In the Present Tense, by Carrie Pack
Publisher: Interlude Press
Release Date: May 19, 2016
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Miles Lawson goes to sleep dreaming of a future with his boyfriend Adam, but wakes to find he is married to Ana, an acquaintance from high school. When he learns he has been time traveling, Miles is consumed with finding a cure for his rare condition—and finding his first love.
Traveling more frequently, Miles assembles the puzzle pieces of his life and, in doing so, alienates his wife. As he loses control, Miles must realize that sometimes fixing your past mistakes means changing your future. But will he be able to convince Adam he is telling the truth before it’s too late?
(highlight below to read additional tags/warnings, which may be spoilery)
Time travel is 1000% my thing. I will ramble at you about my favorite time travel novels given even the slightest sign of interest (no, seriously, as me about The Time Traveler’s Wife). And this book absolutely shines as an example of the genre.
In fact, the only reasons I’m not giving this a 5 out of 5 are two-fold, and really just personal preferences:
- It ends unresolved. I tweeted Carrie and confirmed that a sequel was in the works, but not knowing that going in almost had me throwing my book across the room when I hit the last page.
- I really disliked the fact that (highlight because spoilers!) Ana becomes the bad guy, and I absolutely detest novels with bisexual MCs where the female love interest becomes the bad guy. That said, I can see why the author went this route, and it’s definitely a personal preference.
Now that we’ve moved past that, let me tell you how much I freaking loved the overwhelming bulk of this novel. I mean, yes please, I need that sequel now. Miles is a joy to read, and his differently-aged personas are distinctive, realistic, and charming. And as both a teenager focused on his boyfriend, and an adult in love with his wife, he is devoted and driven, but still flawed, and I could relate to him entirely.
Ana and Adam as the opposing love interests were also fully recognized and given equal attention, really showing Miles’ bisexuality. I think that’s rare in a novel with a bi MC, at least in my experience, so I’m glad we got to see Ana and Miles in a genuine, loving relationship!
Plot-wise, I thought the mystery and the entwined timelines were fantastically done. I loved slowly picking apart the various threads, trying to guess what had happened (and what was about to happen). It’s hard to talk about the plot without spoiling anything, but Carrie really shows her skill in writing two (okay, three… no, four?) plotlines alongside each other in a way that was never confusing for me as a reader.
I am incredibly impressed with this novel, and plan to tirelessly follow Carrie’s every tweet until she announces a sequel, because I desperately need to know what happens next in Miles’ present and future!
Carrie Pack is the author of Designs On You and a part-time college professor who recently left her job in marketing to actively pursue her writing career. Carrie lives in Florida, which she fondly calls America’s Wang, with her husband and four cats.
Find Carrie online at http://carriepack.com/
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.