Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs

Regular readers will be shocked to hear this, but I read a YA and I liked it. Yeah, I know, hard to believe. But this time-travel suspense is well done and there are no whiny high-schoolers to be seen. Yay!

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Future ShockTitleFuture Shock
AuthorElizabeth Briggs
SeriesFuture Shock, Book 01
Publish Date: April 5, 2016, Albert Whitman & Co
Genre: YA Sci-Fi (time travel suspense)
Cover: Paul Stinson
Narrator: Erin Spencer
Source: ARC from publisher/purchased audio

Publisher’s DescriptionElena Martinez has hidden her eidetic memory all her life—or so she thinks. When powerful tech giant Aether Corporation selects her for a top-secret project, she can’t say no. All she has to do is participate in a trip to the future to bring back data, and she’ll be set for life. Elena joins a team of four other teens with special skills, including Adam, a science prodigy with his own reason for being there.

But when the time travelers arrive thirty years in the future, something goes wrong, and they break the only rule they were given: do not look into their own fates. Now they have twenty-four hours to get back to the present and find a way to stop a seemingly inevitable future from unfolding. With time running out and deadly secrets uncovered, Elena must use her eidetic memory, street smarts, and a growing trust in Adam to save her new friends and herself.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

When I was at BEA last Spring, I saw a poster of the cover of Future Shock on one of the booth walls. Thinking it was a new urban fantasy (because … tattooed chick with a city backdrop … kind of indicative of the urban fantasy genre), I asked after the book. Turns out I was at the Albert Whitman & Co. booth. Albert Whitman is a publisher of children’s books. Yes, I was eyeballing a YA book! It felt kind of dirty, like I, at 40-something, was admiring the backside of a high-school boy. But I just couldn’t get over that cover. So, I brought the book home, but put off reading it for almost a year.

Much later, I heard from several people that the book was getting quite a lot of praise, the cover was still calling to me, and the sequel became available on NetGalley (with another awesome cover). So, I requested the sequel from NetGalley and put Future Shock on the review schedule.

I’ve been in a listening mood rather than a reading one, so I looked up the audiobook. The audio happens to be read by Erin Spencer, whose voice I know and love from the Halfway Witchy books by Terry Maggert. That made me happy.

I give YA a hard time on this blog, but what I really don’t like about some YA is whiny teenagers, stupid decisions, and raging hormones. That might be an accurate reflection of real life, but I don’t want to read about it. I also don’t want to read stories set in high school. I had enough of that horror when I was in high school. However, I have no problem with good stories that just happen to have young characters. I’d classify Future Shock as one of those.

I feel this is really a suspense story. It does involve time travel a short way into the future, which is integral to the mystery; so there is a slight sci-fi aspect to it.  It’s not hard sci-fi, by any means, but there is some fun speculation about what our world might look like in the near future, which I would guess isn’t too far off the mark. I’m rooting for the self-drive cars at the very least.

The kids in this story are seventeen or eighteen. All of them have had difficult lives, and so have both the pros and cons that come along with that. They are pretty self-sufficient, decent problem solvers, and capable of handling themselves. Their skills aren’t too exaggerated for their ages and situations, which is nice to see. There are some romantic feelings between two characters, but it isn’t the focus of the story, and the one intimate moment is handled very well, actually.  The kids seem to make appropriate decisions, have appropriate values and priorities, and behave appropriately for their situation. I wouldn’t have any qualms about allowing a young person to read this book.

I did have one question, though: where does a foster kid get the money for extensive tattoos? Those things are expensive. Cool, but expensive! Would Human Services have a problem with a foster parent giving a foster kid money for tattoos? Inquiring minds want to know.

The mystery and suspense is well done.  I was one step ahead of the characters at the first big reveal, but I didn’t have anything figured out after that. I was invested in the characters enough to feel nervous for them; I really wanted to see them succeed.

badge5v5I have to say I like this book. More than like, actually. I’m impressed, and I am looking forward to reviewing the next book, Future Threat, for next week.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

Weregirl by C.D. Bell and Heartborn by Terry Maggert are two other YA books I’ve read that have good characters and good story without the whining. 🙂

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

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About Invested Ivana

I'm currently a freelance line editor, a book blogger at One Book Two, and lifetime reader. I like geeky things. All opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not reflect the opinions of Red Adept Editing or any of my clients, the other reviewers on this site, or this site as a whole.

Posted on February 21, 2017, in 5-Great, Invested Ivana, Review, Sci-Fi, Thriller/Suspense and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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