Publisher: John Hunt Publishing, Cosmic Egg Books
Date of publication: October 27th, 2023
Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel
Something is happening to Green. He is an ordinary guy, time-jumping forward at a startling, uncontainable rate. He is grappling to understand his present; his relationship is wholly tattered; his ultimate destination is a colossal question mark.
Zada is a scientist in the future. She is mindful of Green’s conundrum and seeks to unravel it by going backwards in time. Can she stop him from jumping to infinity?
Their point of intersection is fleeting but memorable, each one’s travel impacting the other’s past or future. And one of them doesn’t even know it yet.
Secondhand Daylight is a reverse story in alternate timelines between two protagonists whose lives must one day intersect.
I came to on the tarmac outside the Sarah Sands Hotel.Secondhand Daylight by Eugen Bacon and Andrew Hook
Important things you need to know about the book:
Pace: The pacing of Secondhand Daylight was medium-paced. While the medium pace worked during sections of the book, the book needed more speed to the storyline-well, at least to Zada’s. There is lag during the book, and I attribute it to the book just plodding along.
Trigger/Content Warning: There are no trigger warnings in Secondhand Daylight.
Sexual Content: There is sexual content in Secondhand Daylight. But it is not graphic. The authors do not go into detail and use the fade to black at the end of one chapter and begin the next chapter the next day.
Language: There is moderate swearing in Secondhand Daylight.
Setting: Secondhand Daylight is set in Australia—past, present, and future.
Tropes: Artificial Intelligence, Dystopian, Time Travel
Age Range: I recommend Secondhand Daylight to anyone over 16.
Plot Synopsis (as spoiler-free as I can get):
John Green is in a problem. One night, in the late 90s, he started traveling through time. At first, it was a few days, then expanded to a few weeks. Soon, he was missing months, years, and ultimately decades. He is desperate to stop his uncontrollable journey through time.
Zada took her job knowing that she would eventually be doing the impossible, going back in time to help the company’s founder, John Green, stop time traveling. This is a one-way journey, with Zada stuck in the past once she figures out why John is time-traveling. But finding John before he travels is proving more complicated than she thought, and Zada isn’t sure she can fix his issue. Can Zada stop John from time traveling, or will her journey be for naught?
John Green: I had a tough time connecting to John’s character. But, I chalked that up to his constant confusion over his time traveling.
Zada: Like John, I had a tough time connecting with Zada. But, and I stress this, it was because of her personality. She wasn’t very likable. She had a massive chip on her shoulder, and it showed. But, she was the person to at least attempt to get the job done (reset John).
When I downloaded Secondhand Daylight, I did it on a whim. That is something other than what I usually do when considering a book to review. I have learned that I either usually love on whim books or I am meh about them. In this case, I was “meh” about Secondhand Daylight.
I had issues following the storyline of the book. It was choppy, and the timeline was all over the place. I found myself reading and rereading paragraphs and chapters. There was a point where I was going to DNF, but I decided to keep reading.
The time travel storylines were interesting. I wish the authors had explained why John was jumping forward in time sooner in the book. I also worried about paradoxes. The only thing that made sense about the time travel storylines was John and Zada missing each other.
The end of Secondhand Daylight was OK. I liked how the authors wrapped up the time travel storyline. The very end of the book did make me think. It was who was involved and the ages that piqued my interest. I would have liked it better if the authors had started with the book’s last page and built on it.
Many thanks to John Hunt Publishing, Cosmic Egg Books, NetGalley, Eugen Bacon, and Andrew Hook for allowing me to read and review this ARC of Secondhand Daylight. All opinions stated in this review are mine.
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