Paris Adrift by E.J. Swift

Posted On 22 February 2018

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parisParis Adrift is a book that I’m conflicted over.  I liked the idea of it, I love Paris so the setting is perfect and the cover is just captivating.  As it is I liked it but it didn’t wow me.

The story starts off with a post apocalyptic setting at some point in the not too distant future where the world is literally coming to an end.  A group of time travellers make the difficult decision that somebody must travel back to change things before this possible future becomes a reality.

Jump to current day Paris where Hallie is desperate for a job and is having a trial run at a busy bar known as Millie’s.  From here is a journey of exploration really where Hallie will find her feet, find friends, find a portal to travel through time and possibly find love.  It all sounds perfect really.

I’m going to change my format for this review and tell you what I liked and what I didn’t like all in one go – like a good vs bad scenario.  Overall it evens out to be honest and I can’t deny that this was an easy read and well written – I suppose I just wanted a little bit more.

Paris.  I don’t really think I need to elaborate – but obviously I will anyway.  I love Paris, it’s just an amazing city and I would happily read many more books where Paris is the  location.  So many iconic sites, beautiful language, just the full shebang. But, whilst I love this city, the story felt a little like a tourist one stop guide.  I don’t know why but I think I was hoping for more of a few off the beaten track places and it feels a little like a missed opportunity.  That being said, visiting the catacombs and other sites through the pages of a book was still great for reminiscing.

The city of love – and love in Paris Adrift.  For once, I kind of applaud the plot involving a love story – it’s kind of expected really, this is the city of love after all.  But, on the flip side it felt rushed.  It was like reading a synopsis of a relationship.  It’s obvious that the two characters are going to become a ‘thing’ but no sooner have they discovered each other than they grow apart.  If you’re looking for a love story from the City of Love this is lacking a little.

The time travel.  The time travel here is not really explained – and I can totally live with that, in fact sometimes I think it’s the best way forward.  Don’t over complicate things unless you’ve got a completely stellar idea that you can write about with absolute confidence.  Basically, there are portals, not everyone can use them, and ultimately there is a price to pay.  I liked this idea and it also brings us to a very curious, and in my opinion one of the best, characters of the story – the chronomoterist.  I won’t elaborate further on that but I thought it was a really good aspect to the story and it has some interesting links to immortality in a strange and creepy way and makes me wonder if future books could be planned.

The plot.  It becomes very fuzzy if I’m going to be honest.  Partly because I was enjoying some of the time travel and the places it took me to. I almost forgot the main purpose of the story.  And that leads me onto the way in which Hallie eventually changes the future.  I didn’t buy it.  I’m sorry but it just gave me a total jaw dropping moment of wtf.  That being said, some of the places visited during the time travel were brilliant and I loved reading about them – I really wanted to spend more time in post revolution France – that storyline was so good to read not to mention the whole set up for how Millie’s potentially came about.  It was just excellent and I loved that aspect to the story.

The tropes.  Well, we had the rather tired trope of the uncaring family – of course it gave Hallie a reason to run away (or upsticks and leave if you prefer)  in the first place – but, when we eventually discover the full extent it felt very flimsy by way of excuse.  Then there’s the everything falling into place too easily cliche.  Let’s be honest here, Hallie has run away to a massive city – where she doesn’t even speak the language.  Of course the story makes this all seem very easy and before you know it she has a job, friends and a place to stay.  In reality Hallie is very lucky that the City didn’t simpy swallow her up.  That being said I loved reading about Millie’s and the people.  Hallie managed to really find herself a place at Millie’s and the bar itself just played a really good role in the story.

So, overall. This is an easy read.  The writing is good.  The pace is consistent and there are some very good ideas particularly those that look at current politics and how they could play out in the future.  Unfortunately, I didn’t find myself falling in love with the characters and the plot became almost a non entity.  On the positive side, this isn’t the sort of time travelling story that gives you a headache but if you’re going to pick it up then you need to be happy with the fact that the detail is a little lacking.

I had no trouble reading this.  It was a fast paced story but personally I was hoping for more.  That being said I certainly wouldn’t discourage others from reading this as it’s definitely fun and fast paced.  So, conflicted.  Good and bad.  I actually feel like I’m having an argument with myself in this review.

I received a copy courtesy of the publisher, through Netgalley, for which my thanks.  The above is my thanks.


13 Responses to “Paris Adrift by E.J. Swift”

  1. Tammy

    I almost requested this but now I’m ok that I didn’t. It’s almost worse to read just an OK story than a bad one. But it’s hard to beat that cover, it’s still one of my favorites this year😁

    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s a lovely cover, and really it’s not a bad book – just a little light and not really for me. Okay for a quick fun read.
      Lynn 😀

  2. sjhigbee

    This is a wonderful cover – and an excellent review, Lynn! There are aspects that still draw me – but some of those niggling details would probably drive me up the wall…

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, it wasn’t a bad read and so I don’t want to be really negative but it was definitely lacking something for me.
      Lynn 😀

      • sjhigbee

        It would be a really boring world if we all loved and disliked the same books!

      • @lynnsbooks

        Indeed 😀

  3. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Well, a time-travel story that does not give me headaches or makes me wonder about my reasoning powers is one I would love to read, if nothing else for the novelty 😀
    Still it would seem that the book requires some patience and understanding, like a wily child: something to take into account if I choose to read it…
    Thanks for sharing!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I definitely find sometimes that reading a book review and having my expectations adjusted accordingly is a big help and often makes the read more enjoyable.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Thanks for your review of this one, I was curious but I haven’t been seeing much coverage. Looks like one I’ll put on the backburner for if I have time 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s certainly not a bad read but at the same time it didn’t wow me and maybe that’s because I had high expectations – great cover and setting.
      Lynn 😀

  5. proxyfish

    The premise sounded so good too! And that cover is a treat… definitely a book I would have otherwise picked up!

    I imagine though that the same niggly points would have got to me eventually… even though I am totally intrigued about what the “total jaw dropping moment of wtf” was! 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      That wtf moment was the way in which the future was changed and it was just a bit mind boggling involving the complete change of one of the most iconic buildings in Paris. It just felt surreal.
      Lynn 😀

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