Here and Now and Then

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

Kin has a wife, a teenage daughter and a job in I.T. in the San Francisco Bay Area. Everything’s pretty good except that he’s been having some dizzy spells, headaches and blackouts — which get worse every time he tries to remember his life from before he got married. He was a time traveler from the year 2142, and when he got stranded on a mission in 1996, he settled in to a new reality. He can remember almost nothing about his previous (future) life.

And then an agent from the future finally does come back to get him. The agent and the time-traveling agency both expect Kin to have avoided contact with others, not done anything to disturb the natural order of things or corrupt the timeline. So the fact that he has a wife, Heather, and daughter, Miranda, causes some consternation. At least they are allowed to live, but Kin has to leave them and return to the future — a life he hasn’t lived for 18 years — and a fiancée he doesn’t remember.

Kin slowly gets familiar with his old life, but he misses the family he can no longer be with. And his efforts to find out what happened to them, and then to stay in touch, eventually lead to serious problems for the agency and even history. His daughter is put in danger. And Kin has to decide if — and how — he can break the rules again to save her.

Here and Now and Then is a story about time travel, but it’s mostly about family and the parent-child bond. The interactions between Kin and his past family and future fiancée and friends feel real and exhibit the mix of fun, closeness and difficulties that exist in any relationship. His love for his daughter is the driving force of much of the story, and how everything plays out is sweet and poignant and fits together so nicely.
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If you love time travel books,then this is the book for you. Kin Stewart is a time agent from the year 2142 trying to prevent any timeline corruptions in the past, but when his mission gets botched,he gets stuck in the 20th century and makes a new life for himself and slowly forgets his past life. He eventually gets retrieved but they want him to forget his past and forge on with his future but how can you when you have married and have a child you love dearly and will do anything to protect her future no matter the cost. I enjoyed reading this book and it wrapped up in a satisfying if not slightly predictable way for me. Guess I watched too many Back to the Future movies😄.
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Overall this was a great book. It’s not usually what I would reach for but I quite enjoyed it. 
Although it did take awhile for me to get into it.
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Kin is a time travelling secret agent from the future. On a mission gone wrong, Kin becomes stuck in the past for eighteen years. During that time, he gets married and has a child. His daughter Miranda is a teenager when he’s finally rescued and forced to return to his own time. There he discovers his forgotten life which includes a fiancé. He cannot keep Miranda from his thoughts and breaks the rules to follow her life. When her life is endangered he must decide how much he is willing to risk to save her. This unique novel hooked me from the start and kept me reading until the end. I liked the ideas the author had about what the future could be like, and the idea of not only the possibility of time travel but time travelling secret agents hired to preserve the past. Ultimately though this was not a science fiction novel but a general fiction novel about family and relationships. I would have liked to have more details about the future itself, how time travel came about and would have liked to see Kin and Markus do a couple of missions before the one Kin had that went wrong. All in all a good story and I give it 4/5 stars.
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I loved it. That was perfect. When i read the synopsis, i was so  intrigued. I love time travel stories. Mike Chen did an amazing job. I can't wait to read more of his stories.
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This was such an interesting read from start to finish. When I first heard about this book, I was so intrigued. The premise was just too interesting to pass up. A time traveler that ends up living a double life after a series of mishaps? Yes please. And while I thoroughly enjoyed this book for the most part, there was a certain point where it just started to fall flat for me. The beginning was so interesting, as we got to see Kin's life from the incident onwards. And it still kept me reading as we got to see more of his other life. I loved the mechanics and science behind all of the time traveling. I guess that's just a thing I like in books these days. But there was a certain point in the book where things just got weird and annoying. I can't say too much because of spoilers, but Kin becomes one of the most frustrating characters. I also wasn't a fan of the ending for him, or really for anyone else. It just feels like there's something missing from it. Overall, I would recommend this book to people (and I already have, trust me), and I'm sure that others will enjoy the parts that weren't my favorite.
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Mike Chen’s debut novel Here and Now and Then begins with a man out of time. Kin Stewart is an agent for the TCB (Temporal Corruption Bureau) who gets stuck in the late 1990s when his retrieval beacon gets damaged. It takes two decades for the Bureau to find him, and by then he’s broken their cardinal rule not to mess with the past by marrying his wife Heather and fathering a daughter, Miranda. Corruption to the timeline is negligible, so the TCB allows him to return to his job and agrees to let Miranda live, as she had little effect on history. Kin longs to know how his daughter’s life turned out, and the actions he takes when he finds out puts both their lives—and the world as he knows it—at grave risk.
Here and Now and Then succeeds at all the fundamentals: strong premise, likeable characters, focused plotting, steady pacing. The novel takes few risks though. It ignores intriguing dramatic possibilities in favor of the standard action movie scenario of a father trying to rescue his daughter from certain peril, and there is minimal pulse-raising in terms of suspense and upping the stakes. It’s a pleasant and emotionally satisfying time-passer, if not very distinctive.
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An utterly irresistible novel about time travel. It's fun, full of suspense and emotion, & the characters are fantastically developed. I'm including this book in our book club's next poll with hopes of it winning so that I can discuss it with the group.
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I enjoyed the book due to the interesting story and because I was rooting for Kin Stewart but I had hoped for a more emotional center. Even though I understood he had these two lives, torn between two women he loved for different reasons and a daughter he refused to let go of, I found myself wanting more. I needed to have seen more of his life as a regular family man with a wife and child and then more of his relationship with his girlfriend in 2142 to feel invested in it all. Because it's not just about Kin, it's very much about the people in his life and how their lives are changed by his career as a time-traveling agent. There's a moment later in the book (too late in my opinion) where the 2142 girlfriend suddenly realizes that he's lived something else entirely separate from her and up until that point, I had been so frustrated with her and everyone in the future for not getting that. Maybe that's the point? But I think the plot, the urgency and what Kin needed/wanted would've resonated more if he had driven that point harder with everyone from the start and if we got to see more of why he couldn't let that "old" life go.
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This time-traveling story is an emotional one. Kin’s place is not easy... How can you do parenting between 2 eras? That’s what happens when your rescue team doesn’t come before 18 years and you built a life for yourself in the era that you are stuck in... and that you care so much about your kid that you break a couple of rules to make sure that she’ll be okay. I muttered to myself all throughout the book. It’s so good, and all the feels...!!!

