Here and Then and Now – Mike Chen

here and now and then
3 and a half stars

Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Mira Books
Pages: 336
Release Date: January 29, 2019

To save his daughter, he’ll go anywhere—and any-when…

Kin Stewart is an everyday family man: working in I.T., trying to keep the spark in his marriage, struggling to connect with his teenage daughter, Miranda. But his current life is a far cry from his previous career…as a time-traveling secret agent from 2142.

Stranded in suburban San Francisco since the 1990s after a botched mission, Kin has kept his past hidden from everyone around him, despite the increasing blackouts and memory loss affecting his time-traveler’s brain. Until one afternoon, his “rescue” team arrives—eighteen years too late.

Their mission: return Kin to 2142 where he’s only been gone weeks, not years, and where another family is waiting for him. A family he can’t remember.

Torn between two lives, Kin is desperate for a way to stay connected to both. But when his best efforts threaten to destroy the agency and even history itself, his daughter’s very existence is at risk. It’ll take one final trip across time to save Miranda—even if it means breaking all the rules of time travel in the process.

Here and Now and Then is a time travel story about a father willing to do anything for his daughter.

I’m usually not a fan of time travel stories since the rules usually get muddied to make the plot work. Here and Now and Then is a great use of time travel with clear and precise rules that are easy to follow and are restrictive enough to not hinder the plot. Chen’s explanation of the science behind time travel and its creation is clever and believable.

Unfortunately, the pacing is slow and inconsistent making Here and Now and Then boring to read for most of the novel. About half way through the novel, the wind leaves the sails of the plot as Chen builds his world at the expense of the pace. Through a lot of the chapters, I found myself skimming through the dialogue to understand the gist of what was happening in hopes of getting to a more exciting moment.

The best aspect of this novel is the father-daughter relationship. Chen takes his time fleshing out their connection as father and daughter through unconventional means that may not have had the desired effect in another novel. Sadly, this connection isn’t fleshed out until later in the novel so when the main character is forced to return to the future and abandon his family the emotional impact carries little weight.

Overall, Here and Then and Now is an interesting concept that isn’t executed to its fullest potential since the story is bogged down by inconsistent pacing making it a chore to read most of the time.

***I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Have you read Here and Now and Then? What did you think? What is your favourite time travel story?

3 thoughts on “Here and Then and Now – Mike Chen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s