Future Proof by David Atkinson By Abby Rose
This is one of the few books I have ever read for a second time, I might even read it a third time; such
is the love I have for this story.
I will try to avoid too many spoilers. The story starts out with Sam Harris, grossly overweight and
about to be evicted from his flat for non-payment of rent. His social worker has managed to get him
onto a mental-health recovery programme in exchange for board and lodging.
The science part of the story is kept low-key, but there’s enough there to satisfy the reader about what
is going on. Essentially, Sam is injected with a serum that is supposed to fix damaged genes, but
effectively what happens is that he is transported back to that point in his life where that gene was
damaged – it’s an unusual time-travel technique, but the time-travel element is not the key part of the
story. What shines from the pages is the relationship between Sam and Luci as they find and lose
each other across the various trips back into Sam’s life, which makes for a wonderful story of love,
heartache and redemption.
The first time I read this book I was swept along on the tide of the narrative as it crashed onto the
various shores of Sam’s life and ebbed and flowed with the life he lived, could have lived and where
he monumentally messed up. You do feel like screaming at him from time to time, but that’s part of the
joy of the storyline. If you are a lover of the Will they – Won’t they genre, then you’ll enjoy this.
The reach of this book, however, goes way beyond the romance between the two main characters,
there are a host of support characters who add to the tale’s magic. It is a romantic book but not an all-
out romance. It is not chick-lit, but chick-lit readers will love it. It’s not a masculine, out-and-out sci-fi
book but out-and-out sci-fi lovers will adore it.
It was on the second reading that I discovered the hidden depths of the story, the unique bond
between Sam and Luci that sinks under the surface of the main narrative and drives the emotions
from underneath. The little tricks and devices the writer drops in to make you think about what you’ve
just read and to question parts of your own life that maybe didn’t work as you’d hoped they would.
There is an underlying dark humour which I didn’t appreciate on the first rushed reading where I was
just desperate to see where it ended. I also didn’t appreciate the subtle twists weaved into the writing
beyond the ones I spotted the first time around.
So, who would like this book? It’s probably easier to define who would NOT like this book. It is the sort
of yarn that everyone who enjoys great writing and wonderful characters will love. I suppose if I need
to rule out the book for some then if you are looking for hard-driven sci-fi with lots of technical jargonand processes this is not for you. If you are into violence and gore, this is not for you and if you are
into dark romance then this is not for you, but for everyone else who just wants to be swept away on a
tide of emotion, love and intrigue with a life-affirming ending then this is definitely for you. Add it to
your TBR list and you will not regret it.