Time-travel and alternate realities have been a rich and unending source for fiction pretty much since the invention of the genre. But an ounce of temporal weirdness brings pounds and pounds of complications, convolutions and headaches along with the overall plot potential. Paradoxes pop up, as do disruptions of any attempt at linear storytelling. The confusion that can result on behalf of the reader—and sometimes even the writer—can capsize even the most promising tale. As a result, it’s rare to see a writer dive headlong into multiple streams of chronological mayhem and emerge with anything coherent, let alone riveting.
Yet with his time- and reality-bending saga, The Flight of the Silvers (the first book in The Silvers Saga), Daniel Price does just that. Price’s book starts with an intriguing premise, is propelled along by sustained action and enjoyable world building, and, by the book’s end, has maintained coherence and dramatic momentum despite the introduction of a dizzying array of paradox-inducing realities and abilities.
After a brief prologue, The Flight of the Silvers starts with the end of the world (complete with bangs and whimpers). A mysterious trio saves a select few (the “Silvers” of the title), who are soon brought together in a different version of the world they each just saw destroyed. The group includes somewhat estranged sisters Amanda and Hannah, wisecracking cartoonist Zack, failed prodigy Theo, insecure teen Mia and David, a socially inept genius. Beyond a healthy dose of post-Armageddon stress syndrome and the disorientation of being in a familiar yet unquestionably different reality, each Silver starts exhibiting a separate time-related ability. As they do so, they are beset by forces (some hostile, some not) intent on capturing, using or killing them.
Price deserves credit for creating immediately relatable characters whose motivations are understandable even when not so commendable. But he deserves out-and-out praise for doing so while constantly upping the temporal ante. The reader’s uncertainty concerning the rules of this new world may well mirror that felt by the protagonists, but the shared confusion never ruins the immersion. As a result, any hours spent reading The Flight of the Silvers will be time well spent.