Friday, 4 May 2018

REVIEW: The Amateurs by Liz Harmer

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Knopf Canada

ISBN: 0345811240

Format: Hardback, Paperback, E-book

Release Date: 21st March 2018

Links: Goodreads,, Indigo

Website, Twitter

Rating: 6/10


PINA, the largest tech company in the world, introduces a product called port. These ports offer space-time travel powered by nostalgia and desire. Want to go back to when your relationship was blossoming? To when your kids were small, or when your parents met? To Elizabethan England? To 1990s Seattle? Easy. Step inside the port with a destination in mind, and you will be transported. But there is a catch: it's possible that you cannot come back. And the ports are incredibly seductive, drawing in those with weaker wills...


**Thank you to PenguinRandom House Canada for sending me a free copy in return for my honest review**

The Amateurs is set in a post-apocalyptic setting where PINA is the largest tech company in the world. They introduce a product called Port that offers the ability to travel space-time powered by desire and nostalgia.

The entire premise of the novel is a fascinating one. It has many elements to hook a reader- an apocalyptic setting, an overpowering tech company and space-time travel.  Liz Harmer does very well going into detail about the post-apocalyptic world leading into the details of the Port technology.

The characters are written realistic with faults and difficulties that they must face on a day to day basis. Despite living in a dystopian future, they still deal with everyday problems such as self-doubt, romance and struggling to get along with one another. The way they are written makes them much more relatable and I worried along with the characters. 

I did find it was pretty obvious Pina shared a lot of parallels with Apple. Some parts were more obvious than others and I do think it could have been played down a little. I also wish some of the technology aspects had been better explained but the Port really had me fascinated. You can't help but think about the Port and what places/time-periods you could visit. 

I did struggle to get into the book at the beginning. I wasn't hooked from page one as I have been with some others. However, the more I read the more hooked I became. The characters and technology made me want to read more and more until I had finished. 

If you love sci-fi set in a dystopian then this novel is for you.

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