Audiobook Review: ‘A History of What Comes Next’

I fell in love with Sylvain Neuvel’s writing and story telling abilities when I read the Themis Files series. One of my all time favorite sci-fi series that I will recommend to everyone FOREVER – so I was eager to read something else of his that has to do with rockets and space and sci-fi.

Title: A History of What Comes Next
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Series: Standalone (Goodreads lists this as #1, but I’m not sure if this is a series?)
Genres: Science Fiction, Historical

Goodreads Summary

I really didn’t know what to expect going into this one other than it had to do with rockets and space. I will admit…I didn’t love it. I wanted to love it as much as Themis Files, but it never clicked into space (ha, pun, space, get it?!). I will say I did enjoy this one and if you’re a history and sci-fi fan, this is worth a read.

This is science fiction, but there is a lot of factual based history in this book too, which Sylvain explains in length in notes at the end, with reference links provided so you can do more research on your own if you so desire.

This is a story about generations of women (99, to be exact), whose job it is to find a way off of Earth and into space to preserve human kind. This story mainly takes place from 1945-1955 in Germany and the Soviet Union – so we’re experiencing history from the other side. Mia, our main character, and her mother, Sarah, aren’t taking sides per say, they just want to be on a side that they can help build rockets for.

These woman have a mantra, passed down from mother to daughter. Always run, never fight. Preserve the knowledge. Survive at all costs.There can never be three for too long. As soon as there is a new daughter born, the grandmother has to “leave” – killing herself off. (Morbid, I know.) It’s always a daughter, identical to the mother, with no traits from the father. Someone is always tracking them, throughout the generations, and they must keep on the move, always.

Throughout Mia and Sarah’s narrative we have snippets of past generations and how they came to be where they are now.

I really enjoyed this one as an audiobook and would highly recommend it – it has a full cast of narrators and is told in interview style. It is all in first person POV and switches narratives constantly, mainly between Mia and Sarah, but also the person tracking them and various other characters. I found this easy to follow as an audiobook, with different narrators for each character, but it might have been a bit confusing just as text on a page. (So, now I’m glad I didn’t get that ARC of this I requested! 😛 )

This is a weird story, but I listened to it very quickly, eager to know how it would end. I did enjoy it but if there are more, I don’t think I will continue on with this series.

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As mentioned, I would highly recommend this one as an audiobook! Listening to an interview at the end of the audiobook with the two main narrators, they are actually mother and daughter in real life, which I found adds a unique element to the story!

I listened to most of this on 2.5x speed – Mia’s narrator reads slower than Sarah’s narrator, and sometime when they spoke fast I had to slow it down, but I stayed around 2.5x speed and found it comfortable.

My Rating:

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If you’re a history buff, I think you’ll love this and find it very fascinating as most of this is based on real life events and people – with some fictional ones added in, but still based on factual women who lived during this time. It’s an unusual and unique story and I’m glad I read it – if you like sci-fi, give this one a try. I’m giving it 3 stars on Goodreads – a solid “I enjoyed it but I won’t be screaming about it from the rooftops” book for me. I do look forward to reading more of Sylvain Neuvel’s books in the future, as he has a great writing style that keeps me on the edge of my seat.

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