I am absolutely delighted to be taking part in this latest Ultimate Blog Tour, organised by the WriteReads. Thank you so much to Dave for giving me the chance to take part, Noly for writing such an inspiring review, and finally Michael K. Hill for allowing me to read his book!
Published: 2nd July 2019
Trigger warning: Reference to sexual assault
Keith Nolan is a young man who has dedicated his life so far to completing a collection of X-Men comics, but his life changes when he picks up a video tape from a flea market.
The tape turns out to be a home video, recorded by a young writer called Lindsey in 1989. Miraculously, he talks to her, and falls in love with her.
But to keep their conversation going, he must find more of her tapes – while forces work against them both, and time is running out.
I forged an effortless connection with this book almost immediately, which remained unbroken until I reached the very end. What begins as an original and fascinating concept, becomes something supremely thoughtful, heart-rending, and utterly enchanting all rolled into one.
It is a story that moves along at a fast pace throughout, but at the same time it packs a lot in. I felt like it encompasses a range of genres; as well as the romance, there are also sci-fi/paranormal elements, and the intermittent feel of a contemporary.
It all centres upon two characters, brought together by the most magical of circumstances. Keith, and in particular Lindsey, are both easily likeable, and that is one of the book’s biggest strengths. It made me feel very invested in their relationship, and raise my hopes for a happy ending.
The narrative alternates between Keith in 2019 and Lindsey in 1989, both told in the third-person past tense. The two storylines were equally engaging, and contrast well despite regularly overlapping. Although Keith’s quest for the rest of the tapes is fairly compelling, I found Lindsey’s more interesting to read.
I was originally a bit sceptical about their relationship, fearing a case of insta-love. However, while I would have preferred for it to have been developed slightly more and over a longer period of time, the writing has a way of making it feel…genuine.
There were also several neat puzzles and questions thrown up by the plot, the best of which was the prologue. After reading it, I was convinced that it would go on to mean something very important later on, and it did. It was a loose end that was tied up perfectly, and it is not until late in the book that everything in the prologue makes absolute sense. Great writing.
The whole time travel aspect of the book led me and my science brain to consider all kinds of theories. At one point I was having an entire philosophical debate in my own mind! What would happen if Keith watches one of the tapes more than once and has a different conversation with Lindsey? What if Keith watched the tapes in the wrong order? Clearly I was over-thinking it, but I guess that’s a good thing, right?!
I was largely impressed by the writing, allowing for a few typos. Lindsey’s love of books shines through powerfully enough to speak to any reader, the settings are given a good level of realism and atmosphere, and the narrative is extremely engaging all-round.
My one main criticism is that at times it is too descriptive. For example, almost every single scene contains details of the weather, which lacked relevance. Meanwhile the supporting characters are given relatively little depth, but the emphasis is clearly on Keith and Lindsey, which was understandable.
Overall, this is a highly impressive and well crafted book. Keith and Lindsey carry the story effectively and it really pulls you in, culminating in an emotional and truly fitting conclusion. A very good idea that has been spun together into a very good novel.
Beginning as a sketch comedy writer for American television, Michael K. Hill progressed to become an internationally published writer of fiction and non-fiction.
His short story anthology, Anansi and Beyond, published in 2017, and his debut novel, A Different Time, is available now. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, kids, and 7 rescued animals.
An emotional and immersive read that you cannot fail to connect with almost instantly. The plot is original, while Keith and Lindsey are the ideal protagonists to carry it along.
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
One last thing – Keith being able to talk to Lindsey through a video tape recorded years in the past reminded me of something else:
- I was given a free e-copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Happy reading, and remember to check out the other reviews in the g tour 🙂