The Gone World

Narrated by: Brittany Pressley
Length: 13 hrs and 37 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (969 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Inception meets True Detective in this science-fiction thriller of spellbinding tension and staggering scope that follows a special agent into a savage murder case with grave implications for the fate of mankind....

“I promise you have never read a story like this.” (Blake Crouch, New York Times best-selling author of Dark Matter)

Shannon Moss is part of a clandestine division within the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. In western Pennsylvania, 1997, she is assigned to solve the murder of a Navy SEAL's family - and to locate his vanished teenage daughter. Though she can't share the information with conventional law enforcement, Moss discovers that the missing SEAL was an astronaut aboard the spaceship USS Libra - a ship assumed lost to the currents of Deep Time. Moss knows firsthand the mental trauma of time travel and believes the SEAL's experience with the future has triggered this violence.

Determined to find the missing girl and driven by a troubling connection from her own past, Moss travels ahead in time to explore possible versions of the future, seeking evidence to crack the present-day case. To her horror, the future reveals that it's not only the fate of a family that hinges on her work, for what she witnesses rising over time's horizon and hurtling toward the present is the Terminus: the terrifying and cataclysmic end of humanity itself.

Luminous and unsettling, The Gone World bristles with world-shattering ideas yet remains at its heart an intensely human story.

©2017 Tom Sweterlitsch (P)2017 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Gone World

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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What an amazing find!

The description of the book did not did not do it justice. It’s incredibly difficult to really summarize Gone World because the author does such a brilliant job of blending hard science fiction, crime suspense, and a bit of horror. I didn’t know much about the author or the book when I started and I’m glad I didn’t. It grabbed me from the first chapter and I listened to this though my commute, workday and somewhat unfortunately, through most of the night. The only thing I didn’t appreciate was the epilogue. But I’m ignoring it because it doesn’t really matter. The book is brilliant.

25 people found this helpful

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Confusing and unfinished story, but captivating

Spoilers here. I'm not a horror fan, and this book is near to that. Lots of blood and guts -- very descriptive with smells and horrible deaths. The time travel approach is innovative and unique -- any future destination is an "IF" that might come to pass -- and then disappears as a reality when the time traveler leaves. I felt the ending was just incomplete -- maybe the author wanted it that way, but I needed another chapter.

10 people found this helpful

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You better have a good imagination

There is a lot of "sci-fi" (I guess) things going on, and it's probably just me, but I had a hard time picturing some of the things and places in the story. I also think it's a little long (I probably should've got the abridged version) because the last three hours or so I was just like "c'mon already, let's wrap this up." I think I'll wait a few months then try to listen again, maybe it'll be better then since I'll already have an idea of what's happening and what's coming up.

4 people found this helpful

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Complex Time-Travel Detective Noir

For the most part I found this book interesting and enjoyable. Occasionally, there were sections that I thought needed better concrete descriptions and the multiple time-lines sometimes became a bit confusing. However, the rules of the world were established and remained consistent. And the main character was well developed. Overall, I would recommend this book to people who enjoy this genre but probably not to a visitor.

4 people found this helpful

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No escape

Tom Sweterlitsch's The Gone World offers a unique blend of hard science fiction and horror, along with some gritty detective noir against a backdrop of blood and gore. In an alternate history universe, the US has been using its space program as a cover for a top secret program to investigate potential and alternate futures. Along the way, they discover, the terminus which is a future annihilation slowly working itself ever closer to the present. Against this backdrop comes a gruesome murder of a family, including a former soldier who had been associated with the secret space program, but believed to have gone missing. As the investigator digs into the case, she discovers a covert conspiracy with unknown intentions and finds additional gore. As she traverses time and space to multiple futures, she encounters alternate futures as she attempts to piece together the mystery.

The major sci-fi elements encompasses the ability to travel to alternate futures and then back again to present time. Each can be subtlety and dramatically different at the same time. The passage of time in getting to and from as well as the time spent there ages the agent biologically, such that she is slowly catching up to her mother in age. The detective work is gritty and confusing, while the violence is graphic and extensive with overtones of a supernatural quality. The world ending terminus is truly a hell on Earth scenario worthy of Dante.

The narration is superb with an excellent character distinction of both genders including the same character at different ages. While not for the squeamish, this blending of sci-fi and horror in what is basically a detective murder mystery is an ambitious undertaking, the success of which will be in the ear of the listener.

4 people found this helpful

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Best story I've listened to in months

What did you love best about The Gone World?

This story possibly has the most comprehensive implementation of time travel out of any book I've listened to. Normally time travel is fraught with paradoxes and loops with no beginnings, but this seemed feasible.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The main character is a disabled, female, possibly bisexual time-travelling NCIS agent. What more needs saying?

Any additional comments?

If you loved mind bending plots like Inception, you should love this novel.

9 people found this helpful

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Repetitive. Repetitive. Repetitive

Would you try another book from Tom Sweterlitsch and/or Brittany Pressley?

Absolutely not.

Has The Gone World turned you off from other books in this genre?

I can't imagine that another book, of any genre, could be so repetitive.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The narrator was fine.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Gone World?

That's easy...I would cut the endless descriptions of the same scenarios. Really, after 4 or 5 descriptions I got it...but the author chooses to believe we have never read a book before, so he repeats...and repeats...and repeats...and, oh yeah, he repeats, his descriptions of just about everything in this novel. The 13 hours of read time could easily have been 6 or 7 hours, with the same result.

Any additional comments?

How many times can you describe a "white tree?" Apparently, about 40 times.

12 people found this helpful

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So confused, amazed I finished

I'm not a fan of time travel, but this sounded different enough to try (plus it was book club selection so...). It started off okay but quickly became confusing and nonsensical. I'm still left wondering what the hell was the point or objective. Returning this one and putting it in past.

5 people found this helpful

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BEST AUDIOBOOK so far this year by leaps and bound

BEST AUDIOBOOK so far this year by leaps and bounds! Refreshingly original story. It's sifi, it's horror, it's mystery, it's a thriller. I love this book. No repetitive endless space war drivel. No mindless cutsie AI sewage. An original, one of a kind story. Enthralling from beginning to end. Genius. - CPO US NAVY RETIRED

1 person found this helpful

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Solid prose, good story, compelling characters

It's really quite good. There are a few logical holes in the plot (time travel will do that) which really bugged me, but when you boil it down, the prose is crafted well, the characters have depth and are compelling, and the story is interesting enough to keep one reading.

1 person found this helpful