The Tomorrow Code by Brian Falkner
This book was so good, I couldn't wait until Friday to review it.
Tane and Rebecca have been friends for forever. Rebecca is the sciency one and Tane is the artistic one, which is why he isn't surprised when the question of time travel arises, Rebecca takes it seriously. Soon they are analyzing gamma ray bursts and there is a message hidden behind the random 0's and 1's. It is the next day's lottery numbers and an ominous end note. SOS. What is happening in the future that Tane and Rebecca would need to send a note back to themselves and can they stop something that has already happened?
This was one smart fun thrill-ride of a book. Set in New Zealand, this is a time-travel dystopian with a twist that really makes the reader think. It is a breath of fresh air to read a story in which America is not the cause of the world's demise. So nice to read a story in which it isn't set in the future United States of America. Even more refreshing is that this is one smart book. Brian Falkner has obviously done his research, creating creatures that are obviously fictional but with just enough truth to make it creepy. Imgaine this scene: Tane and Rebecca and Tane's brother Fatboy have been arrested. As they are trying to explain about how they ended up where they are (winner's of the lottery with a $4 million submarine) a fog rolls in. A fog with something moving within it. Something white and the minute it touches a human being, they disappear. Only their clothes are left behind.
Tane is a brilliantly flawed character. At one point, I was so upset about something that had just happened in the book, I could barely concentrate on work. He is friends with Rebecca, but he clearly likes her as well, and if things don't work out right, he could end up with Rebecca, forever. This may sound good, but spending the rest of your life in a submarine as the last remnants of the human race is not as appealing as it sounds. Rebecca is analytical and yet real, she screams in all the right places and is strong in all the others. And Fatboy. I cannot say enough good things about this Moko (Maori tribal face tattoos) wearing, Harley Davidson riding, brother.
The only drawback for American readers is the setting. Although I loved it being set in New Zealand, I have actually been to most of the places listed in the book and could easily picture them in my mind. Will young US readers be able to do the same thing? Perhaps they may need a map, but if that is the books only flaw than that isn't so bad.
WARNING: This book does not end all neat and tidy, but it will leave you thinking.