In this intriguing new novel (and series start) by Stefan Petrucha, the author of various Kolchak graphic novels, new Nancy Drew novels, and the excellent White Wolf-related Dark Ages: Assamite, young Harry Keller finds himself able to see the future. And the past. And the current. All represented as mobile streams in what he calls "A-time," a state of mind or a physical location to which he has somehow been led by his late father, a mathematician obsessed with beating Death since the staggering loss of his wife, Harry's mother.
In A-time, people's timelines are living streams Harry can view or interrupt, but there are also creatures he dubs "Quirks" who invade timelines and become life events, accidents, or worse. Like monsters, Quirks resist being thwarted. And there may be higher lifeforms in A-time, beings whose actions have more influence on people than even Harry knows.
Harry appears to his peers and adults in his orbit as yet another troubled, at-risk teenager, a result of his personal tragedies and on-going therapy. It's rumored he may be crazy, and he sure acts that way—rearranging chairs randomly in a crowded school auditorium just before a notorious troublemaker whips out a handgun and opens fire on a popular jock. What's not immediately apparent is the result of Harry's actions. Only Siara, a somewhat rebellious but secretly romantic schoolmate, realizes there's something way wrong and way right with Harry. He's a kid on the edge of becoming a throw-away, and she's also close to being misjudged by everyone including her own parents. And she's the only one who sees beyond the "crazy" Harry image, even when his unpredictable behavior and genius-level eccentricity threaten to alienate her, too. Siara and Harry both realize that dangerous Todd Penderwhistle, the troubled, low-IQ school shooter, is about to commit suicide and decide they must stop him. Visiting A-time, they also begin to understand why Todd has turned out the way he is. Unfortunately, Todd is in as much danger from a gang of low-life drug-dealing thugs as he is from his own hand, and therefore so are Siara and Harry.
Stefan Petrucha's Timetripper series is an SF-Horror hybrid that manages to confront teenagers' real-world problems while exploring a whole new mythology of individual destiny and free will. Clever, witty, and genuine dialogue in the Buffy-zone keeps the action moving and makes the book relevant as more than escapist fare but without a heavy-handed moral. This Young Adult series is meaty enough for adults who see themselves or their kids facing the unknown with a sense of wonder.