The Eternal Enemy
- Christopher Pike
Publisher: UK – Hodder
Rela has just bought herself a new VCR. She sets the machine to tape a movie, but instead she gets the news--tomorrow's news. Soon Rela is regularly recording next week's news, even what is to happen in the far future. It's fun at first, until she sees herself on the news, and learns that there is no future for her...
I remember reading this as a teen and enjoying it immensely. However, the first thing that struck upon picking this up again is how dated the premise is now. In the current age of downloads, streaming and digital recording, the idea of using a video player is very old fashioned. So the idea of recording tomorrows news by mistake is slightly bizarre to me now! However, once you get past that idea (and shudder at the idea of anyone finding Mel Gibson fancy-able any more!), there is an interesting idea. What if you knew tomorrow news – and could make money from it and perhaps save lives...? And what if my changng the furture, means there is no future for you any more...?
The set up of the story takes a while and I have to confess I don’t understand what Rela sees in her love interest, Chris. The characterisation is a little shallow but as the whole book is less than 200 pages, there is no extraneous detail. However, the initial idea is so intriguing – and just when you think it reaches a climax, there is a twist out of left-field which puts all slow introduction into perspective.
Christopher Pike has a fascination with philosophy, what it means to be human and what is the meaning of life – all fascinating ideas that people struggle with for their whole lives and it is refreshing to see them introduced into a teen book. I think it was the early exposure to these ideas that lead to an early interest in physics and how the universe works. The last 60 pages are full of little ideas that stay with you long after the book is closed.
Recommended for fans of LJ Smith and Jeri Smith-Ready. 7 out of 10