19 March 2024

Review: The Other Side of Night by Adam Hamdy

The Other Side of Night by Adam Hamdy book cover

I didn't plan on reading two time travel books back to back, yet found myself in this position when reading The Other Side of Night by Adam Hamdy straight after The Book of Doors by Gareth Brown. Given to me by a friend, The Other Side of Night is David Asha's story told from multiple viewpoints and a series of excerpts and extracts.

Harriet Kealty is a disgraced police officer trying to clear her name when she stumbles across a plea for help and a potential kidnapping. Deciding to investigate, she soon recognises a familiar name, Ben Elmys.

At times reminding me of the TV show Fringe, the layers build to create a story-within-a-story covering big life themes, like this character insight about our very existence:
"In a hundred years our suffering and tears and laughter and happiness will all be forgotten, replaced by another generation whose existences are equally transient and meaningless, and yet deeply meaningful and significant to them and those they love. Our ability to know we are nothing while perceiving we are everything has driven some mad, and it almost broke me during those dark days." Page 275
The story-within-a-story structure began to grow thin for me as I struggled a little with the time travel aspects of the novel. In fact, I chuckled in recognition when I read the following line:
"I'm not sure she ever fully understood how to think in four dimensions, the idea that what happens had to have happened, but she smiled sympathetically..." Page 323
In hindsight, I should have taken some time (pun intended) before punching my time travel ticket again, yet I enjoyed untangling the mystery to reveal the clever twist at the end. Hamdy makes the reader question what we think we know about the past, the present and of course the future:
"Time is an illusion our minds create to give us a sense of direction." Page 331
The Other Side of Night by Adam Hamdy is a stand alone science fiction novel about love, loss, sacrifice, fate, the passage of time and memories and is recommended for fans of The Midnight Library by Matt Haig.

My Rating:

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