Throughout Laura E. Bradford’s novel Flyday, central character Thomas Huxley has to put up with a lot, including breakups, family dramas and assassination attempts, and has had to deal with a lot before it has even begun. Set in a future, seemingly utopian, society the adventure novel centres around concepts of time travel and explores ideas of relationships, patriotism, and responsibility as Huxley overcomes challenges in every area of his life, some of which he can’t even remember.
Bradford’s characters are engaging and appealing, and this is one of the many strengths of her novel. While the novel focusses on Huxley, his relationships with his fiance and her friends and family often have a great effect on him and these characters drive much of the plot. Huxley’s memory loss, due to an unknown event in his past, complicates things and Bradford develops his character through his discovery of past events and actions. Some of the characters’ actions are not well justified at the time they occur but any dissatisfaction I felt at this was generally resolved by the conclusion of the novel.
The plot mostly follows Huxley’s actions, even when he time-travels, although it occasionally focusses on a a minor character in order to give further development of the plot. As a result the plot is very complex and while at times I was aware of the deliberately confusing narrative structure I never felt confused myself. The second half of the novel, where Bradford begins to bring the many strands of her narrative together, is especially good and demonstrates her clear plan for and control of her plot. Through a complex plot and deliberate and thoughtful development of characters, Flyday explores important themes in a light and original way.
(reviewed 41 days after purchase)