What would you do if you suddenly found yourself twenty-five years in the past? For the nine-billion people of the year 2042 it's no longer a question ... it is a reality
When a seemingly simple experiment goes disastrously wrong, James Baston finds himself stranded alongside the rest of mankind, twenty-five years in the past. A past where the old are once more young, the dead live and the world has been thrust into chaos.
Contacted by the scientist responsible for the disaster, James is recruited to help avert an even greater catastrophe. Along with a team of scientists, a reincarnated murder victim and a frustrated genius trapped in her six-year old body, James must stop the certain extinction of humanity. But if the deluded leader of the Church of Second Redemption has his way, humanity will disappear into potentiality, and he is willing to do anything to ensure that happens.
A serial killer, a murder victim, a dead priest, and James' lives are all inextricably bound together as they plummet towards an explosive final confrontation, the winner of which will decide the fate of humanity.
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A native of Cardiff, Wales, Paul Antony Jones now resides near Las Vegas, Nevada, with his wife. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and commercial copywriter, but his passion is penning fiction. A self-described science geek, he’s a voracious reader of scientific periodicals, as well as a fan of things mysterious, unknown, and on the fringe. Paul is the author of six books, including the bestselling Extinction Point series and Toward Yesterday.
This is a good book. The beginning was excellent and the characters were fascinating. The beginning starts with James Baston kind of reflecting on his life. He is a bestselling author and he's writing his autobiography. You know there is more to the man than meets the eye and you soon find out. The other characters include Father Jacob (or is it Joseph..hehe), and a crazy-ass serial killer. Then there are the scientists. Oh boy scientists sure can cause problems (as well as create incredible solutions).
Now we go back in time. This is when the science behind the science fiction begins and the characters take a back seat to the science behind the story. I didn't enjoy the middle as much as the beginning and end but that doesn't mean it is a bad book. In fact, I literally flew through the book even though I had to reread some of the science terms a couple of times to figure out what the author meant.
Overall-very good book. I would have loved more emphasis on the characters and less on the science but even so, it was good.
So, some reviewers said they were lost from the beginning, some said they just hated it BUT I thoroughly enjoyed it. The players were great: Jim, Rebecca, Adrianna, Lorenz, Mabry, Mina, Simone and Lark.
Byron Portia made the story more interesting since he was a serial killer and Father Edward Pike was just insane. So there were all kinds of things going on besides working on how the “slip” happened and how to correct what had happened.
And I thought it was cool that everyone went back 25 years and one of the geniuses working at the lab had gone back to being her 12 year old self with all her knowledge intact, that was Adrianna. And one of the girls, Rebecca, that had been brought back to life was one of Byron’s victims.
There really was nothing boring or confusing about this book. I liked it. I don’t care what anyone says.
There was no sex, only fade-to-black and the F-bomb was used only ONCE. However, there were other swearwords.
As to the narration: Alexander Cendese did an awesome job on his voices and emotions.
The trial of an experimental military communications device causes a time slip with disastrous consequences for millions of humans who are taken back twenty-five years in time.
I did not enjoy this book for three main reasons.
Firstly, poor mechanics: The story was overwritten, especially during the action scenes where the pacing slows to a crawl because of the mass of details and adjectives. The point of view switched around anytime more than one character was present, Large chunks of back story were dropped into the text at inopportune times and often with no connection to the story. A professional edit would have pointed up the craft issues and improved this work significantly.
Secondly, the event that formed the basis of the story—the Slip—was described in retrospect. “Everything Changed” was the only explanation I received, and then I was taken on a tour of all the chaos, damage, and destruction this unexplained change had caused. I found this most unsatisfying because I wasn’t permitted to participate in the fundamental reason for the story being written.
And finally, the solution to the problem was filled with Deus ex Machina. One scientist points to some figures on a screen and calls over another interested party who declares, “How could I have been so stupid?” It drove me nuts!
Disclaimer: This review was originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. I may have received a free review copy.
