The second installment in Briggs’ time-travel trilogy introduces new players and conspiracies that threaten Elena’s present and future.
Six months after the events of Future Shock (2016), Mexican-American Elena Martinez is adjusting to money in the bank, college classes, and a sweet relationship with caring and brilliant Adam, a white boy and fellow survivor of Aether Corp.’s deadly mission to the future. But Aether isn’t done with them. Aether forces Elena, Adam, and their final team member, Chris—a black 19-year-old who’s about to become a father—to return to the future 30 years hence to rescue the missing team of teens they sent to commit corporate espionage. Once in the future, Elena, Adam, and Chris discover their future selves are living the dream, but the mission itself, of course, turns disastrous. Those who survive it then attempt subsequent and even more dangerous jumps to the same timeline. There’s a diverse set of new characters: Jeremy, the Aether CEO’s resentful, white, MIT–grad son; Zahra, a no-nonsense Iranian-American hacker from Beverly Hills; Ken, a half-Japanese, half-white chemist; and Paige, a perky white gymnast—with roguish Zahra by far the most interesting. The action is well-executed when not bogged down in specifics of time travel. As for romance, Briggs raises the stakes in this entry, showing Elena and Adam exactly how beautiful their future could be if they fight for it.
A quick and satisfying middle volume that may make readers almost wish it was the end. (Science fiction. 13-17)