I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Invictus by Ryan Graudin
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on September 26th 2017
Genres: Sci Fi, Time Travel, Young Adult
Time flies when you're plundering history.
Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far's birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he's ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.
But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far's very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.
I’ve been obsessed with time travel books and movies recently. Sadly, I do not read many that make me want to read them again. Maybe it’s the sci fi portion that is difficult, but it’s also the idea that time travel can affect nearly everything. It’s difficult to write a good story that allows the characters to affect the space around them, without affecting the space around them!
This plot does the complete opposite. While the characters do travel in time and try not to affect anything, the very existence of one characters is against the rules. We’re allowed to see how this happens in the beginning, setting up an atmosphere of anticipation because I just knew a shoe was going to drop somewhere! And that’s the fun part. The story itself is a conundrum. I am so glad I was able to see how one person’s decision could create many issues.
Far’s mother was a time traveler and gets pregnant by a gladiator in 95 ad! This is absolutely against all the rules. ALL of them. She’s able to keep the father a secret but winds up having Far on the ship before they can make it back home. Because of this he has no real birth date.
I loved the characters. Far is interesting in a mysterious way. He enjoys being mysterious. Imogen is crazy and I feel like she would be my best friend (for my younger self), and the others are just as fabulous. Imogen’s ship log entries were some of my favorite portions. Succinct but full of life, they allow for a bit of a look into the feelings of the characters at the beginning of some of the chapters.
There is also a small portion of romance in this. First there is the plot of Far’s mother with Gaius, then Far and Priya, then Imogen and Gram. While each relationship is different, they all hold a bit of allure. Each relationship is also at a different stage of acceptance and they all have to work to realize a better future. It was interesting being able to see into their lives a little bit under this time traveling story. Never does the romance take away from the time traveling, but adds to it.
What I enjoyed the most was the different ideas that I could see in this. Dr. Who, Guardians of the Galaxy even, but my favorite was the allusion to The Neverending Story. While completely different, this plot holds the appeal that The Neverending Story had for me when I first watched it. There is real danger to figure out and that danger is ever present in their minds. They have to fight it or they die.
In short: This was a fantastic read. Sci fi with romance thrown in, but ultimately it was thrilling!
|Overall:||4.4 / 5|