The Edge of Forever, by Melissa E. Hurst

The Edge of Forever, by Melissa E. Hurst (Sky Pony, 2015), is a YA time-travel mystery, with a nascent romance, lots of secrets, nefarious goings on, and murder.  

In the future it's been discovered that some people possess a gene that allows them to time travel, and these people have been taken under the control of the government and trained as historical observers.  In 2146, 17-year-old Bridger is one of these being trained.  On a routine  school-time travel training trip, things go wrong-- he gets distracted by seeing his dead father in the crowd, and partly because of that, his partner is killed.  Now Bridger's determined to find out what his dad was doing at that time and place, and he finds that his father was trying to break the most fundamental rule of time travel.  He was trying to prevent the murder of a 16 year old American girl, Alora.

Back in 2013, Alora has started having blackouts, each time waking up in a different place.  That's not the only thing on her mind--her Aunt Grace is struggling to keep their property, and she has a mystery of her own--what happened to her parents?  A darker mystery is about to shake her community, when one of her classmates is murdered.  And who is the mysterious boy who's shown up unannounced?

It is, of course, Bridger, there illegally to save her from the fire that will claim her life, and maybe save his father in the process.  But he's three months too soon.  And so the two teens have plenty of time to tackle all the mysteries, before being hit at the end with the biggest and most dangerous surprise of all....

This is the sort of book that reminds me why "government/corporate controlled time travel in the future" is generally my least favorite time travel sub-genre.  It's often too confusing (in this case I was confused by aspects of the future world, and all the various jumpings around through time, but this could just be me) and often it's not as magically and emotionally compelling as happenstance time travel.  The fact that half the book is from Alora's realistic quotidian point of view (high school, family uncertainty, asshole boy, classmate murdered....), and that for most of Bridger's point of view he's also reacting to our present day world, with very little culture shock, did not make it more interesting for me.   

One the other hand, the mysteries were engaging, and the last third was gripping (all the answers come Bang at you at the end).   So if you think high school drama, murder, and sci-fi sound like fun, you might well enjoy it.

This stands alone just fine, but there is a sequel--On Through the Never, and though I didn't love this one, I might give it a try.....

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