Travel to the future - it will cost you only everyone you love. Attacked and injected with a drug that slows his metabolism to a fraction of normal, Martin James becomes an unwilling time traveler who hurtles through the years. His children grow up, his wife grows older, and his only hope is finding the people who injected him in the first place - not an easy task when one day for Martin lasts four years. And while Martin James strives to find a cure before everyone he loves is gone, others are uncertain if his journey can be stopped at all. W. Lawrence weaves a dystopian future filled with the best and worst of humanity, highlights the blessings and curses of technology, and pushes the limits of faith and hopelessness. Above all, Syncing Forward is a tale of one man's love for his family and their devotion to saving him from being lost forever.
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Martin James works in Security for a very big pharmaceutical company. He has a natural talent for the job and usually has everything under control, but everything falls apart when he interviews several employees who seem to be working on something illegal. The wrong question at the wrong time causes Martin to be kidnapped by this band and injected an unknown substance, which Martin will soon discover, makes him slow down until the point that he will not be able to interact with anybody. Martin is alone, nobody knows what is happening to him, and worst of all, how to cure him.
This is a very original idea and it was very well executed. It could have been boring, and despite it is a quite long book, one is always wanting for more. The story spans around 100 years but for Martin it just feels like a few days. The difference in speeds seems daunting but well resolved by the experts and his family. This first part reminded me a lot of Dragon’s Egg by Robert L. Forward, and both books showed very clever solutions to this problem.
Martin is just the victim of a much bigger game, just collateral damage, and even though this book is about morals and the conflict between which genetic enhancements are right or wrong, this book is, above all, about family. Martin is a good professional, even though he screwed it up here, and will carry the guilt forever with him; but Martin is above all, a family man, and this is exactly what he will lose. The drug he was injected will disconnect him from everything and everybody he loves, and W. Lawrence does a wonderful job in describing the sense of loss, regret but also love.
I like how the characters were depicted. Some people may think Martin was not fully developed but we have to remember that we see him in just a couple of weeks in his life, while for the rest of the world more than 100 years have passed.
Will Damron really becomes Martin when reading this story, and his voice has the power of transmitting his emotions, his regrets and his despair. He was the perfect narrator for this beautiful and sad story. The audio production was good and seamless, allowing you to focus on the story.
I have minor complaints, like the Spanish in the book was not all 100% correct (like it happens in many books), and the Spanish speaking characters sounded more like Hindi. All in all, I recognize these are minor issues that would have been missed by many.
This was a wonderful listen that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys science fiction and an out of the normal powerful story.
Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.
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The publisher's summary should've tipped me off...
What can I say? This book was extremely well-written, thought-provoking, and RELENTLESSLY depressing. I can hardly fault the author for weaving a tale that so effectively tugged at the heart strings, but had I realized the emotional weight of this book before purchasing, I would've passed on it. That being said, if you enjoy (or can get past) a heavy sprinkling of gloom in your reading, everything else about the book is fantastic! A terrifying and absolutely plausible glimpse into our near future.