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an review. Thank you so much!!
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Here And Now And Then is a sweet story about the lengths a father will go to to save his daughter. 
The trouble with time-travel books is that they always ask me to suspend some kind of belief, because the story always hinges on some sort of absurd premise that is somehow less believable than fairies. In Here and Now and Then the premise is that a time-traveler’s brain can only handle one era at a time. But that just doesn’t work for me. The human brain is super malleable and has the capacity and flexibility to remember lots of things about lots of time periods and living it makes it even more possible. Because of this, I bounced off of some of what makes up the central premise of the story.

That all being said, I otherwise really enjoyed Here and Now and Then quite a lot. Kin’s struggle to reconnect with his life in the future after living for 18 years in the past and his desire to stay connected to his life in the past felt real. His desperation to stay connected to his daughter and save her from forces beyond her reckoning leaked off the page. My heart broke for him over and over.

Here and Now and Then is very character driven, and the side characters are all engaging and fleshed out, with their own lives, desires and fears.

This book is so full of little twists and is thoughtfully woven together, which makes it a bit of a challenge to review, since even characters are spoilers!

I’ll just say this, if you love stories driven by love for family and are looking for a great new read and want a bit of time traveling chaos added to the mix, Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen is your book.

Also, Mike’s a super nice guy. I met him at a discussion at WorldCon last August and he was awesome. Here and Now and Then is his debut, and I can’t wait to see what he writes next.

Thank  you to Mira Books for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Enjoyed this action/adventure/love story set in the San Francisco Bay Area that spanned centuries.  Kin's struggle to reconcile two lives in two different timelines was relatable. Very satisfied with how the past helped the future without creating a Grandfather Effect.  Love, especially between fathers and daughters, truly is eternal.
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Stranded in 1990's San Francisco, time traveller Kin Stewart integrates into society and makes a life for himself, gets married and has a family. When the recovery team comes for him and returns Kin to 2142, what was 20 years for Kin has only been a week for those he left behind in the future and he struggles to stay connected to both timelines. When Kin discovers that his daughter is in danger, he does what any father would do - protect his child at any cost.

