Unhappenings is a great time travel story that works from the theory that going back in time changes your current life. Nigel Walden, our protagonist for the story, is a likeable character with an interesting life. Unhappenings drew me in immediately just from the back-cover copy. For those who skip the summary on the back, the first chapter pulls you in just as quickly.
A shattered clock is a brilliant demonstration of figurative imagery to convey the contents of the story. Also, by showing the internal workings of the clock it suggests a deeper understanding of time. I find the cover gripping, as it was the first part to pull me in about the book as I skimmed Audible’s free to listen to Sci-fi/Fantasy books. The green on black background makes the white of the clock pop.
Nigel Walden is an ordinary kid that one day finds his first kiss disappears the day after they lock lips. She also seems to never have existed. The poor fourteen-year-old boy deals with a lot of these disappearances, changes, or other manipulations by some unknown power throughout his life. Nigel Walden remembers everything, but everyone else remembers it differently. Nigel believes he’s experiencing a heavy dose of the Mandela effect until a mysterious young woman finds him in college. As everything he’s worked for starts spiraling down the drain of life, this mysterious young woman, who won’t give him her name, is the one solidarity he finds.
I loved this book. It was fun, dark, and the character reactions to events were realistic. Unhappenings might have easily forced its characters into the “best” reactions for the storyline, but Edward Aubry did a great job of creating realistic characters. There are some big twists in Unhappenings, but none that will throw you out as a reader. I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for a fun time-traveling piece with powerful characters. And who knows, you may experience the unhappenings yourself.