That’s the first line of Daniel Price’s refreshing novel The Flight of the Silvers*, one of the most entertaining time-travel stories I’ve read in years. This first line signals not only that we’re in for some weird time-bending stuff but also that the author is interested in realism, not just the fireworks of mind-bending world-building. (Don’t worry, there’s that, too.)
As children, two sisters, Amanda and Hannah, witness time stand still when three mysterious and quite possibly malevolent strangers inexplicably rescue them from a — relatively speaking of course — mundane accident (near Chicopee, for my fellow Mass Pike-goers).
Seventeen years later, Amanda and Hannah are as different as two sisters can be, and yet, they, along with four strangers, are rescued from the end of the world by the silver bracelets snapped over their wrists by the same shadowy figures from the Massachusetts Turnpike.
Then the really weird stuff begins.
In their new world, which, refreshingly, is neither utopia nor dystopia, just a topia (ok, alt-topia), the six strangers navigate an America they don’t understand (that’s where the very cool world-building comes in) and personal powers that surprise and shock them. (I don’t want to give too much away, but think X-Men meets time travel meets Terminator 2. Kinda.) The forces tracking them are powerful in different ways, and are largely unfriendly, to say the least: the menacing, powerful strangers who saved them from apocalypse; an FBI-type agent hoping not to get an NSA-like agency involved; a group of strangers with their own superpowers and everything to lose; and a psychopath from their own America with a nasty grudge.
Two squabbling, sisters, one recovering alcoholic, one boy genius with possible sociopathic tendencies, one teenage girl, and one cynical comic-book artist attempt to evade them all without losing themselves in the process. While The Flight of the Silvers is a rollicking and often funny piece of speculative fiction, Mr. Price also asks questions about community, isolation, family, and immigration that figure prominently in our own place and time.
And a final word to the wise, dear readers: The Flight of the Silvers is the first in a multi-part series, and from where I sit, there’s no way it won’t become a film franchise.
*My thanks to Blue Rider Press for sending a review copy of The Flight of the Silvers.
Tomorrow: An interview with Daniel Price, author of The Flight of the Silvers.