I LOVED this book! A wonderfully refreshing and engrossing read. Debut author Mike Chen deftly and elegantly weaves together sci-fi time travel and family drama into an exciting, thought-provoking, irresistible, emotional and touching read. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin - Mira for providing a digital copy in return for an honest, unbiased review.
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4.5 stars

I know I don’t read a lot of adult science-fiction (too many older white men who complain about things not being ~sciencey~ enough) but Here and Now and Then sounded right up my alley. And you know what? IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT. 

I loved reading. I loved it so much. 

I know Chen shared how he was scared it was too literary for adult science fiction, but it is definitely not too literary in my eyes. It was the perfect amount of literary–the dash of literary that makes it appealing to a more casual reader (like me!). 

This dash of literary made the story so heartwrenching (this is why I hate time travel stories–because the nature of time travel is just kind of horrible to families) and reading about Kin trying to make it back to his daughter Miranda made me cry twice while reading. 

Yeah, I know. 

The entire “literary” portion with the family themes were so strong and powerful (probably also what made it relatable to a YA reader like myself). I mean, Kin is a 40 year old man, an age bracket I don’t normally relate to, but I loved this a lot. 

He’s ripped apart from the family he has created after getting stranded in time–namely, away from his daughter Miranda–and this leads Kin to do a lot of things to both communicate with her, as well as eventually save her. 

It’s heartwrenching, and I was definitely a little sad (also a little happy) at the ending. Which wasn’t like Super Sad, but I wish the world wasn’t so cruel that it had to end this way 

(But really, Chen made the best ending I could imagine without completely defying all the natural laws he set up in the story.)

And even more than the family portion, reading Kin try and figure out his feelings towards the girlfriend he forgot about when he was stranded, Penny, and the family he created in the past was really interesting and I loved it. 

Where the half star came off was honestly from the Penny side–I wish we got to see a little more oomph–impact–from Kin and Penny’s new relationship. Because I think she got the page time she deserved, but I wanted a little more meaning + thought into this part of Kin’s life. 

Other than that though, this book was honestly almost flawless. I loved the way everything came together (also, how everything ruined each other because that’s what good plots have) and the time travel was sciencey enough that I enjoyed it, but not too sciencey that it felt like Chen was trying to intentionally confuse the reader and be ~cool~.

Overall, this was an amazing read and I really appreciated so many parts of thisbook, even as a YA reader. I loved the family potrion, I loved the plot, and I loved reading about Kin’s struggles reconciling his old life, his new life, and his old old life. Chen did such a great job with this and I definitely recommend to anyone looking for a moving adult sci-fi read that could still be enjoyable to YA readers.
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I received an ARC via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. One of my guilty pleasure movies is Timecop, the 1990s Jean Claude Van Damme movie where he works for an agency that stops people from going back in time to either try to change the present or, more commonly, try to steal money. It’s not a good movie, but JCVD punches and kicks loads of people, and Ron Silver is delightfully over the top as the villain.

Anyway, Kin Stewart, the narrator of this book, works for that agency in the year 2142, when a freak accident strands him in the 1990s. He slowly loses his memories of his future life, he falls in love, marries, has a daughter, and would have lived out his days peacefully in our time except a second freak event finally alerts the agency to his location for rescue.

To say more would spoil this entertaining, unpredictable story. There aren’t really plot ‘twists’ in the way that word is usually used. Instead, just when you become comfortable that you know where the rest of the story is building towards, that issue gets resolved and the story starts building towards a different potential climax. The rules of time travel in this book work well, even though like any time travel novel, they are contrived to fit the story being told. In this case, the book uses time travel to tell the story of a man trying to navigate having two families, like a widower or, I suppose, a bigamist. :)

Here and Now and Then has a nice balance of plot, action, and emotional depth. The characters interactions are believable and moving. A fast, enjoyable read. Recommended.
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This is the first novel by Mike Chen and it's science fiction with a good story line.  Kin is a time traveler from 2142 who visits earth in the 1990's San Francisco.  He lives here in real time and begins to lose his memories and thoughts when there is a glitch in his return trip. A rescue team arrives when he has been missing for a few weeks in 2142 but it's been 18 years for him is California.  With is biggest concern for his daughter Miranda in 2142 his existence  could change time forever.  I'm not a big sci/fi reader but this one held my interest and I was satisfied with the ending. Time travel readers will enjoy the story. I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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3.5 stars, rounded up. 

