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Friday, May 18, 2012

TimeRiders (TimeRiders #1) by Alex Scarrow

Mess around with time and the world you know...could become a world you don't.

Liam O'Connor should have died at sea in 1912. Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010. Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2026. Yet moments before death, someone mysteriously appeared and said, 'Take my hand ...'

But Liam, Maddy and Sal aren't rescued. They are recruited by an agency that no one knows exists, with only one purpose - to fix broken history. Because time travel is here, and there are those who would go back in time and change the past. That's why the TimeRiders exist: to protect us. To stop time travel from destroying the world...

Released: January 2010   Pages: 432
Publisher: Puffin Books   Source: Bought
First Look: ***** I loved the premise of this, right from the first time I read the back cover.  I just had to buy it.  I'm rather fond of time travel stories.  I hoped this one would follow through.  This might be a shorter review, since I've gotten behind again. 

Setting: ***** The historical aspects of this were cool.  Of course, setting your first scene in the sinking Titanic is always a fantastic idea.  The other settings were interesting, too.  The author definitely did a nice job making the altered history seem very believable. 

Characters: ***** This was the disappointing part of this book, in my opinion.  The characters all fell flat.  They had the potential to be interesting, likable characters, but I couldn't connect to them.  None of them really had distinct personalities.  Out of the three main characters, I'd have to say Liam was my favorite, though that's probably because he got the most time in the spotlight. 

I'm really hoping the next book improves on this aspect.  The thing I wanted to see, especially, was the growth of a bond between the three main characters.  I didn't see much of this, but hopefully it gets better as the series goes on.

Plot: ***** The plot was compelling.  The premise was awesome, and it was carried out well.  It's so easy for plots of books involving time travel to become either unbelievable, or hopelessly confusing.  Or both.  Fortunately, this book had neither.  The believability of the plot is, in my opinion, the real gem of this book.  Scarrow makes us think "Yeah, this could happen in our future."  Then when history gets all twisted around, it's still convincing.  It can be a bit spooky, to think of the things that might've happened had history taken a different path. 

Uniqueness: *****
It's a straight-up time travel book.  No dithering about in paranormal.

Writing: *****
This is one of those books where it's just so easy to blow through the entire thing and realize you hardly remember any of the writing. That's a good thing, in its own way. It's written in a manner that keeps you going through the story without letting the narration remind you of the fact that, hey, you're actually reading a book.

My only complaint was some of Liam's dialogue.  Someone who was a teenager in 1912 isn't going to have "friggin" in their vocabulary.  They aren't going to use "awkward" the way we use it today.  It just didn't make sense for him.

Likes: Bob.

Not-so-great: Nothing that wasn't mentioned above. 

Overall:  I enjoyed this book.  It had a cool premise which, thankfully, followed through.  The plot was compelling, and it offered some interesting thoughts on how history could have been different.  It was full of action and suspense.  It was a little lacking in the character development area, but I'd still recommend it, especially to people who like time travel books, or anyone who's looking for a distraction from all the recent paranormal or dystopian stuff that's being published lately.

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  1. Hi there Annie. Just wanted to say what a good, concise and detailed review that was. Exactly how a book review should be.

    Just want to reassure you the characters do most definately grow through the series. Particularly in the next book (Day of the Predator) where you'll see an interesting new development between Liam and the support unit!

    Great review. Good blog. Keep up the good work.

    all the best

    Alex Scarrow (author - TimeRiders)

    1. Thanks for the comment. Hopefully I'll get a chance to pick up the next book soon!



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