Sunday, October 20, 2013
by Alex Scarrow
Reviewed by Sesana
Four out of five stars
Maddy should have died in a plane crash. Liam should have died at sea when the Titanic sank. Sal should have died in a tragic fire. But a mysterious man whisked them away to safety.
Maddy, Liam, and Sal quickly learn that time travel is no longer just a hope for the future; it is a dangerous reality. And they weren't just rescued from their terrible fates. . . they were recruited for the agency of TimeRiders created to protect the world from those seeking to alter the course of history for personal gain. By reliving the highly documented events in New York City on 9/11, they can closely monitor history for any deviations—large or small. When just such a change is detected, they are alerted that a threat is at hand unleashing the evil of the Nazis to wreak havoc with Earth's present and future. Can Maddy, Liam, and Sal fulfill their destinies as keepers of time to save the world from utter destruction?
This book and I didn't have the smoothest start. It has more than its fair share of time travel cliches. Titanic, Nazis, the Kennedy assassination... Not the most original stomping grounds for time travelers. And then the character from 1912 hears somebody say "time travel" and says, "What's time travel?" And I facepalmed. At this point, I didn't have high hopes for this book.
Luckily, it all improves from there. Despite an unimaginative choice of time travel destinations, the way that time travel is actually handled is done in a way that's interesting and, to my mind, fairly original. It also seems to have been executed with a great deal of forethought. The stakes feel very real, and very urgent. And the characters themselves were done better than I'd been afraid they would be. They're all new at this whole time travel business, of course, but they're all bright enough, brave enough, and competent enough at the beginning to make it believable that they can become the time travel cops they were chosen to be. And guess what? No romance!
I have to say, I was surprised by how much I ended up liking this book, despite a less than promising start. I'm not sure yet if I'll read any further in the series, but this was a solid start.