all time-travel novels these days seem very sophisticated, complex, and a lot more challenging--potentially confusing--than what was written ages ago. this one reminds me of The Thing Itself, from earlier in the year, but I like this one better--more engaging, less piecemeal. still, this book--much as I'm fond of it--is showcasing an over-arching timeline in an out-of-logical-sequence fashion; older versions of characters in the past, younger versions of them in the future,characters interacting in the past but also in the future--one of them meeting the other for the first time while the other character has an edge because he or she has already met the first fellow in the future, etc. etc. etc. loads of timey-wimey stuff. so far, I love it, and I'm trusting all of it (I'll settle for most of it) will make sense by the end, with all loops closed.
one thing that seems fresh is that in this version of the 21st century, society has been introduced to the fact that there are time-travelers from the future amongst them, and that sobering truth (not believed by everyone--"it's all a hoax! they're actors, the government's up to something!") has led to culture adapting to the fact that x-number of folks you meet around the city are from over a hundred years up the timeline. there's also a mysterious NEE--near extinction event--that happened somewhere on the timeline between when time travelers first made themselves known to the 21st century population, and the future when the near-apocalypse was recovered from and time-travel was put into operation. details of the NEE are sketchy, even in the future, because humanity was reduced to such a bad state that accurate accounts of what happened weren't kept during that dark age.
it's all pretty cool, and very inventive in the way time-travel has been incorporated into an exciting, complex plot.