December 17, 2013


by C. K. Kelly Martin
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
248 pp.
Ages 13+
Reviewed from Smashwords Edition

It seems like only yesterday that I reviewed Yesterday, the prequel to Tomorrow, but it has been just over a year (November 26, 2012 review).  Luckily, C. K. Kelly Martin's writing does not exclude readers who missed Yesterday if they choose to go directly into Tomorrow. Without just presenting a dystopian world of our future, C. K. Kelly Martin has created a cautionary tale of the course by which our disastrous tomorrow will arise, and how by looking back at yesterday, we may be able to prevent tomorrow from being ultimately fatalistic.

In Yesterday, teens Freya and Garren discovered that they had been sent, as were many others, from 2063 United North America (UNA) to save them, in the hopes of finding a way out of the impending environmental, political and health disasters of the future.  In order to keep their knowledge of the future from being shared, or destabilizing 1980s society with knowledge of a time chute, these time refugees have had their memories wiped and covered with new ones. But Freya's memory wipe was not "successful" and she was able to recognize Garren when she sees him in 1985 Toronto.  Now they're on the run from the UNA who consider them a threat.

Tomorrow begins just over a year after Yesterday ends. Currently living together in 1986 Vancouver as Holly and Robbie, seventeen-year-old Freya waits tables at a restaurant and nineteen-year-old Garren tends bar but they live with the anxiety that they could be discovered and lose everything, most especially each other.  And when they notice that key events in 1986 don't fit with the known history, Freya and Garren recognize that the UNA is at work.  After Garren finds Freya missing from their now-ransacked apartment, he is convinced that they may do more than just wipe your memory.

Garren's reminiscences from 2063 when he found himself seeking out the hard-core fringe faction of the grounded movement (contrary to the ideas of the UNA) are key as he throws himself into finding Freya. While Garren recognizes that Freya has always been the force behind their survival and the one who could tell when someone was lying or when something was going to happen, he is the one now who must take up the gauntlet and do what he can do to make things right.  Garren doubts his capabilities and constantly worries about who to trust, but he manages.  With his singular motivation of saving Freya, Garren's determination is boundless.

Freya's ultimate fate is wrapped up tight in the disaster that is 2063 UNA and the efforts of the radical faction of the grounded movement.  Without naming names and sharing secret alliances and conflicts, I can tell the reader that Garren's journey to Freya is not a direct one, and that conspiracy plays a significant role. Sadly, it's hard to tell the conspirators from the allies.  But that's what makes Tomorrow a true thriller.

Never does C. K. Kelly Martin convince the reader that the outcome is predictable.  Never.  I could never tell the bad guys from the good guys and Garren feels the same way.  And that's what keeps the story moving forward, albeit leaving you on the edge of your seat.  Be prepared.  You may know what you want in a happy ending, but C. K. Kelly Martin makes sure that you never see how she's going to get there, or even if.  Every book of hers that I have read (My Beating Teenage Heart, Random House, 2011; Yesterday, Random House, 2012) has kept me engrossed in her unique and passionate characters and their struggles whose outcomes are never obvious.  Tomorrow is a worthy and complementary addition to C. K. Kelly Martin's literary collection, and I look forward to future volumes.

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Months ago, I added the book trailer for Tomorrow to CanLitforLittleCanadians Book Trailers' site.  But it's never too late to enjoy it, especially before you purchase your own copy of the book.

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