My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Summary provided by publisher:
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.
In this heart-stopping adventure, Ryan Graudin has created a fast-paced world that defies time and space.
I had never read a Ryan Graudin book before (though I do have Wolf by Wolf, courtesy of my Uppercase box subscription), but I can now say that I am definitely a fan!
In Invictus, we get the joys of time travel, but without so much of the clichéd time paradoxes the blah that comes with being constantly told to not re-write history. No, instead we have four teenagers time traveling in order to acquire treasures from different time periods for their boss who happens to run a very successful black market business. So when it comes to venturing into the past, it’s all business until they are allowed free time to travel to pretty much any point they’d like.
Anyway, before I go off and end up summarizing more of this book, I’ll move on with my actual line of thought.
So, back to time travel without all the fun of paradoxes looming over everything. I really loved how time travel wasn’t all that we had to concentrate on in this book. Sure, it was really cool to see them travel to the Titanic in 1912, but the focus was set on our merry band of travelers first meeting Eliot, who pretty much crashes into their lives and blackmails her way onto the Invictus ship. I’ll be honest and say that at first I really disliked Eliot, because she always went completely against everything that Far (captain and boy wonder – for reasons that are explained in the book summary, and the book itself) ordered. I’m not saying I’m against a strong female character, I just happen to be a fan of order, and admittedly, I am known to outwardly cringe when things go off track in epic proportions…which is what happens when the team go to Pompeii on the day of eruption. Honestly, you’re going to have to read this book if you want to find out what exactly happened, but I’ll say that it was a huge plot twist, and really becomes a focal point in this book.
I already mentioned Eliot and Far, so now I’ll mention the other three characters who play a big role in this book. There’s Far’s cousin, Imogen, who’s job as a historian is very important when it comes to their clothing being as authentic to each time period they visit, and how can I not mention the fact that she’s chalking her hair different colors everyday? Oh the joys of being blonde, right? (I am so not blonde, so I do not have this joy.) I just loved her easygoing manner, and the dedication she had to her friends.
Next, we have Priya, Far’s girlfriend, and the ship’s medic, who brews a fantastic chai tea, and is the levelheaded one when Far needs rational opinion.
Finally, we have Engineer Gram, who happens to be extremely intelligent, and without his calculations, the ship wouldn’t land where it’s supposed to. He also possesses a love for Tetris, and for Rubik’s Cubes (both understandable, since I also love both, though I have never successfully completed a Rubik’s Cube…sigh). What he does not possess, is the realization that Imogen really, really likes him…sigh again.
Yeah, the characters each are fun in their own ways, and I enjoyed them immensely.
Now that I’ve mentioned my love of the plot and the characters, I will conclude by saying that the ending really lived up to my expectations, and I just really loved this book overall. Sure, it did start off a bit slow, or it could have just been that I was distracted, but once I picked this back up, I really couldn’t stop! The story was that entertaining for me! It’s probably pretty obvious at this point that I will gladly recommend it.
Thank you to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers via Netgalley for giving me this copy in exchange for an honest review.