Review: Invictus by Ryan Graudin

InvictusInvictus by Ryan Graudin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time is running out . . .Farway McCarthy was born outside of time. With nowhere to call home and nothing to anchor him to the present, Far captains a crew on a dangerous mission into the past.When he collides with Eliot – a mysterious, secretive girl, whose very appearance raises questions about time itself – Far immediately distrusts her.But he must take a leap of faith, following Eliot on a race against time, if he is to protect everything he’s ever loved from disappearing forever . .

Warnings: physical violence and gun violence, tense labor and childbirth

Invictus us, in a sentence, an exciting time travel adventure with nods to heist styles. Farway lives in a futuristic world (23rd century) where time travel exists, and only certified people are allowed to use the time machines to go back in time as observers called Recorders to essentially record events visually for study, their prime directive being to not interact with historical events in any way. Being the son of a famous time traveler who got lost in time, an anomaly who was born during time travel and thus ‘out of time’, and an accomplished student in his own right, he is practically a shoo-in for his career as a Recorder, when he fails his final test due to a glitch.

He is then approached by a black market smuggler who hires him to nick artifacts from the past, which is how he is the captain of the ship Invictus with his cousin Imogen as the Historian (as in the person who has to make their clothes for different eras), his friend Gram as the Engineer and his girlfriend Priya as the Medic. His comfortable and close team have a good time coasting through different ages, until they mess up a mission due to the introduction of another time traveler Eliot, who wants to join their team. She has secrets up her magically spacious sleeves, and seems to be up to something and holds their cargo as hostage, leading them to play along until they can decide what to do. When her reasons for barging on their crew is revealed, the plot throws itself into the main adventure, where they have to break one of their biggest rules – to not interfere with the past.

The science of the time travel in this book is complicated, but still easy enough to get through the book. It is tied into paradoxes, and alternate timelines, and vanishing memories, and is quite interesting. I can’t give out much more about the story, but I can say I loved the extra dimension (hehe) added to the time travel storyline. Their missions are exciting, and the placed they go to are few, but still quite well constructed. Even their home time, which we get to see a bit of, is interesting in its construction – not very cyberpunk, but still futuristic enough with a love for the older times mixed in. The romances, both the established one and the budding one, were cute in its portrayal. The ending was a mixed bag, delivering you all the pain and then delivering you from it! Also with it being a standalone, it was quite satisfactory in its execution of such a concept in one book.

Is it diverse? Two of the PoV characters are an Indian girl and a Black boy

View all my reviews


Buy links

The Book Depository | Wordery

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