Thursday, October 26, 2017

Thursday #Review - Invictus by Ryan Graudin #YALit #Science #Fiction

Series: Standalone
Format: Hardcover, 464 pages 
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult \ Time Travel 

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.

Author Ryan Graudin's Invictus is a thrilling sci-fi time-traveling adventure that will have readers on the edge of their seats waiting to see what the author will come up with next. Protagonist Fairway Gaius McCarthy is the son of a legend. His mother, Empra McCarthy, disappeared ten years ago while recording events of 95 A.D. But, that didn't cool off Fair's desire to become a time recorder, or to become a captain of his own ship, or to discover what really happened to his mother.

Fair is a character who has a fairly impressive resume. He's
the only known person to ever be born outside of time. He's also at the top of his class in almost every category. But, after his final exam goes wonky, Fair finds himself kicked out of the Corps and aligned with a black market racketeer named Lux Julius. Fair becomes Captain of a fairly successful ship named Invictus that transverses time & collects valuables that would otherwise be lost in time. 

His crew includes is own cousin Imogen, a historian who changes her hair color daily. Gram, who is the brilliant engineer as well as recorder. And, Priya who is the ships
medic, and mechanic. Oh, and I should mention that Priya is also Fair's love interest. Lux sends the Invictus back in time to April 14, 1912 to retrieve a valuable book. If you don't know that date, it is the date that the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank. During the mission, things don't go as expected. But, the most unexpected thing is Fair meeting a girl named Eliot. Eliot who is as mysterious as she is dangerous. She's also keeping a major secret that sends the crew back in time in hopes of saving the universe.

So, where do I start. I loved Fairway. Yes, he's arrogant. Yes, has a huge ego. But, this is someone who lost his mother without anyone telling him exactly what happened. Even though he loses his chance at becoming a superlative recorder like his mother, becoming Captain of the Invictus is probably the best thing that could happen. He and his crew have dozens of successful missions, and they've become a family as well. His relationship with Priya is pretty special. I loved that Priya is dual talented. One minute she can be helping heal, the next she's changing a rod so that ship can jump through time. Eliot is definitely the wild card of this story. She is so mysterious, but seems to know a whole lot. Her connection to Fair is one of antagonist, which slowly becomes a necessary alliance with lots of twists and surprises.

Overall, I really enjoyed the second half of this story. I am giddy that this is a standalone and not part of a series. The ending, while leaving room for a possible future sequel, would have been better had the author explored more of a relationship between Priya and Fair. They really deserved a happy ending.

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