Towards Yesterday is a PA book with a twist – time travel. Imagine your life now, your relationships, your job, your life. Now, imagine you are suddenly thrown back 25 years, retaining all your knowledge and memories, but you’re 25 years younger. People that have died in the last 25 years are alive again, people born in the last 25 years no longer exist. James Bastion is writing his memoirs on New Year’s Eve, when he is suddenly thrust 25 years into the past. The world is understandably thrown into chaos….and this is where the science comes into the story. Now, I’ll be honest, the science behind these books isn’t always my thing, and in Towards Yesterday, I confess I skimmed….but it doesn’t detract from the story, and the great characters (the 6 year old scientist is one of my favourites!) There is a religious element to this book, but it is important to the story, and isn’t too ‘in your face’. There’s also a rather spooky serial killer, a revived priest and a good female protagonist. It is a shame that the book isn’t a little longer, and didn’t delve more into the way that travelling back in time affected the world, and individual people in it, but this story is more centered on a central group. Overall I highly recommend this book, it does have the science behind the fiction, and is unique in the Post Apocalyptic genre.
Imagine if everyone on earth time traveled without warning 25 years into their own past. Where would you find yourself? In a classroom or job long-forgotten? In a body more agile? Who in your life would not yet exist and who long-dead would suddenly be alive again? Would it be a blessing or a curse? This is the premise that Jones explores in Towards Yesterday.
I found this book to be extremely intriguing and found it to fill the niche left behind by the cancellation of the Flashforward television series (based on the book Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer). Only, rather than everyone on earth experiencing their future, everyone on earth is catapulted and seemingly left stranded in the past. The well-crafted plot and 3-dimensional characters of Towards Yesterday make for a compelling read.
This author is growing on me such that I'd instantly snatch up any book he puts out there. If you're a fan of time travel or post-apocalyptic novels at all, do yourself a favor and download this book to your Kindle for $2.99. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
This was a interesting book, and a lot of fun to read. The concept of everyone on the planet slipping back into time 25 years (even if they had died in the original timeline) is a fascinating idea, with the potential for many entertaining details and sub-plots.
This book could have been longer, and I rather wish that it had been. There were various things I kept wondering about as I was reading, that fell outside of the scope of the main characters and their direct crisis. Nonetheless I would have liked to see them get explored a little.
For example, how must it feel to be a 40-something parent to flash back 25 years to realize your 24 year old son no longer exists, has been unmade so to speak. The chances of recreating him again with the right genetic raw materials is essentially impossible. Also, what of the many developments that had happened in the 25 years that had passed, which some people would be interested in recreating? Songs, medical advances, technological products.
There was a religious element/storyline in this book. At first I thought, oh here we go again, since so many post-apocalyptic stories go there. However, it turns out to be a necessary and fitting element to the plot, which is often the case (as well as not unrealistic). And, no this isn't your typical apocalyptic fiction, but fits enough of the criteria to suit most fans of the genre.
The author writes pretty well; although this is an indie book, so he was working without the benefits of the resources a publishing house can provide. One of the pluses of not having an editor is that the author can remain a bit truer to his/her original vision of a story. One of the downsides of course, is typos. Jones has had enough writing experience to keep the text fairly clean, but I did still notice a number of occasional typos... their/there, missing punctuation, etc. Now, this doesn't make the book unreadable by any means, but they are minor intrusions that will hopefully not survive in follow up books. Or he can just get a couple of his buddies/family to go over it to catch things he doesn't.
Side note: nice cover art. I've seen some indie books with very poor cover art, and sometimes that is enough to turn me off of a book... some people may be willing to buy a car that has a gazillion horsepower on the inside but rust on the outside, but most will not look that far, making sometimes incorrect assumptions about the contents. Jones was apparently wise enough to hire someone to put together something decent.
Overall, this is a book that is quite good, recommended to lovers of sci-fi, time travel in particular, and post-apocalyptic fiction.
In a world sinking into a morass of indifferent Fantasy, leavened only by the occasional Space Opera, it is a huge relief to read some 'proper' science fiction. You, know, fiction based on science.
Paul Jones' Towards Yesterday is unashamedly old school. The plot is well-paced and compelling, the science convincing, and the questions posed - both social and personal - leave the reader with plenty to ponder. I did take issue with the idea that Dirac's radio avoids the causal loop, based on the precept that it is information and not matter that is displaced in time, but that is a dispute with the theory, not the author.
I should point out that there is much more to this work; the characters are strongly drawn and the interplay of personality and circumstance compelling. I can unreservedly recommend you read Towards Yesterday if you prefer steak to hamburger.
