E.J. Swift's Paris Adrift was published by Solaris Books in February 2018.
Information about E.J. Swift:
E.J. Swift is the author of The Osiris Project, a speculative fiction trilogy published by Del Rey UK and Jabberwocky (US) that explores the geopolitical impacts of climate change. Book One, Osiris, is set in a future ocean metropolis, a failed utopia whose inhabitants believe they live on the last city on earth. The second book, Cataveiro, is set in South America, and expands the series to explore the world beyond Osiris. The series concludes with Tamaruq.
Her latest novel, Paris Adrift, a tale of bartenders, time travel and the City of Light, is published by Solaris.
Her short fiction has appeared in Interzone magazine and in anthologies from Salt Publishing, Jurassic London and NewCon Press. Her short story “Saga’s Children” (The Lowest Heaven, 2013, Jurassic) was shortlisted for a BSFA Award. You can read it online for free here. “The Spiders of Stockholm” (Irregularity, 2014, Jurassic) was longlisted for the 2015 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award.
Click here to visit her official website.
Information about Paris Adrift:
The Time Machine meets Midnight In Paris
Paris Was Supposed to Save Hallie. Now... Well, Let's Just Say Paris Has Other Ideas.
There's a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her alone. Garbled warnings from bizarre creatures keep her up at night. And there's a time portal in the keg room of the bar where she works.
Soon, Hallie is tumbling through the turbulent past and future Paris, making friends, changing the world - and falling in love.
But with every trip, Hallie loses a little of herself, and every infinitesimal change she makes ripples through time, until the future she's trying to save suddenly looks nothing like what she hoped for...
REVIEW: PARIS ADRIFT BY E.J. SWIFT
Let me start this review by saying that I loved everything about E.J. Swift's Paris Adrift. This novel is so compelling and refreshingly different that I found myself wholly spellbound by the story. It's without a doubt one of the most compelling speculative fiction novels of the year, because it's a mesmerising and rewarding reading experience.
E.J. Swift's Paris Adrift is a literary time travel novel that will captivate readers with its story, characters and events. It has a timeless feel to it that makes it irresistible for readers who are interested in literary fiction and value the finer points of storytelling. I consider it to be one of the finest time travel novels ever written, because its events will linger on the reader's mind for a long time after the final page has been read.
Paris Adrift begins with a powerful glimpse into the dystopic future. The year is 2318 and the end of humanity is nigh. The world has been ravaged beyond repair by a nuclear war - entire continents have become nuclear wastelands and the streets have turned into graveyards. The few survivors have come up with a desperate plan to change things... After the dystopic beginning, the focus shifts to Hallie who has come to Paris to escape her life and family. Hallie is a geology student who is taking a gap year from her studies. She tries to find work and soon she finds herself working as a bartender at Millie's bar. She acquaints herself with Millie's staff and finds a new family among this diverse group of people... Millie's bar is quite a special place, because Hallie notices that there's an anomaly - a time portal - in the keg room which can be used for time travel. Soon Hallie finds herself travelling in time.
This thrilling premise grabbed hold of me as soon as I began to read the story. Time flew by as I turned pages to find out what happens next, because I was utterly captivated by what I was reading. In my opinion, this is flawless literary time travel fiction with depth, good characterisation and impressive storytelling. I have to confess that it's impossible for me to resist reading this kind of fiction, because I love well written literary speculative fiction.
I find the characterisation is excellent. The diverse cast of characters makes the story intriguing, because all of the characters support the story and increase its entertainment values by bringing life to it. The author writes about the various characters in an admirable way, because her descriptions about them are stunningly vivid.
Hallie is a strong and well-created protagonist. I enjoyed reading about her, because the author paints a believable picture of her life and tells of what kind of a relationship she has with her family. It was interesting to read about how Hallie began to feel at home in Paris and how she found a new family there. Her relationship with Léon is handled well.
The mysterious chronometrist is an especially intriguing and unsettling character. It was fascinating to read about her and how she appears to Hallie in different forms. I also enjoyed reading about Gabriela, because she seemed to be unable to leave Paris and couldn't travel anywhere.
The anomaly intrigued me very much, because the author described it as a kind of a living entity that had a desire to expand and push its feelers out through centuries. This added originality to the story, because I don't recall reading about this kind anomalies ever before.
The worldbuilding is atmospheric and successful. The author has created an incredibly beautiful and memorable vision of Paris and has seasoned it with wonderful eeriness and otherworldliness. There's something almost ethereal about her writing that makes the worldbuilding and time travel elements gorgeously magical and fantastical.
It's almost uncanny how easily the author writes about Paris at various points in history with her words. Her descriptions are filled with life and vibrancy that is not often found in time travel stories. She writes fluently about the people Hallie meets during her travels and pays attention to details that matter while writing about them.
What makes this novel special is that the author explores several thought-provoking themes and issues ranging from history and time travel to freedom and finding yourself. These things never weigh down the story, but make it more fascinating and add depth to it.
The author handles perfectly the idea of the world coming to a dystopian end and how things can be changed by travelling back in time to prevent the disaster. As many of us are aware of, this theme is nothing new in time travel fiction, but the way it is handled here feels fresh and captivating.
I love the author's prose and writing style. She effortlessly writes rich and nuanced prose that is filled with depth and meaning. There's nothing forced about her writing style, because her story flows smoothly from the first page all the way to the final page.
One of the best things about Paris Adrift is that the author takes her time to tell the story and lets it unfold at its own pace without hurry. This novel is an ideal novel for those who want to invest a bit of time into reading a novel and don't expect instant gratification, because you have to concentrate on reading the story or you'll miss out on a lot of important details.
In my opinion, this novel feels like a combination of Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife, Paul Meloy's The Night Clock and Nina Allan's fiction. It has the charm of The Time Traveler's Wife, the darkness of The Night Clock and the literary values of Nina Allan's novels and stories. There's also a faint touch of Christopher Priest in it.
I give this novel full five stars on the scale from one to five stars, because I find it excellent. I think that many readers will be impressed by it and will enjoy the literary storytelling.
I highly recommend E.J. Swift's Paris Adrift to readers who enjoy engaging and well written stories. If you're interested in literary time travel fiction, you owe it to yourself to read this novel and immerse yourself into its world, because it's something different and deeply compelling.