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I Belong


Early Review: Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs

Future ShockTitle: Future Shock

Author: Elizabeth Briggs

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Series: N/A

Publication Date: April 1, 2016

Format: Hardcover, 272 Pages

ISBN-10: 0807526827 (AW Teen)

ISBN-13: 978-0807526828 (AW Teen)

Reviewed by: Kristie

Synopsis:

Elena 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 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.

Quick & Dirty: Intense, fast paced read with a main character who just wants to do good for herself.

Opening Sentence: I can already tell this is one of those moments I’ll later wish I could forget.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Future Shock is a young adult novel but with the cover and main character, I felt like this was more of an adult urban fantasy novel. The story itself deals with some pretty heavy issues but it can be read by young adults and adults. It kind of reminded me of early young adult Christopher Pike mystery/thrillers.

Elena Martinez is worried about her future. She is a foster child and in a few short months she will be eighteen and forced out of the system. She has a plan but she can’t do it if no one will hire her. She doesn’t want to be another statistic. She wants to help other children like her from being lost in the system. At the beginning ofFuture Shock, she is trying to get a job but because of her looks, i.e. her tattoos, no one will hire her. Although she would have made a kick ass waitress.

Elena has an eidetic memory which she seems ashamed of, instead of wowed by her gifts. (I wish I could remember everything, especially all the books that I read.) She tries to hide her gifts because they seem to single her out and give her unwanted attention. She believes that she has been doing a good job until the day the Aether Corporation offers her a one day job that will have her set for life. It is a job that is too good to be true and would pay enough to allow her to go to college and be the social worker that she wants to be.

Aether Corporation has hired a group of teenagers with certain “skills” to go into the future for them. They want these kids to retrieve, in other words “steal”, technology and information from the future that would benefit the company. The kids would only be gone for a matter of 12 minutes in the present but would be stuck in the future for 24 hours. Aether Corporation doesn’t say much about anything, and I mean ANYTHING, they are basically just given backpacks and told to document whatever technology that they can. The only thing Aether actually tells them, is that they are warned against finding themselves or information into what happens to them in the future. One thing I’ve learned, don’t tell someone not to do something, because that is exactly what they are going to do.

Once in the future, Elena and the gang do try to do as they were tasked but then too many issues kept arising on their scouting mission so they decide to look into their past. When it is discovered that all of them, except one, die within 24 hours after leaving the future, the group go on a mission to find out how to stop their deaths and why they were killed in such a short period of time.

I really liked Elena. She has spunk and fire. She is also very fierce and hostile, some may say she’s got some anger issues because she is always on the attack and always wanting to punch something. Elena only trusts herself and she does try to stick to that on the mission, even though Adam has slowly been dissolving the walls that she protects herself with. Elena is also fighting herself, she thinks that she is destined to do bad and be a bad person. She doesn’t want to be that person. I love how the cover shows off Elena’s tattoos as they are described in the story. I was a bit frustrated with Elena’s decision making after she gets out of the future but overall, I really liked her as a character. The story was told entirely through her first person narrative so you don’t know the motives of the other characters.

This was another story that I was annoyed by how little was revealed, especially by Aether when they have kids going into the future. I was expecting someone to take Elena aside and say “Hey, I need you to do this…. While you are in the future.” But that didn’t happen. When it was revealed that all but one die, I really wanted to know why and how. I had all these theories in my head. I wasn’t surprised that some things I thought were right on while others differed but in the end I was really pleased with the ending.

Future Shock was an intense, fast paced read for me. (I did find out afterwards that I got an ebook ARC that was missing chapter breaks and the countdown timer while Elena was in the future. I honestly didn’t even notice. I was so sucked into the story.) I really recommend Future Shock for fans of urban fantasy type stories.

Notable Scene:

From the ground, Trent kicks at the second cop’s leg, distracting him. I spring forward, bringing the baton down on a spot between the cop’s shoulder and his arm, where the armor looks weaker, probably to allow for movement. He instantly jerks and falls to the ground.

The other cop is back on his feet and smashed into me before I can react. He slams into the wall, pinning me with his heavy armor. My forehead bangs against the concrete, hard, and for a moment everything goes dark. Pain screams along my temple and into my skull.

Instinct starts to take over. I have to fight. I have to get away, no matter what the cost. I won’t be a victim ever again.

The cop grabs me, yanking my arms back. His big, gloved hands bite deep into my skin.

Big mistake.

Fear and anger, my oldest friends, explode inside me. A red haze clouds my eyes as I fight back against the cop. I yank my arms free and spin around. I kick. I punch. I bring the baton down, again and again and again.

“Elena, stop!” Arms wrap around my waist and pull me back. I struggle, ready to kill whoever is touching me now. But this touch doesn’t make me flinch. The familiar voice shouts my name again and breaks through my fury. Adam.

I blink and my vision clears. Sweat and rain cling to my face and hair. Both cops are on the ground. Neither one moves.

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FTC Advisory: Albert Whitman & Company provided me with a copy of Future Shock. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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