I would actually rate this book 4.5 stars. Very well written and engaging novel of time travel of a sort. Not time travel in a science fictiony kind of way, but through a scientific experiment that goes horribly wrong.
Can you imagine being sent back in time to a much earlier phase of your life, but still retain all of the life experiences and knowledge that you have gained throughout all your years of living? It's a hard concept to wrap your brain around. HUGE. People that were in the present time were abruptly shoved back in time, to a life they'd already lived, but it was not the SAME life, because they had all their future years that they took back with them. Huge concept.
Some people the characters knew weren't in their former life because they hadn't been born yet....some who had died or were killed, were BACK again. SUCH a huge concept.
It's a twisty, turny journey as the people try to navigate their new existence, a group of them (some of whom had been involved with the initial experiment that caused the time shift, including a brilliant, well regard now SIX YEAR OLD scientist!) and try to correct the situation so that they can return to their former lives/time period.
There is opposition from a religious group, with dire consequences. There is murder, resurrection, love, and redemption...
Just when I thought that all forms of time travel and apocalyptic fiction had been at least partially explored, I discovered Towards Yesterday. This original and engaging approach to alternate history is groundbreaking in its perspective by transporting the mind of the characters and readers through a creative time warp that bypasses the traditional paradox of time travel by exploiting the vast potential of the newly proposed realms of quantum physics. Paul Jones clearly has a mind ahead of his time. Well done!
A scientific experiment gone wrong, and everyone has gone back in time. Those who died have been brought back, those who have aged are young again. But the apocalypse might happen more than once...
Toward Yesterday was a fun read, and a very well done story. The concept, and Jones' execution of the story is unique and the cast of characters he chooses were not hackneyed cliches.
I was particularly attracted to the character Rebecca, although she is not the main character. Through her story, Jones was able to illustrate - rather than outline - the emotional turbulence of someone filled with promise who is murdered before she can begin to fulfill it, and then returns to life.
James Baston, who returns and is brought onto the research team to try and prevent the second apocalypse, is a likable character whose story is both tragic and hopeful. His search for his wife and daughter is an interesting sideline that adds a significant - and unexpected - twist to the story.
I did have a "Um, what? Seriously?" moment when I read "President Susan Sarandon," but I suppose that a person who had read a book with President Ronald Reagan mentioned in 1960 might have scoffed as well. And it could have been even more hair-raising than that. If I had read the phrase "President Gwyneth Paltrow," I probably would have put the book down. The more I thought about it, the more realized that the author's choice as written was probably one of the more probable ones he could have made.
Jones writes one of the most original apocalypses that I've ever read. The kind of devastation that would be wrought by everyone slamming back into their past bodies (and everyone who had been born between those two points just disappearing) would be immense. Nearly unimaginable, frankly, but Jones does a great job of painting a world on the verge of completely unraveling. So good a job that I wanted him to spend a little more time taking the world apart rather than putting it back together, but that could be because I'm a little twisted. The book's four main characters, a scientist-turned-writer, a math genius who is also a murder victim, a priest who committed suicide and then was brought back, and the math genius's killer, are vividly drawn; I couldn't wait for them to collide. (My favorite character, though, is a scientist who gets slammed back into the body of her prepubescent self and is about as happy over it as you can imagine.) The book does drift into a few moments of fridge logic at the end, and the four didn't have quite the screamer that I wanted them to when they finally crossed paths, but Jones's writing is so crisp and evocative that the ride is still well worth it.
This is a hidden gem that would be a pure shame to miss. Toward Yesterday is an apocalyptic, science fiction thriller, that kept me sneaking away to read my Kindle for the entire Memorial Day weekend. Engrossing, thought-provoking, filled with lasting, vivid imagery...the story gripped me early, and didn't let go. Based around a future scientific/military experiment gone terribly awry (apocalyptic level destruction and death toll), the story ties together several strangers, as their post "event" paths collide, with potentially even deadlier consequences for humankind.
If you like post-apocalyptic books, you will thoroughly enjoy this one. The scenes surrounding the "event" are some of the most impressive apocalyptic imagery and action I have ever read. For a first time author, this is an incredible accomplishment, and for a self-published title, it contains few, if any, editing errors. This is a must read if you are a fan of science fiction or apocalyptic stories.
