Convergence holds a promising premise. There’s time traveling, a long-standing war, and three middle-schoolers stuck in between. At first glance, any science fiction lover would be drawn to Trudie Hayes’s tale.
The story starts during the first day of school, a daunting event for any middle schooler, and even more so to the three protagonists of the story. Chandler comes from a privileged family who has fallen on hard times, while Marissa lives with her mother who works diligently to provide for her daughter, and Otis, a seemingly smart and prodigal child, lives with his wise and supportive grandmother. At first glance, all three are polar opposites, from capabilities to up-bringing and looks, but they’ll soon discover that they have one thing in common: a purpose, a task they must fulfill and a role they must play.
The book started off with this promise of adventure and thrill. Just getting to school for the three main characters was an event within itself, and as a reader, I was excited to see where and how the story will unfold further. However, as it progressed, I found some of the details a bit confounding and as a result, hard to follow. In fact, I often echoed some of the characters’ confusion in some chapters, re-reading paragraphs once and even twice over. Even after that, I was left still wondering what the author really meant, or where the story was truly going.
Despite this, there is one redeeming fact that I found admirable about Ms. Hayes’s work. Despite her characters’ differences, she manages to find a common thread between them, to allow them to work through the confusion of time traveling, through their various tasks and roles, within various different worlds. With this, she sends a powerful message: that anyone can work together (despite disagreements and silly spats) for a common and greater good.
I wish the book delivered this message clearer, rather than being muddled by its weak execution. The message to its readers is important, and I hope that with a bit of editing and fine-tuning, Convergence will get there. I do commend Ms. Hayes for creating alternate worlds and realities for these three characters to explore and learn from, not only about their surroundings, but about themselves as well.