on 24 February 2014
Time travel fascinates me and this is an interesting perspective. The timelines are well managed and explained and whilst the story is interesting it just unfolds rather than grabbing hold of your total interest. Would I read part two? Yes I probably would to find out where the writer is taking the story, but perhaps this book's end lacks the normal end of a book that seems destined to lead to a part two. A really strong link to hold onto and desire to find out what happens next.
I adore time travel stories, always have ever since I first saw The Time Machine (the original, of course) about 50 years ago and was totally mesmerised when the little model version he builds first is set going and disappears from the table top, travelling off in time for ever. I thought deeply about that for weeks afterwards, wondering what would happen to it.
The way that time travel is implemented in this story is actually pretty complex, with the travellers not only frequently encountering other versions of themselves but actively exploiting this paradoxical feature, and yet it is handled really cleverly and you never end up scratching your head trying to grasp what is happening. Having seen that this won a Young Adult Fiction prize I'm not entirely sure that I'm the target audience the author had in mind (as you can tell from the fact I watched The Time Machine nearly 50 years ago) but it really is very good and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and as I write this review I am already well in to the sequel.
on 13 February 2014
I don't ordinarily gravitate towards time travel fantasies as I find there are too many opportunities for plot holes, which can really ruin the experience of reading a book. I bought Timebound on a Kindle recommendation and I was pleasantly surprised: it is something of an exception. Rysa Walker has written this novel very cleverly, so that the reader doesn't feel like any inconsistencies have to be ignored to enjoy the plot.
The storyline was more complex than I was expecting: Walker is not simply occupied with the novelty of time travel and weaves in an interesting subplot about a cult-like religion and this certainly made Timebound a more compelling read.
This is an enjoyable YA fantasy that, stylistically, reminds me more of Meg Cabot than Cassandra Clare (for readers looking for a reference point).
on 28 April 2015
There's not much I can add to what other reviewers have already written, but I'll try…
This is one of very few books where I've found myself buying the book within a few pages of starting to read the free sample.
I found it to be intelligently written, extremely enjoyable, and well-paced. Probably the best time travel novel I've ever read. It really was almost unputdownable, but the plot jumps around so much in time and altered timelines that I had to give my brain a rest to assimilate what I'd read. I was even dreaming of similar scenarios whilst sleeping and spotting plot holes, only to discover that the author gets around to filling them in as the story develops.
Book two continues immediately where book one ends and is even better. I've also just bought the novella which claims to address some of the unanswered questions about the background of the two main characters in an alternate timeline, but have yet to start reading it, and have already pre-ordered part three for which I'll have to wait until October.
The British BBC tv show about a time traveller, Doctor Who, really NEEDS a writer like Rysa Walker to explore the true potential of the whole premise of the show in a way which the current main writers fail to achieve due to their very linear view of time.
on 31 January 2013
*In the interest of full disclosure, I suppose I should mention first that the author gave me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
I'm sort of still digesting this book and I'm left with questions that may only be answered by a re-read. The plot itself is rather complex, and either there are some unresolved plot holes or I didn't catch everything on my first read-through. That said, kudos to the author for taking on this book. You know that common time-travel trope, the what-if-someone-kills-your-grandmother paradox? Well, Walker deals with that head-on in an interesting and creative way. Without getting into spoilers, that's sort of the main thrust of the story. I had the impression that Walker had sorted through the paradox and its inherent problems before writing the book. I didn't get that made-up-on-the-spot feeling that makes some books painful to read.
I was fairly well-convinced by the world-building here. The book feels relatively fleshed out in terms of setting, but it could use a bit more. There is some set-up of this world's future which I found really interesting but it hasn't fully paid off yet. I hope we get more of that in the upcoming sequel(s). See also: the entire official infrastructure that supports the time travelling historians, the history behind the technology, etc. Again, Walker has produced a compelling and interesting take on the problem but I want to see more than just the tip of the iceberg. This world as described is well-painted, but at this point it's not quite filled out enough.
Unfortunately, I found the character development was the weakest part of the novel. Most of the characters felt quite flat and predictable, and a couple of them seemed entirely superfluous. No one had very clear motivations for their choices, and there seemed to be a lot of convoluted logic here. The main character, Kate, I found especially frustrating. She made a bunch of poor, illogical choices in her own life, but did everything right during her time travel adventures. I suppose that's how you'd write it if you want to show some character development (from sulky, rash teenager to ... smarter young woman? I don't know). Too bad I didn't really see that in Kate. I didn't feel her emotional depth or growth throughout the book even though the Things That Happened should have resulted in depth and growth.
Speaking of Things That Happened, there is a LOT going on here. In addition to time travel there's sketchy organizations, family drama, religious cults, love triangles, serial killers, an assassination. There was so much plot stuffed into this story, that the book suffered a bit overall. I can tell the author is a skilled story crafter, but I wish the plot was a little tighter and the dialogue a little more sincere.
