I think at this point, you’re probably fed up of me giving glowing reviews to Brandon Sanderson books, and I’m not sorry to say that this will be another.
Quite a departure from the last Sanderson book I read, this one was only 130 pages long, and far from being a fantasy epic, was a mini sci-fi detective story. It makes me sad that Sanderson can seemingly turn his hand to any genre he likes and write an amazing book, when I don’t have the imagination or skills to write anything.
With it only being such a short book, there’s not much time for back-story or character development, but it’s not many pages before you’re completely aware of the ‘snapshot’ system and invested in Davis and Chaz (a Chas and Dave reference perhaps?)
As you can expect, the drama unfolds pretty quickly and there were some pretty big plot twists at the end. In the prologue, Sanderson explains that he thought they would be obvious to the reader, but I didn’t have a clue, in fact, I had to read the last bits a couple of times to unpick what had happened, but then I could look back and see the clues that had been given.
A world where you can travel into a snapshot of previous events sounds great, when you can go back to the scene of a crime after it happened, you can get further evidence and witnesses that you otherwise might not have found. But as with any time-travel situation, you can also create ‘deviations’ from the true events, and they can be hard to manage. These were central to the story in a big way (no spoilers).
Now that it’s finished, I’m sad that it was such a short book, I’d love to delve into this further and spend more time exploring the technicalites of snapshotting, but I don’t think this will be the case.