Sea of Tranquility • 2022 • Time Travel novel by Emily St. John Mandel

Rating: 2 out of 5.


This rather short novel starts in 1912 when some exiled British youngster heads for British Columbia where he has a weird experience. The next part presents a woman talking to the brother of an estranged friend in 2020 NYC, followed by a book author in 2203. The final time slice introduces time travelling agents in 2401 investigating the theory that the world is actually a grand simulation. All those parts are linked, but why and how?

I had a hard time digging through this short but extremely dragging story. After halfway through, I nearly stopped reading it because it was such a boring piece. After that mark it picked up again and introduced the simulation and time travel experience which was engaging at start. 

Now, you have to know that I’ve read a multitude of time travel stories and I love to be surprised by a different angle. This work, sadly, has nothing of it. That big question of the nature of reality has been done better often enough elsewhere.

People newer to the idea that our universe might be a simulation, or to the concept of time-loops, might enjoy this work better than I did. 


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14 Responses to Sea of Tranquility • 2022 • Time Travel novel by Emily St. John Mandel

  1. So many authors write these types of books nowadays, with characters in different parts of the timeline. I think it started with David Mitchell but it is everywhere now. Have you read her other SF novel Station Eleven?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Cathy says:

    Sounded good until you mentioned boring… 😝 My current SF read deals with diverging timelines as well—I am not a fan of time travel stories, but it‘s different enough to be good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. pdtillman says:

    Thanks for your review and caveat. I have yet to like one of her books. Maybe another? The well-known earlier one never ‘clicked’ with me

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was intrigued by this book, to the point that I was considering also reading (finally!) the same author’s Station Eleven, but your complaints about boredom and a somewhat dragging pace made me reconsider my options…

    Liked by 1 person

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