Review: Where Futures End by Parker Peevyhouse


where futures end parker peevyhouse coverFive teens.
Five futures.
Two worlds.
One ending.

One year from now, Dylan develops a sixth sense that allows him to glimpse another world.

Ten years from now, Brixney must get more hits on her social media feed or risk being stuck in a debtors’ colony.

Thirty years from now, Epony scrubs her entire online profile from the web and goes “High Concept.”

Sixty years from now, Reef struggles to survive in a city turned virtual gameboard.

And more than a hundred years from now, Quinn uncovers the alarming secret that links them all.

Five people, divided by time, will determine the fate of us all. These are stories of a world bent on destroying itself, and of the alternate world that might be its savior–unless it’s too late.

This was one of my most anticipated books of 2016, but was unfortunately a bit of a miss for me.  It’s certainly a highly promising and very memorable debut, but one that sadly didn’t live up to my expectations.

Let’s start with the positives. Ambitious in scope, Where Futures End is a puzzle of a novel that’s very fun to read. On their own, the elements in this novel aren’t all that unique; the versions of the future are ones seen many times before, but put together in this way, the story is highly original. Instead of attempting to come up with some super creative but highly implausible version of the future, Peevyhouse sticks with one that is scarily likely to come true – an increase in technology coupled with a rise in death and destruction. Its interesting to watch the progression of time, and fascinating to see how a small event can have a massive impact on the future. Today’s fact becomes the legends of tomorrow and truth and fiction fast become inseparable.

The paranormal elements are well handled, and strike a nice balance with the contemporary tone of the five fast-paced stories. It is necessary to read the stories in order, but each works as a solid short story in its own right. Some are confusing at times, especially the first story, but overall, the characterization and plot is extremely well done.

However, I was hoping for more, especially after reading Sedgwick’s brilliant The Ghosts of Heaven – a novel that is similarly structured. Where Futures End feels very YA, and doesn’t do much to transcend its genre. From teen angst, to video games, to dating, to boy bands, each story reads very much like a contemp novel. This isn’t a bad thing, as it shows that people are the same now and hundred years from now, but I would have liked to see something a little more out of the box.

Also, I’d have liked a much more profound ending, rather that one that seemed designed simply to be trippy and that attempts to tie the stories together. My biggest issue with this book is that there is no lesson at the end, no point to the novel, no comments made on society or human nature. No moment where everything clicks together, where everything is finally explained, just an ending that aimed to be shocking, but was really nothing more than confusing.

Where Futures End proves that just because a book is unusual and trippy, doesn’t automatically make it an excellent book. I’d still recommend reading it if it sounds interesting to you as maybe I just missed something and you’ll find it enjoyable, but I was certainly disappointed.


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