Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

All Our Yesterdays


All Our Yesterdays
By Cristin Terrill
Publisher - Bloomsbury
Release Date - August 1st 2013
Purchase - Amazon | The Book Depository


Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn't happened yet.

Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture - being kept apart, overhearing each other's anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There's no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It's from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that's about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future.

Cristin Terrill's was a cautious and unpredictable novel for me. When it comes to Time Travel, all I think is Doctor Who, which for me is where my intelligence lies courtesy of The Doctor (which is David Tennant) and all the rules of Time. I was very eager to start to this book, 1) because of the reviews and 2) experiencing various genres. Is this classed as a Dystopia even though its time travel. That has just come across my mind.


It begins Today with a drain, that leads to a list and then a trigger.

Em is trapped in a sell with her cell mate and best friend Finn in the next cell. She has to get out of here to save the world and those in need of saving from the future that awaits them in the past. (Confused yet, I know I was...) 

Yesterday is when everything collapses in Marina's world, her best friend and the boy she fell in love with James comes back but is it for the better or worse. She is confused by her intuitions and feelings for the boy that can be the danger and cause of her whole future. Tomorrow, Em has to save both herself and Marina's future, but at what cost? The strength and corruption of the a machine called Cassandra pulls both time continuum into a parallel universe therefore putting them in a state of danger.  I mean I know from the First Law of Time that "crossing over to established events is completely forbidden" but hey if The Tenth Doctor didn't acknowledge that rule for his companions why would Cristin!?

The style and storytelling was a little harder to grasp at first, but when I passed about 20% of the book, I sailed into, it was unputdownable. The fast paced nature of the two protagonists clearly shows the balance of nature and of time. But what surprised me was actually the two protagonists are just one in the same. One person, two personas, two times. Can you really define Em and Marina separately, I don't know because that is what I'm doing now. Selfish as it may seem, I preferred Em as a character, she's courageous, matured, bullet-proof (almost) but she retains the Marina that she was four years ago. What I enjoyed was seeing both persona and yet wishing that she would skip those four years and be the latter version of herself.

The relationships between past Marina, James and Finn and future Em and Finn was undeniably an emotional ride to conceive. As a reader I was so torn between the romantic nature of Marina and James and Em and Finn that I knew it wasn't going to be easy. But what Marina has to go through is horrific even to describe when her relationship with James turns into a whole new dimension of scary and conflicting to read. But I know its another Doctor Who reference but it will always be a Time Lord's Curse as well as Time-Travelling Book's curse to find the worst enemies in the kindest heart of people.  The scientific elements were quite frankly a delight to relate too because of Doctor Who... a typical cliche I know but a true one none the less. Towards the ends their was some question about time on my part because of the outcome, but Cristin is able to create a plausible explanation to all thing 'timey wimey'.

Overall, I thought that All Our Yesterdays was a very enjoyable and upbeat read. As a Standalone I think its average but if it could be a series I think it could be beyond that. Time and Space is endless after all.

Rating - 3.75-4

Thank you to Bloomsbury for sending me a copy for an honest review.

**This was quite an apt review in light of the reveal of the Twelfth Doctor; Peter Capaldi...What do you think? I think I'm warming up to having another Scottish Doctor. Though I am a Tennant Girl after all! :) Let me know in the comments! **

16 comments:

  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this! :) Like you I'm a huge Doctor Who fan, so all the sci-fi in the novel really was delightful! I felt a tad dissatisfied that the book just sort of ended, but I've heard that there *might* be a sequel... I'm not entirely sure about the details though.

    Anyway, great review Emma and happy reading! :D

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  2. I totally agree with you. I was confused at the start but later story started to wrap up and it really kept my attention. Also it might work better as a series. Great review :)

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  3. Super excited for this one Emma! I've heard from several people that it takes a little while to get into, but once you do, it just sucks you in and won't let you go till you reach the last page. I'm hoping it's going to be a series so that it will eventually move beyond average for you, plus I'm just a sucker for series. I like knowing I'll get more when I finish reading! Loved reading your thoughts:)

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  4. Although I really appreciated Marina by the end, I think I liked Em's character a little more too. I loved this book! I'm glad to see you enjoyed it overall too. I know the author is currently working on a sequel, so there's a good chance that we'll have another book one day. :)

    And I really don't know how I feel about Peter Capaldi! I don't mind that they've gone for an older Doctor, but I don't think I can judge him until I see him act. Really looking forward to his first episode though. :)

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  5. I'm glad you enjoyed this, Emma! I'm planning to start this one some time this week or next week. A lot of my friends liked this so I'm really excited to get started and meet these characters. And even though I haven't read this yet I'm with you for a second book too. Hahaha! Fantastic review! :D

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  6. I think this is a series (so I've heard), Emma. I've also heard nothing but praise for this story and it makes me want to pick it up. I'm always a little weary of time travel novels because I'm worried I'll be confused. Great review! :)

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  7. Unputdownable? Wow! I surely want to meet Em now and I definitely think the law of time is meant to be broken :) Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Interesting to know that about the beginning. If I read it then I will try to have patience to get to that 20% :) I'm actually kind of glad this is a standalone, there are so few nowadays. Of course, the author will probably end up writing a sequel anyway.

    Alise @ Readers in Wonderland

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  9. I;m glad that you were able to enjoy All Our Yesterdays despite some issues Emma. I absolutely adored this book and the entire concept, I'm a big Doctor Who fan, so I'll definitely be eager for more books dealing with time travel! Lovely review!

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  10. Loved this one so much! All of the timey-wimey stuff was amazing, my flatmate wasn't happy with all of my theories I was throwing at her haha
    So happy that you liked it overall, the characters were truly brilliant :D
    YAY FOR DOCTOR WHO! Tennant? You'll have to fight me for him ;)

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  11. Now I want to read this one even more - jealous of your review copy! I've heard nothing but praise, I'm really going to have to check it out.
    Lovely review, thank you =)

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  12. I really enjoyed this one too--thought the time travel was done well and easily digested by a younger audience. Can't wait to see what Terrill does in the sequel. I interviewed the author if you are interested: Cristin Terrill Interview/a>

    I am a Tennant girl all the way but I'm warming up to another Scottish actor too. Did you catch Broadchurch?

    My Friends Are Fiction

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  13. I loved this one! And YAY for a fellow Tennant girl! I'm a wee bit disappointed with how the last season of Doctor Who was going, so I'm hoping a change of Doctor might help me get back into the show!

    As for the book, the author has confirmed a sequel, so now I'm wondering what twists is she thinking on adding there!

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  14. Great review, I loved the contrast between Today and Yesterday too! The author did wonderfully with only a handful of characters. I find it hard to believe how Em turned out, and especially what happened to James.

    Check out my All Our Yesterdays review here!

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  15. Hmm this sounds like it might be kinda confusing, especially at the beginning, but it also sounds really exciting too! I actually was in Waterstones earlier today and I saw this but, you know, I had to restrain myself from buying it because, well, if I don't physically restrain myself from buying books I would end up buying half a bookshop every time I walked into one...

    OOH DOCTOR WHO!! *bounces up and down excitedly* I know, I'm not really a proper fan since I only just started watching from the second half of Series 7...before that, I had maintained resolutely that I hated Doctor Who...despite the fact that I had never watched it... Anyway, that doesn't matter because I finally came to my senses! And now, I'm catching up on all the Doctor Who episodes from Series 1 yay!!

    Whoopsies, got a little off topic there, but anyways, thanks for sharing your thoughts on All Our Yesterdays! I'm looking forward to reading it now ;)

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