ARC Review: Ida by Allison Evans

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ARC Review: Ida by Allison EvansIda by Alison Evans
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Rating:
Pages: 161
Published by Bonnier Publishing on January 1st 2017

How do people decide on a path, and find the drive to pursue what they want?
Ida struggles more than other young people to work this out. She can shift between parallel universes, allowing her to follow alternative paths.
One day Ida sees a shadowy, see-through doppelganger of herself on the train. She starts to wonder if she’s actually in control of her ability, and whether there are effects far beyond what she’s considered.
How can she know, anyway, whether one universe is ultimately better than another? And what if the continual shifting causes her to lose what is most important to her, just as she’s discovering what that is, and she can never find her way back?

I received an ARC from NetGalley and Publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Ida was a surprise read I received from NetGalley, and probably my favorite read from them thus far. Ida has the power to undo any decision and choose a different path. She likens this to time travel but it begins to be so much more. Ida is actually creating doppelgangers, copies of herself that are starting to bleed through the worlds. Each time she creates a new version, the more dangerous these doppelgangers become.

This book also tackles diversity, sexuality and genderfluid topics with ease in the science-fiction setting. Ida is a bisexual, biracial Vietnamese girl, dating her genderqueer partner, friends with a trans boy and also encounters two genderfluid characters (who I want to see more of!). Gender might be the new trend for New Adult (the slightly racier cousin to the Young Adult genre) novels. I estimate out of the last 10 books I’ve read – four of them have genderfluid characters within them. 

The science-fiction aspects, namely time travel and alternate universe creation are pretty light. There are no at length descriptions of why or how Ida is able to do this, or the agency that is sends operatives to track down those with this ability. The main conflict has to do with Ida’s examination of the choices she makes and their consequences and finally the return to her original timeline.

Evans writing is easy to read and very to the point. Very much like Ida herself, with enough vulnerability to be relate-able. As the story progressed parts of the plot became confusing, and often provided more questions than answers. The more we learn about Ida’s power, the more confusing it becomes. Also why does Ida, Damaris and Adrastos have this ability? What organization do the later two work for? This book feels like a prequel to a bigger idea of a story (for which I hope Evans wants to write).

Overall, Ida was a wonderful little story. While I wish there was more to it (and that it didn’t end so abruptly and without any real action for a sci-fi story), I did thoroughly enjoy Ida’s internal struggle and growth versus action and technology I can barely understand. If you are looking for sci-fi lite with a contemporary twist, read Ida.

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