Title: A History of What Comes Next
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Narrator: Full cast – Jilly Bond, Richard Trinder, Andrew Byron, Dugald Bruce Lockhart, Imogen Wilde, Kevin Shen, Sylvain Neuvel, Laila Pyne, Thoms Judd
Release Date: 4/3/21
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 42
(see below for breakdown)
I received a free eARC copy from ,via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Imagine everything you thought you knew about human progress was wrong. What would you do?
Mia is not sure what she is, but she isn’t human. Smarter, stronger than her peers, all she knows are the rules: there can never be three for too long; always run, never fight.
When she finds herself in Germany, 1945, she must turn the Nazi’s most trusted scientist with an offer: abandon the crumbling Nazi party, escape Germany with your life, come to work for the Americans building rockets.
But someone is watching her work. An enemy who’s smarter, stronger, decidedly not human and prepared to do anything to retrieve something ancient that was long lost.
If only she had any idea what it was . . .
This was a really interesting story. It is a very slow moving book, that moves slowly through the developments leading up to the Space race, from just after the development of the V2 at the end of world war 2 to the first man in space. However, we don’t observe any of these events directly, instead we see them through the eyes of a very mysterious family, a mother and daughter that maybe have more influence on these events that anyone else thinks.
Its one of those books I really can’t quite put my finger on what I liked as when I try to reason it out it doesn’t seem to come out positive, despite that it just really resonated with me. This is a character heavy book, focusing on our mother and daughter pairing and there ancestries contributions to history, but we don’t really get to find out who or what they are. The plot is exciting yet also glacial in speed. Not much seems to actually happen as its not a direct action of the protagonist but more set in motion by their more subtle actions. The reflections on the main pairs ancestors was fun and fascinating but again we didn’t really establish why it was relevant to the plot of this book, yet! I could see some people finding this book weird and confusing but I genuinely really enjoyed it.
I like Neuvel’s writing style, I liked the narrative voices of the characters and how we were teased along by little bits of information about who they are, what they might be, what there mission ultimately is. I have theories and it is making me eager for the next book in the series. I loved the incorporation of real history. I wasn’t completely sure how much was fact and how much was fiction until I reached one of the ancestor flashbacks, where I knew the historical context quite well, and was impressed at how well Neuvel had weaved the fictional characters into the historical events. Probably the most interesting part was the authors note at the end. Neuvel discusses (It is voiced by him in the audio version) his various inspirations from historical events, to places, people, a dog or two and how he tried to incorporate all these events, including some tiny beautiful little details into the work.
As an Audio book this was brilliant. It was full cast which is always awesome. The female voice actresses were fantastic, Jilly bond is a well known narrator and really gives a strong feeling to the character. I did find the male actors a little too similar to distinguish between them sometimes.