Even more than these delightfully surprising turns, the novel's strength lies in Kin's actions as he tries to save Miranda, both from a miserable life in which she believes her father abandoned her entirely — and from his own bosses ... Ultimately, Mike Chen's time travel narrative feels like an extended metaphor, and it's no surprise to see that Here and Now and Then is dedicated to his own daughter, Amelia.
Charming and satisfying ... As science fiction, this book brings little that’s new to the time travel genre...What makes this novel a delight is the very relatable tale of a father struggling to know and love his daughter, to protect her from harm while allowing her to make her own choices and fulfill her potential ... The people in the story are all well-drawn and believable, with no real villains. Even when the Temporal Corruption Bureau determines that Kin’s daughter must be killed to protect the future, the decision is represented by his fiancée’s brother, a likable friend compelled to do something horrible because it must be done. The ending is clever and surprising, a twist that neatly ties up all loose ends and provides a happy ending for all involved.
Stirring ... dedicates detail and precision to the vagaries and paradoxes of time travel, without sacrificing its vital emotional core ... Chen carefully balances heart, humor, and precise world building to bring alive an emotional and genre-bending story that will please fans of Doctor Who.
Kin is the perfect character to serve as the central focus of such a story. He’s a very average man – middle income, not brilliant but just exceptional enough to find himself in some extraordinary circumstances, a good husband, friend and father. His ordinariness makes him very relatable and helps craft a tale with fantastical elements into a book about issues most people can empathize with. The supporting cast is equally well drawn, especially Miranda. Each of her reactions to actions by Kin is typical in the best way; they are written with acknowledgement of standard human emotional responses but they capture the depth, agony and beauty that is everyday life and love. I especially appreciated that there were no villains here: just people trying to do their best in difficult circumstances ... a good read for people who like some heart with their paranormal tales or for people who like heartfelt tales and don’t mind if they are mixed with a bit of the paranormal.
Thoughtful and twisty ... a warm, moving story of a man pulled between two lives and families. With plenty of humor (for instance, Kin's daughter is a Dr. Who fan) and suspense, Chen has crafted an original and captivating story.
Heartfelt and thrilling ... Chen’s concept is unique, and Kin’s agony is deeply moving. His choices are often selfish but entirely understandable; he is human, with good intentions and profound flaws. Quick pacing, complex characters, and a fascinating premise make this an unforgettable debut.
Plot holes are neatly sidestepped as Kin explains who can time travel, when and how often, what the grandfather paradox is, and why he can't bring his daughter with him to 2142. Naturally, it takes time to set out the rules, and the explanations don't all make sense, but Kin's story isn't primarily about time machines or the Museum of the Modern Era that serves fast food as a curiosity in 2142. It's about a father who learns the value of being honest and authentic with the daughter he loves because in the end, there is never enough time ... A subtly woven meditation about the fragility of time raises the bar in this smart, fun, and affectionate story.