All Our Yesterdays is a thrilling take on the time travel novels that are becoming increasingly popular, especially with programmes like Doctor Who being watched by millions across the world. Hey, I was even on the bandwagon once. I’m not a huge fan of these types of novels, though, so I was very wary to begin with. I’ve never really felt love towards them and I’d rather avoid them than sit through one, gritting my teeth the whole time. Yet, there was something about All Our Yesterdays that captivated me and made me want to read on. Maybe I can find something to like about this genre after all…
The thing that sets All Our Yesterdays apart from other novels is that it’s very much scientific based. This is no magical telling of people who disappear to another time. I must admit that I’m an all-round nerd (maths being the exception) and so I loved reading the scientific references and gave a smug smile every time I understood something. These references help explain the idea behind the time travel and I preferred this to the “magic” that happens in a lot of them.
I really liked how the two different timelines came together and connected. It made the novel so much easier to understand and follow. This could have been so confusing but Terril added enough information, without info dumping, I must add, so that the reader was able to understand how the novel worked and how the characters thought.
I preferred Em’s timeline to Marina’s; the characters were more mature and had a purpose whereas Marina’s timeline was simply there to fulfil the plot. This isn’t something that annoyed me though, because it was simply a fact.
Em and Finn were so driven and intent. It was hard not to like them because their characterisation was written perfectly. I loved how we found out more and more about their lives as the novel went on, through both their eyes and Marina’s. Their lives were believable and so full of emotion. It was interesting to see how much the characters had grown up from one timeline to the other and how each event changed the other person.
Marina was a bit of a spoiled brat but as the novel progresses we see her come into her own and develop. At the end of the novel, I found that I had come to really admire her. If there was more characterisation on her part to start with, I would have liked her a lot more. Finn in this timeline hadn’t really changed but this was something that I really liked because it showed us who he was as a person and offered a comforting familiarity.
I think the secondary characters in Em’s timeline needed a bit more attention paid to them. The Doctor especially, because I didn’t really clue on as to who he was until far later in the book and I still didn’t understand who some of the people were then.
I felt that the ending was a bit rushed and messy. I wanted something a bit more because there’s fast paced and then there is so fast that you don’t really understand what’s going on. It was okay, but just so confusing.
I really enjoyed All Our Yesterdays and am looking forward to seeing what’s to come of Terril.