Here and Now and then sounded very different from the usual books I read. I don't delve much into science fiction or time travel, so I was intrigued by this one. Kin Stewart is a time traveler from 2142 stuck in the 1990s. He gets married and has a daughter named Miranda, all while keeping his past a secret from his family. Eventually his rescue team arrives, where only a few weeks have passed instead of eighteen years. Kin is returned to 2142 without getting to say goodbye to his family, and he must come to terms with the fact that he has a fiance in this other life. Unable to let go of the past, Kin tries to connect his two lives, but in doing so he puts his daughter at risk. He must undergo one final trip through time to save Miranda.

I thought this was a very imaginative and unique tale. I felt for Kin when he was struggling between his two worlds and was unable to accept one or the other. I just had a hard time getting through the book for some reason. I almost had to force myself to pick it up each time, and sometimes I had a hard time remembering what I had read. I will say that I am a fan of Doctor Who, so I loved the references there. This may have simply not been the right book for me, or the right time to read it. I think Mike Chen is talented though, and I plan to look for more from him!
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I wish there had been a bit more time spent on the opening section of the book to get me more invested in Kin’s relationship with his wife and daughter. That part seemed rushed. And it wasn’t until Kin breaks some rules once he’s back in his original time that I get a feel for more of their emotional connection.

Another bizarre thing is how Kin keeps in touch with Miranda for years worth of her time yet she doesn’t question the fact that he’s still on this super secret military mission he initially bamboozles her with. For years? What – is he on a mission to Mars?

I’m not thrilled about the number of times that Kin knows that Penny is just brushing her feelings, anger, fears, and questions under the “I’m fine” rug and yet he keeps letting her do it without attempting to clear the air or talk about her feelings or reassure her. It suits him so he goes with it even though he knows she’s not happy. And despite all the warnings and dangers of the final mission, Kin still has some keepsakes which could blow the whole deal. Really?

Yeah so I did have a few problems with some details that don’t take too much away from the fun and intricacy of the plot. The whole held together well but I’m not a voracious reader of SF books and thus could be totally off base in how well the book would work for these readers. Still, I enjoyed it for the family and friends. B-
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Here and Now and Then is a time travel science fiction novel. Kin is a middle class father of one. He spends his days working in IT and his nights cooking. He is also a suffer of PTSD from his time spent in the military. Well, that is what he tells his family. He is really a time traveler from 2142. He has been trapped in this time long enough to establish a life. The more he is here the more his old life starts slipping away. Until his beacon sends one last signal and a mission is dispatched to bring him home. Only he already had a home that he built. 

Now Kin is trying to remember his life in 2142, and the daughter that he left behind in the past. He is torn between two times and does not know how to handle it. Here and Now and Then is a science fiction novel that looks more at the psychological aspect of time travel. It is extremely character based, with technology being more of a prop then the central feature. This is my favorite type of science fiction novel. 

Kin's time in the 1990s is the most vivid aspect of the book. When he is back in the 2142 it is hard to connect to the time and the characters. While I believe this was a deliberate move on the author's part, it felt awkward reading and not connecting. However, by the end of the novel I could not have imagined him writing it any other way. 

I was often left wondering what would happen next. Every time I figured out the next step I would find out that it was not possible. I had no idea what way the novel would turn. It was frustrating, in a good way. I love how not predictable it was. Especially because I absolutely loved how he ended it. Also, there were some great current science fiction references. 

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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Wow, what a ride -
I loved all the well thought out characters and the settings.  What an entertaining read!
Mike Chen has made time travel seem inevitable in the future and keeps the personal relationships emotionally compelling. He has thought of every detail which boggles the mind!!
While reading, I was really hoping for a different ending, for everyone to end up together, in one time period or another, but the author's ending makes more sense and is so poignant - I am teary eyed at the end of this excellent science fiction novel.
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