I’ve been on the fence with this one for a while since I wasn’t sure if someone looping through time would become repetitive, and for the most part, it actually isn’t. Our hero, Ryan Romano – aka Quicksave – detests doing the exact same thing over and over unless it’s critical to his “perfect run”, so he changes things up on his do-overs quite often. The author, Maxime Durand, also does everyone a favour by skipping much of the do-overs with some general hand-waving and maybe a snippet of what was different, so time keeps on moving forward even though Ryan keeps getting reset.
Set a decade or so after a cataclysmic turn of events for humankind. Gifted elixirs from someone only known as “The Alchemist”, most people jumped at the chance for superpowers. Not all were fortunate and got dud or downright awful ones, but Ryan got the ability to add a savepoint to his life and return there on his death.
Good thing, too, because he dies a lot.
The first great super-villain essentially nuked most of the planet. The story is told sometime after that, set in the remains of Rome, where a mega-corporation and the mafia are the two biggest hitters in town and are fighting a never-ending turf war for supremacy.
Ryan is a mostly likeable character. He’s a little happy-go-lucky with his life, but that probably comes with the territory when you get infinite retries. His mission of doing the “perfect run” stems from his love of video games, where he wants to finish whatever mission he’s on with the best outcome for everyone.
That’s his life philosophy in a nutshell. He treats life like it’s a video game… but with the constant resets comes a different problem. Nobody remembers him, so friends (and enemies) he makes during one attempt don’t remember him in the next. The only one he wants to remember him has known him before he could stop time, but she seemingly wants nothing to do with Ryan.
The narration by Eric Michael Summerer was good; nothing to write home about but decent. I didn’t make any notes about quality or the like, and I don’t recall any instances of being pulled out of the story, so the production is solid.
I was a little surprised when the story ended. I didn’t look to see if it was a series before purchasing, and it’s the first of three. That’s not a negative, just a note of surprise for me. I enjoyed it enough that I’ll be continuing with it.
One minor annoyance – the publisher has stuck a 42-minute “preview” of another book by the author at the end, so the run time is closer to 17 hours than the 18 hours on the information. I’m not a fan of when this is done since I don’t want to be immediately pulled into a vastly different universe than the one I was just in. So, just a heads-up if you’re the same.