Happy Wednesday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for A HISTORY OF WHAT COMES NEXT! You guys, I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH!!! I’m so excited today to share my review! This book is truly amazing and I’m so so excited to for you to find out more about it, PLUS enter for a chance to win a print copy!
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A History of What Comes Next by Sylvain Neuvel
Series: Take Them to the Stars #1
Published on February 2, 2021 by Tor.com
Genres: Adult, Alternate History, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction, Queer
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Showing that truth is stranger than fiction, Sylvain Neuvel weaves a scfi thriller reminiscent of Blake Crouch and Andy Weir, blending a fast moving, darkly satirical look at 1940s rocketry with an exploration of the amorality of progress and the nature of violence in A History of What Comes Next.
Always run, never fight.
Preserve the knowledge.
Survive at all costs.
Take them to the stars.
Over 99 identical generations, Mia’s family has shaped human history to push them to the stars, making brutal, wrenching choices and sacrificing countless lives. Her turn comes at the dawn of the age of rocketry. Her mission: to lure Wernher Von Braun away from the Nazi party and into the American rocket program, and secure the future of the space race.
But Mia’s family is not the only group pushing the levers of history: an even more ruthless enemy lurks behind the scenes.
A darkly satirical first contact thriller, as seen through the eyes of the women who make progress possible and the men who are determined to stop them...
- In the style of Jean Ralphio: 🎶 ALTERNATE HISTORY YEAH 🎶
- Okay, I know I say this literally. every. time. BUT. I REALLY REALLY SUPER DUPER LOVE ALTERNATE HISTORY BOOKS!!!!!!!
- I was looking at the reviews on Goodreads, and I think Branden Davis said it best: this book is for a very narrow audience. HOWEVER, I am that audience, so I LOVED it!!!
what i loved
ALTERNATE HISTORY. Show me historical fiction, and then say things like ‘BUT WHAT IF THERE WERE ALIENS’ and I. am. HOOKED. Also, and I really want to stress this, it’s dry. There is a lot of talking and backstory (or at least hints of it) and honestly not a lot of action. Personally, that’s how I like my books, but I know a lot of people don’t feel that way. Also, SCIENCE! Once again, I’m paraphrasing from Branden’s review, and I would like to say that I love all of the following: science-heavy sci fi, historical fiction, books about space exploration, stories about invisible minorities throughout history, mother/daughter relationships, and aliens. I think about half of that comes from loving the AMERICAN GIRL books growing up, and the other half comes from loving scifi like my dad.
what i didn’t
My number one complaint is the style of dialogue. Neuvel doesn’t use quotation marks or anything other than a dash to indicate when people are talking, and if you get lost at all it is extremely difficult to figure out who is saying what when. While this wasn’t too noticeable when I was listening to the audiobook, it was tremendously disjointed when I was reading both the print and digital versions. The only other thing I didn’t love is that it was a little too murder-y for me.
WILL I RE-READ IT?
Probably, but not until the audiobook is out for book two, just because that format made the most sense to me while I was reading this.
THREE WORDS TO DESCRIBE THE BOOK
destiny, rockets, tor.com
I read this book on my phone, my kindle, and my laptop. I kept track of what page I was on using a physical copy. I listened to the audiobook while I was driving. Most of the time, changing format doesn’t alter my opinion of the book much, but for this one it really, really did. When I was listening to the audiobook, it was clear who was talking. When I was reading it everywhere else, it wasn’t even always clear who was narrating the chapter until a page or two in (which is a big deal when the chapters are only a few pages each). If audiobooks are a thing you can do, I highly recommend listening to that versus reading the print or digital copies.
Orange ink on top of faded brown paper. Drawings of rockets. A plain serif font. There is literally nothing here that I like, yet… I almost like it all together. This cover tells me what I need to know; just by looking at it I can tell that it’s aimed at adults- not YA or MG, and that it’s science fiction. I wouldn’t have known it was alternate history just by looking at the cover, but I could probably guess that it was historical.
Basically, I like it even though I don’t like it? So… 9/10 stars!
a history of what comes next
Start by combining the dry ingredients, aka the storytelling styles of and And I Darken by Kiersten White and The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. Next, mix in the weird, queer, and occasionally dark science of ORPHAN BLACK, then add just a pinch of the same from DOCTOR WHO (specifically Bill Potts). For your base, layer The CHRONOS Files by Rysa Walker, along with Lady Astronaut by Mary Robinette Kowal, and “When Life Hands You A Lemon Fruitbomb,” by Amerie (from A Phoenix First Must Burn). Finish by adding a garnish of 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke, and you’re ready for A History of What Comes Next!
Quote obscure scientific research
Adopt every stray puppy she sees
Accidentally date a serial killer
What’s your favorite subgenre? (Related: do you have any alternate history books that you love?!) Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!