Saturday, February 18, 2023

Winders by Ryan O'Nan


Charlie Ryan has had a tough start to life.  His mother died young, leaving him in the foster system.  Luckily, Gram was one of the good fosters and Ducky was a brother for life.  But Charlie didn't tell even them about what had happened two months before his mother died.  They had had a wreck that left her dead but somehow Charlie had used his mind to reverse the accident and bring their car back up the embankment in time to miss the car that had plowed into them.  He was so young that these days he doesn't know if that really happened or if he dreamed it.

Juniper Trask knows it was no dream.  Charlie is a Winder just as she and her whole family are.  In fact, Juniper has been raised as a Winder and has risen to the top of the heap, a member of the ruling council that sets the rules.  Her brother has left the Winders after being demoted from the enforcers, but he hasn't given up his powers.  He somehow finds Charlie and brings him to New York where the Winders are gathered.

Charlie can't believe what Eamon tells him, but several demonstrations leave him believing that he is indeed a Winder.  That means he can wind time back for seconds up to a minute or so, reversing actions that didn't turn out the way he wanted.  He isn't sure what he thinks about it.  There is a war going on between the Winders and the Faders and he wants no part of that, although he is pulled into it.  There is also an internal war going on between the Winders and when that strikes close to Charlie, he is forced to use everything he has learned to save the day.

This is a debut novel but Ryan O'Nan is not a debut author.  He has worked mainly in television on shows like Queen Of The South and Legions.  The story is told in alternating viewpoints between Charlie and Juniper.  I listened to this novel and the alternating voices worked to show each character's story.  Readers won't be able to help thinking about what their lives would be like if they had the ability to roll back bad actions and relive them to make them turn out better.  The book ends with a setup for further adventures with these characters so this may be the start of a series.  This book is recommended for science fiction readers.

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