ONE DAY ALL THIS WILL BE YOURS by Adrian Tchaikovsky (BOOK REVIEW)
This is only my second time reading a story by Adrian Tchaikovsky but I’ve already begun to see how versatile, bizarre and wonderfully imaginative this author is. One Day All This Will Be Yours is a post-apocalyptic novella set in a time where a war, known as the Causality War has caused much devastation, to be more precise it has ended the world. No one can be sure who started the war but we do know that it began after the invention of time travel; Causality Bombs were unleashed, and time was broken into a million shards. Yet there is one man who did survive, a time warrior who now lives in his own self made Eden. A man who is now hell bent on making sure the war never has the chance to happen again.
So, how does one go about preventing a time war? Well, our unnamed narrator has the solution in hand, and that solution is to spend the rest of his existence travelling through time killing every single person who had either invented or even shown an inkling of being able to invent time travel. If you’re thinking that’s rather an extreme approach, then know one thing, our main protagonist is a homicidal sociopath. He’s the kind of guy who’ll invite you in for a cup of tea, feed you a hearty meal, exchange pleasantries like he longs for your companionship. and then kill you before you even suspect a thing. Now this all sounds really dark, and on a surface level it is, but what I found most surprising, and what I absolutely loved, was that this novella is delightfully hilarious.
“Because it’s horrible out there, in history. It always was, even before we shattered it to bits. It’s full of war and plague, starvation, intolerance and misery. But, but, but, I hear you say. But hope, but progress, but the glory of human achievement.
A candle, I tell you. And the rest of it is the hurricane.”
Told in first person, in a somewhat stream of consciousness, our main protagonist views life in a cynical and mocking way. Through sharp, witty prose, we see how ridiculous us human beings can be. The pointlessness of wars, the way we have done everything over the decades to ruin our own environment. Tchaikovsky may do this through a flippant narrator but he nonetheless makes you think a lot about how we ruin the world with our own ignorance. Perhaps our main protagonist’s goal to live a solitary existence by killing any who may destroy the idyllic world he has created, isn’t such a bad idea after all.
What makes this story truly special is its bizarreness – Tchaikovsky’s daring ability to let the narrative get… weird! For example there’s Miffly, our main protagonist’s pet Allosaurus, who for a gigantic prehistoric monster was actually quite adorable. Then, one of my favourite chapters which came towards the end of the book involved a confrontation with Hitler, Stalin and three Jack the Rippers! Because why the hell not?! The narrative is also full of pop culture references expanding the decades, some of which I delighted in recognising—You Shall Not Pass—and some of which I had to look up. I never expected this novella to pack such a fantastically darkly comical punch, but Tchaikovsky nailed it.
“I hadn’t intended them to meet Miffly, who’s jumped the fence again, bad girl. In fact meeting Miffly is generally the last stop in the whirlwind tour of the future I have planned for people.”
Throughout reading One Day All This Will Be Yours I had visions of Tchaikovsky manically laughing whilst writing certain scenes, I can see the author truly revelled in his quirky satirical style and I believe he rather enjoyed it. I never knew I needed a story about a time travelling sociopath with a pet dinosaur in my life, but I’m damn glad Tchaikovsky provided one.
ARC provided by Rebellion Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the copy.