How many times can you lose the person you love?
Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again, century after century. Each time, their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated.
Spanning the Crimean War, the Siege of Carlisle and the near-future of 2019 and 2039 they find themselves sacrificing their lives to save the world. But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace?
Maybe the next together will be different…
Cover from Goodreads
When you hear the term sci-fi, what do you think of? My mind immediately jumps to aliens (Tom Cruise War Of The Worlds style, in case you’re interested) and Star Trek. Not the most modern view of sci-fi, I’m sure you’ll agree. Because of my instant gut reaction to the genre, I never seem to list it as something I’m interested in, or would like to read more of.
I am silly.
The sci-fi books that I’ve read recently have been awesome. They’ve opened my eyes to the fact that sci-fi can be funny and satirical, otherworldly and observant, magical and realistic all at the same time. Thanks to the fact that there are no rules, you can write ANYTHING. The Next Together is a wonderful example of sci-fi as we should all see it: less aliens and more infinite possibility.
The Next Together is the higgledy-piggledy story of Katherine and Matthew, destined to fall in love and be ripped apart over and over again at different points in time and in their lives. In her debut YA novel, Lauren James one part classic forbiddden romance, one part classic time travel and just a smidge of well-written humour and shakes them up into a deliciously scientific martini.
I adored the imaginative premise of the story, and I came to be very fond of the characters as the plot hurtled towards its conclusion. Katherine (in her various incarnations throughout time) is whip-smart and full to the brim with witty one-liners. Matthew is a more thoughtful and measured protagonist, but his genuine warmth and sincerity makes him a very likeable character.
The plot is obviously intriguing, and the mystery of why Katherine and Matthew are destined to be torn apart again and again makes the book a sexy little page turner. I’ve got to say that on the whole, I wasn’t overly taken in by the 17th century storyline set in Carlisle, and I found that the historic time periods were written with less pace than the present day and future perspectives, but this could be down to personal preference. Either way, there’s no getting away from the fact that this is a book that could easily keep you absorbed all day or up all night. Just make sure you’re getting your beauty sleep, kids.
My one criticism of an otherwise very likeable book would be that the ending is not the conclusion that I would have liked Lauren James to write. I didn’t dislike what actually happened, but it was confusing. I felt like I’d managed to keep my head above water with the twisty plot up until that point, but in the last ten pages I was suddenly drowning. Annoying as it was, it certainly leaves plenty more to be explained in the sequel, The Last Beginning, which is due out in November 2016. The only thing that I’m currently sure about is that it’s the first time I’ve looked forward to the long UK winter for quite a while.
- Author: Lauren James
- Publication Date: 20th August 2015
- Pages: 356
- Publisher: Walker
- In short: Romeo and Juliet meets time travel and British humour.