I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen
Published by Mulholland on September 28, 2011
Genres: Dystopian, Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller
A fast-paced literary thriller that recalls dystopian classics such as1984 and Fahrenheit 451, from the award-winning author of The Last Town on Earth.
Zed is an agent from the future. A time when the world's problems have been solved. No hunger. No war. No despair.
His mission is to keep it that way. Even if it means ensuring every cataclysm throughout history runs its course-especially The Great Conflagration, an imminent disaster in our own time that Zed has been ordered to protect at all costs.
Zed's mission will disrupt the lives of a disgraced former CIA agent; a young Washington lawyer grieving over the loss of her brother, a soldier in Iraq; the oppressed employee of a foreign diplomat; and countless others. But will he finish his final mission before the present takes precedence over a perfect future? One that may have more cracks than he realizes?
The Revisionists puts a fresh spin on today's global crises, playing with the nature of history and our own role in shaping it. It firmly establishes Mullen as one of the most exciting and imaginative writers of his generation.
Were it not for my current goal of reading every dystopia ever, or at least the first in a series should it be a series, I would have stopped reading this book. From the very beginning, I found it boring, heavy-handed, and completely improbably. Not only that, but confusing to. The opening chapters alternate between the perspective of Z and a selection of other characters, who, for the first hundred or so pages meant little to me and were hard to distinguish and remember.
The book did get better once Z had less chapters and the other characters became more familiar, but I never ever liked it. For one thing, I’m really not into political thrillers, of which this is most definitely one. If that’s up your alley, you may want to go for this, despite my bad opinion or, perhaps, because of it.
I mentioned that the story struck me as improbably, which may seem strange from a person who just eats up all the latest paranormal nonsense and loves everything fantasy/sci fi. Here’s the thing. I think if someone’s going to write a book or make a movie on time travel, they have to be really careful explaining how that’s possible. This story did not do that. You pretty much have to have the characters travel to another dimension/time stream or have to make the declaration that everything happens as it did in the past, because your future was in the past. Mullen did not do this. They were capable of changing the past, and likely did frequently. That just doesn’t work, at least not with more of an explanation.
The one thing I really did like about the book was the interweaving between Troy Jones and Z. He finds himself become very bound up in his cover, and, in some ways, indistinguishable. This added a really cool psychological element to the story. Only, if I had written this, I would have ended the story on an awesome twist, rather than a boring logical conclusion to the ridiculous plot he wrote. It would have been so much cooler were it just about Z being crazy.