Flashforward

I started listening to Robert J. Sawyer’s Flashforward on a whim because A) it was available on Overdrive and B) I loved the short-lived TV version on ABC. This book was very different from the show and honestly, I felt more neutral towards it than anything else.

In Flashforward, CERN performs an experiment led by Lloyd Simcoe to try to prove the existence of the Higgs-Boson particle. Instead, the whole world looses consciousness for a little over two minutes and sees more that 20 years into the future. Millions of people die, and some don’t see any future at all.

My biggest problem with this book was how Sawyer treated Michiko. She is the fiancee of Simcoe and her daughter is killed in the flashforward. Her story revolves around motherhood and how she relates to the men in her life. Every time Simcoe’s assistant, Theo, sees or thinks about her, he goes into detail about her appearance and how much he wants her. I was much more interested in Michiko’s perspective. She lost her daughter and her fiancee has decided that he doesn’t want to marry her. But Sawyer instead focuses on the same tired stereotypical story. He had an opportunity to craft something fresh but didn’t, and in the process, turned his main female character into a flat archetype.

Overall, I found the scientific aspects of the novel to be the most interesting, as Sawyer’s story-telling ability lacked to me. I finished it, but it took me almost four months.

2/5

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