Welcome to the 2016 Cybils Speculative Reader!

As a first run reader for the Cybils, I’ll be briefly introducing you to the books on the list, giving you a mostly unbiased look at some of the plot.

Synopsis: A year from today, Dylan will finally give in and acknowledge the weird, sixth sense he has. He calls it the “vorpal,” and like the Lewis Carroll poem from which it is derived, it’s a bit weird – a bit changeable – but it allows him to see into the Other World. Things aren’t quite the same in Dylan’s world, but a year from today, he’ll finally give up trying to pretend he’s like everyone else. He’ll let go and go through the looking glass…

Leaving behind Brixney, who is desperate to get more hits on her social media — because that’s the only thing that will save her brother from being moved to a crowded apartment in a different debtor’s colony. Visa owns them, so their only choice is to try and entertain the world via Feedbin. Of course, nothing would be as entertaining as meeting another Dylan; everyone’s heard his story. Brixney wishes she could meet one of those world-walkers, and give up…

The social media circus has turned the world on end. Epony’s just a farm girl, but her grandfather taught her there’s no future in farms. There’s really no future in much of anything anymore, but at least she has her boyfriend… and if they have to fake a relationship for the Feedbin, so be it. It’s not enough for a life though, and Epony fears that there’s more out there — and that she should try to find it…

Everyone’s looking for a door to the Other World – but people like Reef know better. At least he’s a good gamer, and wearing VR goggles and running around the city at least keeps him from missing what he could have… until he begins to miss it like a limb he’s removed. What would he give for a chance to get away from it all? What would he take – and from whom?

Quinn’s Special Work is all that has given her life meaning, until now. Now that she knows the truth of the world, she can finally be content… if she chooses to believe…

Conclusion: The author contributed to a blog I loved years ago, so I was thrilled to see her name and her debut novel. Additionally, I was just floored by the complexity of the plot. This is like physics – amazing and unbelievable and kind of an act of magic. It’s a linked story cycle of five novellas, essentially, five teens whose lives are inextricably cabled, but you don’t get the “how” entirely, nor the “why” of them until the very end. It is ambitious – more ambitious than anything I’ve read in awhile – and defines the idea that speculative fiction is for asking “what if.” Linear storytelling is hard enough, but this slipstream tale takes us sideways – and manages to hint at bigger ideas and to entertain us all at once.

This will be a big hit for vigorous thinkers, and I think it crosses over well to a win for adults. The imaginative worlds should have at least one stop each reader enjoys, though some may resonate more or less strongly with individuals. Readers who don’t enjoy puzzles or mysteries may prefer something more straightforward, but if you’re up to the challenge… have I got a book for you!

I received my copy of this book courtesy of the library. You can find WHERE FUTURES END by Parker Peevyhouse at an online e-tailer, or at a real life, independent bookstore near you!

About the author

tanita s. davis is a writer and avid reader who prefers books to most things in the world, including people. That's ...pretty much it, she's very boring and she can't even tell jokes. She is, however, the author of nine books, including Serena Says, Partly Cloudy, Go Figure, Henri Weldon, and the Coretta Scott King honored Mare's War. Look for her new MG, The Science of Friendship in 1/2024 from Katherine Tegen Books.


  1. @Sarah: I was FLOORED by how good this is – just, whoa. Totally ambitious, a huge, overwhelming project, and she pulled it off. These kinds of books are SO hard! I don't know how she didn't confuse herself with the storyline!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.