A Goodreads Choice Awards 2019 Semifinalist
One of BookBub’s Best Science Fiction Books of 2019
One of Book Riot’s Best Books of 2019 So Far
One of The Nerd Daily’s Best Debut Novels of 2019
Featured in The Millions “A Year in Reading”
One of Entropy’s Best Fiction Books of 2019
He’ll go anywhere and any when to save his daughter
Kin Stewart is an everyday family man: working in IT, trying to keep the spark in his marriage, struggling to connect with his teenage daughter.
But his current life is a far cry from his previous career…as a time-traveling secret agent from over a century in the future.
Stranded in suburban San Francisco since the 1990s after a botched mission, Kin has kept his past hidden from everyone around him, until one afternoon, his “rescue” team arrives—eighteen years too late.
Their mission: return Kin to 2142, where he’s been gone only weeks, not years, and where another family is waiting for him. A family he can’t remember.
Torn between two lives, Kin’s desperate efforts to stay connected to both will threaten to destroy the agency and even history itself. With his daughter’s very existence at risk, he will have to take one final trip to save her—even if it means breaking all the rules of time travel in the process.
“Heartfelt and thrilling… Chen’s concept is unique, and [his characters’] agony is deeply moving. Quick pacing, complex characters, and a fascinating premise.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
In this heartfelt and thrilling debut, Chen revitalizes the trope of the absent and unavailable father by placing Kin Stewart in an impossible situation: despite living on the same California coast as his daughter, he is separated from her by a century. Kin is a Temporal Corruption Bureau agent from 2142, tasked with preventing temporal anomalies. While visiting the mid-'90s, he was trapped in time by a bullet from one of his targets; 18 years later, Kin has broken protocol and settled down in the past. He has committed to his life; his wife, Heather; and his teenage daughter, Miranda. But Kin can't hide forever, and eventually, the future catches up with him in the form of a best friend he barely remembers. Forced to return to 2142, Kin quickly finds himself at odds with his old friend, the TCB, and his life in the future. He misses his daughter, and when Miranda's life is threatened, Kin will risk everything including his own life, the future, and maybe even time itself to save her. Chen's concept is unique, and Kin's agony is deeply moving. His choices are often selfish but entirely understandable; he is human, with good intentions and profound flaws. Quick pacing, complex characters, and a fascinating premise make this an unforgettable debut.