Man goes back in time and dates a woman young enough to be his daughter, other ramifications of the time-travel plot device not explored in great detail. Hackneyed science vs. religion subplot with no realistic motivation for the religious side.
A science experiment gone wrong catapults the world's population 25 years back in time, from 2042 to 2017. Everyone physically looks 25 years younger than they were, but still retain all knowledge, memory and experiences gained. Those who died during that period have returned to life and are reunited with loved ones. The main character, a renowned physicist, joins the team originally responsible for the cataclysmic event, to find a solution and return everyone back to their rightful time.
This book lost me almost right away. The author went overboard in his descriptions of various things. I think it was an attempt to use unique words and sound almost poetic, but it just left me exasperated. I also din't know what he wanted this book to be. Was it a story of relationships and second chances? There wasn't really enough on the relationships to say that. Was it a time-travel, post-apocalypse where the focus is on the attempt to survive the calamity? If so, unfortunately that part was kind of dull. One character was introduced very early on, and didn't resurface until the very end. What was the point of that? There was no battle of good vs evil, though there was a suspicious religious organization, but their purpose in the story was unclear to me.
Nothing was ever fully realized in this story. Everything just seemed very rushed and it left me feeling that the story really didn't have an identity.
This was a pretty good book, I loved the premise and the writing was pretty good. I wish it would have explored a few more of the social implications of the Slip back into the past, but my disappointment in that regard might just be my selfish love for really deep world-building.
Let's talk about 2 other books before I get into this review: 1) My favorite book of all time is Ken Grimwood's Replay. In Replay, a middle-aged man has a heart attack and instead of dying, wakes up earlier in his life, as a college student, complete with all the memories of the next 20+ years. He dies and re-awakens many times, and I don't want to spoil that book here, so I'll stop. But Toward Yesterday is exactly the premise of Replay, but extended to the entire population of the earth. Ok, so Toward Yesterday isn't exactly a truly original book, but there were many thought-provoking issues that came up, only some of which were brought up by the book, but quite a few that have me thinking (one, right off the top of my head: if a person was born only a short time (let's say "weeks") after the time reset, would they still be born the same person as before?) 2) Kurt Vonnegut wrote a book called Timequake, in which the entirety of the population jumps back 10 years, and with all memory of future events intact; however, they do not have the ability to change any actions, as they do not have free will. As is often the case with Vonnegut, the book was the story ABOUT the story, which will probably only make sense if you've ever read much Vonnegut. I was really hoping for so much more from Timequake, but was ultimately let down, as I felt that the ideas and ramifications of the time reset event were not really explored to any degree at all.
So... Toward Yesterday is the book that I'd wished Timequake could've been, even though I could not stop comparing it to Replay. However, to be perfectly clear - Toward Yesterday is definitely not as good as Replay, even though it had potential to be.
To me, this book failed to be as good as it could've been on 2.5 fronts: 1) The final 1/4 of the book has an additional layer of drama to it that is totally unnecessary, in my opinion. It's also based on a coincidence that one of the characters themselves mentions must be a trillion to one. Unfortunately, it was telegraphed from nearly the beginning and simply added nothing to the book beyond padding the word count. 1.5) There is a romance sub-plot that also seems totally unnecessary, or at the very least - totally underused () 2) The cop-out ending .
So in the end, I liked the book, but wish that it could've been just a little bit better.
Towards Yesterday is by far the best time travel story I've ever read. Well now that I think about it, it might actually be the only one that I've *read*, so let me try this again. Towards Yesterday is the best time travel story that I can remember coming across in any medium -- book, movie, tv show, or video game. I think the secret sauce to the premise in this story is that everyone goes back in time, not just one person or a few. Because of this, there is none of the cliché "oh no, we've changed something and now we need to restore our original time line".
Towards Yesterday gives an original spin on the old saying “If I only knew then, what I know now.” I genuinely liked the concept of the story, slipping back in time physically but not mentally…people who had died, reappearing, adults becoming children again, etc. Jones gives us some excellent imagery that had this reader cringing a time or two. The science element was VERY intriguing to me and engrossing but not so over the top that lay people can’t easily understand the concepts. And what concepts they are…tying the fabric of the universe to the fabric of our beings. Awesome. It was thought provoking, answered many of the questions it raised, and still leaves a reader with that “what if” feeling that draws one back for more.
