Review: AN OCEAN OF MINUTES by Thea Lim

Janelle Advance Copy, Book Reviews, Dystopia, From Publisher, Literary Fiction, Touchstone Books Leave a Comment

Thank you so very much to Touchstone Books for providing my free copy – all opinions are my own. 


America is in the grip of a deadly flu pandemic. When Frank catches the virus, his girlfriend Polly will do whatever it takes to save him, even if it means risking everything. She agrees to a radical plan—time travel has been invented in the future to thwart the virus. If she signs up for a one-way-trip into the future to work as a bonded laborer, the company will pay for the life-saving treatment Frank needs. Polly promises to meet Frank again in Galveston, Texas, where she will arrive in twelve years. But when Polly is re-routed an extra five years into the future, Frank is nowhere to be found. Alone in a changed and divided America, with no status and no money, Polly must navigate a new life and find a way to locate Frank, to discover if he is alive, and if their love has endured.

My Review: 

This beautiful debut novel has a very interesting premise with stellar writing and a perfectly constructed story. By the time the world reaches 1981, it is overcome with a terrible flu epidemic and Polly is desperately trying to save the one she loves, Frank. Our twenty-something protagonist signs a contract with TimeRaiser, a company that sends uninfected people to the future to work for them in exchange for life-saving medical treatment for their loved ones. Polly plans to meet up with Frank in 1993, but instead ends up in a very different America in 1998. The country is much divided and she learns her basic rights were taken away. And she can’t find Frank.

Lim is an extraordinary storyteller, because this book is a true page-turner. The story is told in alternating timelines, between past and present where the juxtaposition is executed seamlessly. I was spellbound by Polly and Frank’s story and I just HAD to know what happened next. One of my favorite genres is dystopian, so I was intrigued by the time travel and dystopian elements in this novel, but this was way more than I expected. It touches on a range of topics such as social class, immigration, love, and loss, but what I am most bedazzled by is the time period Lim chose to write about. It’s a time period we all know so there is nostalgia but at the same time reality is altered so you can still get lost in your imagination. As I was reading, I could feel Polly’s fear, anxiety, and despair of what she was going through and it was truly heartbreaking. AN OCEAN OF MINUTES is an imaginative love story with a dystopian feel that I rather enjoyed.

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars!

Click here to purchase on Amazon. 

Leave a Reply