Book Review – Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer

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Years ago Sarah sent a message to an alien race. Now she gets a reply, but she’s 87 years old and by the time they get another message she’ll be dead. She gets offered a rollback – a treatment where her body will be rejuvenated so she’ll be in her mid-20s again. She demands that her husband, Don, have the procedure as well. However, it only works on him so they have to deal with the fact that now he’s 25 and she’s 87, all while there’s still the alien message to decode.

I absolutely loved this book. I read it in a day, I couldn’t put it down. The concept is one I really like and I love how it blended the human elements with the sci-fi elements. The focus of the book is really how the rollback process impacts Sarah and Don. I thought it was handled delicately and realistically, and while some things that Don does are hurtful they feel understandable. There were also a lot of discussions about philosophical problems within regards to morality and ethics and as a former student of philosophy I found this to be interesting. I particularly liked how Sawyer showed the practicalities of being rolled back so many years, and the relationship between Don and Sarah was heartwarming.

The other plot weaved in well, and I liked how they came together towards the end. It provided a nice conclusion that was entirely fitting for the book. I can’t really say a bad thing about it. I highly recommend this one, the sci-fi concepts are handled well as are the human relationships. This is a must-read.

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