Departure begins with the crash of an airliner that was heading to London. When the survivors escape the plane they find themselves in a region with no cell service and no rescue in sight. How can a plane go down over England but no one comes to rescue them? It doesn't take long before the survivors begin to suspect that time travel is involved.
Two of the passengers immediately form a bond: Harper Lane, a writer, and Nick Stone, a venture capitalist. Other passengers seem to know something about what's going on, but they're soon separated into two camps. I don't want to give away any major plot points, but the secret behind what's going on includes a secret society, a virus that's killed off most of the world's population, and a decision that needs to be made that could correct what's happened, or leave the status quo intact. The survivors are pitted against each other, leading to a battle in which many of them die.
While Departure's narrative moved along at a steady pace, and the story was entertaining, it suffers from all of the other books that exist which rely on time travel as a plot device. If you think about it too hard, nothing at all makes sense, and you can go around and around in circles trying to think of all the ways that the story doesn't actually work. It can be a little frustrating, but if you don't think too hard about the logic behind the story, it's a nice weekend diversion. I read this while I was feeling stressed about something, and it was a good distraction. Although the main characters are adults, this book has a decided YA feel, so it might be appealing to that audience.
I received my copy as an advance reader's edition at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA. It won't be available for purchase until October, and there are already 2,979 reviews on Amazon (with a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars), so HarperCollins has clearly been promoting this book pretty heavily.
A.G. Riddle. Departure. New York: Harper Voyager, 2015. unpaged. Advance reader's edition ISBN 9780062434746.