“I promise you have never read a story like this.”—Blake Crouch, New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter
Inception meets True Detective in this science fiction thriller of spellbinding tension and staggering scope that follows a special agent into a savage murder case with grave implications for the fate of mankind...
Shannon Moss is part of a clandestine division within the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. In western Pennsylvania, 1997, she is assigned to solve the murder of a Navy SEAL's family—and to locate his vanished teenage daughter. Though she can't share the information with conventional law enforcement, Moss discovers that the missing SEAL was an astronaut aboard the spaceship U.S.S. Libra—a ship assumed lost to the currents of Deep Time. Moss knows first-hand the mental trauma of time-travel and believes the SEAL's experience with the future has triggered this violence.
Determined to find the missing girl and driven by a troubling connection from her own past, Moss travels ahead in time to explore possible versions of the future, seeking evidence to crack the present-day case. To her horror, the future reveals that it's not only the fate of a family that hinges on her work, for what she witnesses rising over time's horizon and hurtling toward the present is the Terminus: the terrifying and cataclysmic end of humanity itself.
Luminous and unsettling, The Gone World bristles with world-shattering ideas yet remains at its heart an intensely human story.
Tom Sweterlitsch is the author of The Gone World and Tomorrow and Tomorrow. He has a Master's Degree in Literary and Cultural Theory from Carnegie Mellon and worked for twelve years at the Carnegie Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and daughter.
In the future, an NCIS agent is assigned to investigate the murder of a Navy Seal’s family. Her investigation will lead her to many different possible futures as she works to solve the case.
My attention was grabbed in the first few pages, and before long I was really into this novel. It’s a murder mystery/survival story with science fiction elements. The main character is a strong, fierce, determined woman who never loses sight of her goal. Fast paced and intense, it’s so well wrought, you’ll almost feel like you’re right there, in a whole other world. If you like your sci-fi with space ships and time travel, or a really good suspenseful thriller, than you’ll enjoy this book.
More than 1 year ago
The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch is a highly recommended, intricately plotted science fiction/crime novel.
In 1997 Shannon Moss is a federal agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, NCIS, who is assigned to find the missing teenage daughter of a murdered Navy SEAL's family from southwestern Pennsylvania. When it is discovered that the murder has ties to personnel from U.S.S. Libra, a ship assumed lost during a top-secret space mission years ago, Shannon is sure that something the survivors encountered triggered the murder. She knows the mental-trauma of time travel since Shannon is an investigator that explores space and the future looking for clues to solve her cases. They are ever concerned about the ever-changing date of the coming Terminus, the date that signifies the end of humanity. Shannon travels ahead in time, to possible futures, seeking evidence to solve the murder case.
This genre-bending novel satisfyingly integrates a strong procedural crime investigation with a time traveling science fiction plot. The views of the potential futures of the Terminus, are all bleak, nightmarish outcomes, which add an additional horror element to the story. There are additional science fiction elements that are best experienced as you are reading rather than in a review. This one is a mind-twister, but in a good way.
The plot is complex, layered, and the timelines change, so you have to carefully follow the action and see what may happen and what changes as Shannon investigates the missing girl, which leads, in part, to her uncovering a terrorist conspiracy of huge proportions. The suspense builds as the complexity increases. There is an ever-present feeling of fear, that a threat is just around the corner. The characters are all well-developed and presented as individuals.
The Gone World features smart, excellent writing. Sweterlitsch creates a dark, moody noir feeling in the bleak crime investigation. I appreciate that the crime investigation was an essential part of the story and the sci-fi elements didn't overtake it. There were a couple minor issues with it that prevented me from going with my top rating. One was the ending, which I didn't personally like. The others could be potential spoilers.
Finally, the good news is that The Gone World is being made into a movie. This is one of those stories that will likely translate well into a movie and may be easier for everyone to follow along all the timelines in the action.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of the Penguin Publishing Group.
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