**Thank you to ABRAMS Kids for providing me a digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley for the purposes of review**
I’m usually wary of time travel novels — time travel anything, really. I think the concept of time travel is a wonderful staple of science fiction, but at the price of being a kind of double-edged sword. There’s two-ish routes a creative may go: either take the time to explain all the time travel — even at least some of it, hence the “ish” — OR explain nothing at all and expect the audience to just roll with it. I don’t have a preference to either approach, given that I’m not particularly adept at science and so trying to even attempt at analyzing the scientific proposals for time travel is just not going to happen. If it sounds plausible enough, I can usually just shrug and say, “Sure. That works for me.”
NO TRUE ECHO is unique in that it’s time travel proposal was not only plausible to (the science-impaired) me, but had me doing more than just shrugging and rolling with it: I actually wanted to know more about it. The more “science gobbledeegook” that was spouted at me, the more fascinated I became.
It’s easy to guess that I found this book supremely clever. No, really, it’s clever. I won’t say much of anything because, after all, that would be serious spoilers, but I will say this: time travel is not quite what it seems in NO TRUE ECHO, and what it actually ends up becoming is something I don’t think I’ve ever seen/read before. A rare and welcome occurrence!
My only complaint is that it takes a while for the reader to realize just how clever this novel is; this is a slow-burner of a story, where the true “action” doesn’t pick up until the reader is already a significant way through the novel. I’ll be honest: I was almost ready to give up on this book until I hit that “moment”, that turning point where everything suddenly begins to really move. Of course, once it did begin to move, the multiple storyline threads and jumps made for a book equal parts schizophrenic, terrifying, mysterious, and just infuriatingly clever.
I think any fans of science fiction, especially those able to keep up with multiple storylines/timelines and fond of slower-paced novels, will enjoy this novel. I certainly did.