Ultimately, I liked this book and will probably read it again. This feels very much like a first novel, but I do think Walker has a creative mind and shows real promise. Time's Twisted Arrow is not without its problems, but I'm certainly looking forward to future instalments of this series.
on 29 December 2014
Thoroughly enjoyed this. This is time travel sci-fi with a difference. Without giving anything away the usual premise of time travel is not entertained in this book. There are restrictions on what can be done and reasons for such explained. The consequences mean that the characters cannot just do what they want in the time travel sense. This makes for some thought provoking situations and conundrums for the characters. Plot is well laid out and has clearly had a lot of thought put into it. A book which centres around its character development and plot rather than action and continual jumping from one event to another. That said, plenty goes on. And when action does happen it's not easy to predict. The book is written first person and the centric character is Kate, a 16year old female. I am a 34 year old male, yet I found Kate easy to relate to thanks to her articulate and intelligent thought patterns. Often books centred around teens are easy to lose interest in unless you are a teen. As an adult with life experience it's easy to get frustrated with the mind of a teen character. But Rysa Walker pulls it off perfectly. You remember both how it felt to be that age yet at the same time understanding and even agreeing with the decisions Kate makes. But at the same time you don't forget that she is a kid. She's just a kid you come to respect. I have since read the second book and the novella based around another character in the story.
Thrilling, exciting, thought provoking, intelligent and all without resorting to a cliche battle of explosions, guns and violence.
on 8 February 2014
A very enjoyable read can't wait for the next book to come along to see what adventures Kate gets up to
on 21 February 2014
It,s not a book that is obvious what the end will be. I found it had me guessing what came next and I wished it had carried on.
on 3 February 2013
This is an amazing book! A time-travel novel like no other I've ever read and I am astounded at the ability of the other to keep track of the different time zones and events and yet still keep the story rolling. And roll it does, gathering pace and drawing in the reader at every page. I admit I had to re-read the first couple of chapters to get a better sense of what was going on but once that was done the story made perfect sense to me(!!). I know little of American history but it appears that the author has done her research on this and she is more than just an accomplished writer but also an intelligent one too. I loved the characters, especially Kiernan...I await the next instalment with bated breath!
on 30 October 2015
Thank you so much to both NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
"When Kate Pierce-Keller’s grandmother gives her a strange blue medallion and speaks of time travel, sixteen-year-old Kate assumes the old woman is delusional. But it all becomes horrifyingly real when a murder in the past destroys the foundation of Kate’s present-day life. Suddenly, that medallion is the only thing protecting Kate from blinking out of existence.
Kate learns that the 1893 killing is part of something much more sinister, and Kate’s genetic ability to time-travel makes her the only one who can stop him. Risking everything, she travels to the Chicago World’s Fair to try to prevent the killing and the chain of events that follows.
Changing the timeline comes with a personal cost, however—if Kate succeeds, the boy she loves will have no memory of her existence. And regardless of her motives, does she have the right to manipulate the fate of the entire world?"
This book was absolutely fabulous. It really was. Not only was it written well, I was really impressed with the continuity throughout this book. A lot of the time with time travel, I find that the author struggles to keep various continuities going, whether it be with tone or methods or, in some cases, they've completely and utterly given out different chains of events happening along a singular timeline. This book did absolutely none of that. Walker held her own voice solidly throughout, and everything was so neat and tidy with both the plot and the prose that I really commend her. She also has a really unique idea and method of time travel and that's something I really enjoy seeing, even if it took me a little while to get my head around some of the concepts and explanations behind said time travel.
This is such a well written novel. There really is nothing else to say about that. It ranges from the mid to fast pace sort of writing; I found I got through it maybe in two/three days and that's without a day of reading in the middle. Scenery was described beautifully and there was attention to detail even in sensations, such as feeling hot or cold, water being chilly etc, which I really appreciated. Of course this is done in every good novel, but I've read a few books lately that seem to leave this sort of thing out completely, so I was deeply impressed to see it here. A lot of time went into the explanation of the method of time travel and it was generally written in a clear and concise way. I only really struggled once or twice. So definite props for the writing.
Characters were developed well, as were the relationships within the book. With so much of the book being taken up with the plot and the actual description of the time travel itself, it was nice to see some detail still being paid to the relationships between some of the characters, and the development within the characters themselves as the novel progresses. Kate herself grows into a much richer character, and her relationship with her grandmother was deeply touching as they grow closer together. There's the first hint at a little love triangle, too. These characters are written so well that I already have my favourite male in this little triangle. And he shall prevail, or else... It's rare that I develop such deep feelings over love triangles so quickly, so I think this is a clear indicator of characters written superbly.
The plot in this one was good. I wouldn't say it was mind blowing because for the majority of the novel they are setting up so much backstory and history and explanatory scenes regarding the actual time travel that they really didn't have time for much else. It did really well at demonstrating the past and setting up for the next two novels in the trilogy, though. So while this novel may be a little light on plot, it was still absolutely awesome to read, and what plot there was was absolutely fantastic. I couldn't put it down, honestly. I read this book in two sittings, in two exact halves actually haha. So yes. Light on plot, but what plot there was was absolutely brilliant.
Really this book is a real gem. In fact, I've already got the next two in the trilogy. And I cried when I finished it. Because I'm a big girl and cry when books end that I love, even if there are two more in the series that I actually own. Cough. So yes, a clear 5/5 stars from me. Bravo.