Review: One Day All This Will Be Yours by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Rating: 8.5/10

Synopsis

Welcome to the end of time. It’s a perfect day.

Nobody remembers how the Causality War started. Really, there’s no-one to remember, and nothing for them to remember if there were; that’s sort of the point. We were time warriors, and we broke time.

I was the one who ended it. Ended the fighting, tidied up the damage as much as I could.

Then I came here, to the end of it all, and gave myself a mission: to never let it happen again.

Review

One Day All This Will Be Yours is a thoroughly entertaining smorgasbord of historical figures, time-traveller culls, advanced technology-fulled spats, and Allosaurus petting. There are enough drones and missiles and alternate timelines to sate any sci-fi fans need for it, all packaged with a highly addictive tone of voice, a character that is pretty-well-damned happy with their lot and won’t sit by while someone’s trying to ruin the peace – they only want the end of time to themselves so what’s the big fuss about?

The plot, in short, is about a man, a time-warrior, who has made his own bottleneck at the end of time so that anyone trying to travel to see how far into the future – and past the wars – they can go, all end up at his little slice of paradise; only, he isn’t going to let anyone past. Nor can he let anyone live with the information. And when a message from the future turns up, well, he must sort that out indeed. It’s a short one this, at some 137 pages, so easy to chow down on in an evening. To me, this novella was the Fall of Man, but in reverse. This is about a man who has found Eden and doesn’t want to share it with anyone, even if he’s the only one left who can turn the end of time into a new beginning. It certainly packs an awful lot of storytelling into a short piece, in some senses we go from the beginning to the end of time, and it’s such fun with a voice that’s so … jaded about the whole thing. But he’s got a lot to be annoyed about. He did take part in a causality war that shattered time into tiny pieces.

That jaded voice was what pulled me in, and why I kept reading; the plot is intriguing, but the character is even more so, he speaks with a tired lilt soaked in war, but more importantly in education. It struck me that he’s a bright, intelligent individual with a wealth of years behind him – also helped by the fact that’s he’s been able to traverse fragments of timelines, speak to Einstein and many more importants from history. The story tells us that he’s a well-travelled time-traveller, but what makes it genuine is that the voice reflects that experience. So, not only do we have someone who is telling all these things, but he manages to wear that in the way he speaks and what he speaks about; it is my first time reading anything by Tchaikovsky, but it was a delight if anything for the way that the voice and the story match up.

The latter half of the story had real Mr & Mrs Smith vibes (sorry … or enemies to lovers trope) and all the advanced tech that goes on with an argument at the end of the world was believable – scores of drones, genetically engineered creatures and dinosaurs. It really did get intriguing when they turned to despicable people from history to do their bidding. A Battle Royale of Historical Nasties. I mean, it really did tickle me when they had several versions of Stalin, Hitler and others duking it out in the latter half of the book, only for them to turn on them because who wouldn’t want to see those historical figures meet a … Miffly end?

Overall, for how short the read was, and it being the first time I’d read one of Tchaikovsky’s works, I had a great time and would recommend it. Thanks a lot to the team at Rebellion for sending me over a copy – I really did appreciate it.

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