A time travel story with a unique premise. Most time travel novels send one or two people into the future or the past. This novel shows what might happen if the whole world were reset back 25 years into the past. It was interesting to read about and started some discussions about what you might change if you could go back in time, with the acquired wisdom and experiences still in tact. What a great deal - younger body, less aches and pains, but all the things you've struggled through behind you!
It could have used a tad more editing, but I could hardly put it down.
The plot is very linear. The characters are fairly well developed but their relationships are not essential to furthering the storyline. Jones uses many words that I had to lookup - not sure how I feel about that. Much of the detail of the book is missing including most importantly the ending. The author is my opinion should have spent more time investigating the new interactions with being 25 years younger and having knowledge of the future.
For me, this book epitomises unfulfilled potential. The book starts well, and the immediate events after 'the Slip' (the event that causes everyone to jump back into themselves 25 years ago) are well described, feasible (relatively speaking), and exciting. The problem is that, for me at least, the author just doesn't know how to make best use of what is a very good premise. From about half way through the book I felt that serious problem began to emerge in terms of the plot and character development. Edward Pike is a potentially intriguing character and the de facto main villain, but who we actually learn very little about. The love story is perfectly inoffensive, but feels entirely unnecessary. The 'twist' involving two of the main characters is both blindingly obvious and highly contrived (even they comment about how unlikely it is). The scientific process was largely anti climactic because it was just a chunk of dialogue followed by a Deus Ex Machina moment, and repeat. And the actual ending was just an out of the blue way to ensure that the book could finish whilst also enabling the author to write about the last big action scene (which seemed to be in his mind from the start, along with the premise).
All of that is a shame, because there are some good ideas here, and the book is readable and generally pretty well written. It is a short book (less than 300 pages), and I can't help but feel that that is because the author had the premise and main twist in mind, and then build the rest of the story around them. If there were just a few more good ideas and time was taken to develop some other areas, such as the character of Edward Pike and the scientific process, this book could have been an awful lot better.
It feels harsh giving this 2 stars because there was a lot here to enjoy, but in what is a competitive genre I felt that the flaws stood out too much for it to be any higher.
I’m so glad I “discovered” this author this year! I’ve enjoyed this book (even a little more than some of his other books I’ve read recently). It took me a little while to connect with the story at the beginning, but honestly, I think it was just the audiobook narrator.
The story is good and original, I think I never read a time-traveling book like this one! I also found myself wondering "what would I be doing if I were thrown into the past like that?" a few times while reading, and that for me makes a sci-fi story amazing.
The plot moves along at a great pace and the characters are interesting and well portrayed. I still have some minor issues with the way the author presents some of the female characters, but nothing too annoying that would make me want to quit the book.
is a science fiction novel based on the idea that there’s a cataclysmic event in the 2040s that throws every human back in time by a quarter-century, their memories and abilities intact. It’s actually somewhat of an odd story concept, but author Jones handles it well, taking the reader first through the chaotic aftermath of the time-slip, and then pulling together a team of scientists to prevent another looming major crisis. The characters are interesting enough, both the heroes and.villains, and the plot mostly moves along at s brisk pace. There are a few weak areas in the book, but they’re relatively insignificant in what is overall an entertaining read.
I have enjoyed the author's Extinction Point series and thought I'd give this one a try. It is well-written in a style I find compelling and intriguing, but the ending doesn't fully deliver on the premise. This is an interesting, somewhat unique time-travel thriller, but it seems to me that it could have done more, addressing for instance just how much society would have changed if millions of people had foreknowledge of the future as the plot suggests. A worthwhile read, but not the best of the author's work.
I'm the most impatient reader ever. If you don't grab me in the first chapter, it will be hard for me to want to continue reading.
But something about the way Paul wrote the characters, and the science, caught my attention. This made me curious to see where the story went for these "time travelers". Not to give too much away, it's a twist I've never heard of! This made me want to continue. Really recommend this, to those that love brain twisted story lines.
With science fiction, there is expected to be a certain suspension of disbelief, often the reader does not have enough of a science background to fully understand the mechanics of the 'science' at the core of the story. But the author has to sell the story and make the reader believe. It didn't happen for me. And that to the shallow stereotypes and old tropes divided among the stock characters portrayed and I admit to disappointment. Your experience may vary.