Invictus by Ryan Graudin – REVIEW
‘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.
“As a time traveler, he was used to bending the laws of nature, sometimes all the way backward. But this … a child born outside of time … Such an event didn’t just distort the laws of nature. It broke them.”
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book even though I’d seen it frequently on Twitter. However, I absolutely loved it. Set in 2371 AD, time travel is now possible and official missions are regularly launched with the aim of recording the past without interfering. Farway McCarthy is an anomaly, born outside of time to a father from the past. After failing his final test to join the Corps, Farway is offered the chance to captain his own time-machine, stealing priceless artifacts from the past. I would have loved to read more about their heists as they sound like thrilling fun. I realise this is a standalone but, if Ryan Graudin ever decides to revisit the Invictus crew as they thieve throughout time, I would definitely buy that book.
“Don’t be so quick to judge books by their covers, Far. I contain multitudes.”
The crew Farway assembles is one of my favourite things about this book as they have such a great relationship and chemistry. Every member is well-developed and interesting, each bringing something different to the story. Historian Imogen was definitely my favourite member of the crew as she proved herself intelligent, optimistic, and fun. She even has a pet red panda called Saffron, who is adorable. The other members of the crew are Priya, the medic, Gram, the engineer, and eventually, Eliot, a thief with a mysterious background who is the catalyst for the main action of the book. The introduction of Eliot causes tensions between the crew and initially creates temporary fractures in some relationships but she’s a welcome addition to the story.
“What a fearsome light, calling her, the moth who knew her wings would burn.”
The consequences of time travel form the premise of this book as time itself is shown as incredibly fragile. The book started a little slow as it took a while to adjust to the future capabilities and the ability to travel through time but, as the action increased, I was swept away by this future world and the great characters. This was a fast-paced and fun adventure story with likeable characters who shared a wonderful dynamic. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good adventure story or Doctor Who. Fingers crossed Ryan Graudin decides to revisit the Invictus crew in the future.
A fast-paced and fun young adult standalone.
|About the Author
Ryan Graudin was born in Charleston, South Carolina, with a severe case of wanderlust. When she’s not traveling, she’s busy writing and spending time with her husband and wolf dog. She is the author of Invictus, the Wolf By Wolf duology, The Walled City, and the All That Glows Series.