate relationship with a time-native.

This is fine with Prenna at first.  Then she falls in love with Ethan Jarves, who is not from the future, but somehow seems to know a lot about it.

Together Prenna and Ethan follow a series of clues leading them ever-closer to the original source of the blood plague, and the circumstances that allowed it to spiral out of control.  The clues are small at first, the pace is fast, and the suspense will keep readers turning pages in an attempt to keep up with the main characters' race to save the world.

This is not Connie Willis' time-travel-and-plague book.  That one was absolutely outstanding, and won the Nebula award in 1992 and the Hugo award in 1993.  This one isn't as nearly as good...but it isn't 592 pages long, either.  Instead, it's a quick, fun, mind-bender with a strong female main character, a bit of social thinking, and a touch of romance.

Recommended for ages 12 to adult.

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