April 25, 2013 19 Comments
What the publishers say: ““You are now a member of the Guild. There is no return.” Two hundred years after he was about to die on a Napoleonic battlefield, Nick Falcott, soldier and aristocrat, wakes up in a hospital bed in modern London. The Guild, an entity that controls time travel, showers him with life’s advantages. But Nick yearns for home and for one brown-eyed girl, lost now down the centuries. Then the Guild asks him to break its own rule. It needs Nick to go back to 1815 to fight the Guild’s enemies and to find something called the Talisman.
In 1815, Julia Percy mourns the death of her beloved grandfather, an earl who could play with time. On his deathbed he whispers in her ear: “Pretend!” Pretend what? When Nick returns home as if from the dead, older than he should be and battle scarred, Julia begins to suspect that her very life depends upon the secrets Grandfather never told her. Soon enough Julia and Nick are caught up in an adventure that stretches up and down the river of time. As their knowledge of the Guild and their feelings for each other grow, the fate of the future itself is hanging in the balance.“
The River of No Return: What I thought
This was a proper time-travel book: time travel wasn’t an excuse to get a modern person into a previous century or vice versa, but it was a concept that was used throughout the book. Not only as in time-travel, but also in stopping time, manipulating time. That was all very interesting.
On the other hand, I also had a strong Georgette Heyer-feel at times: aristocrats in the early 19th century, some romance, it was all there. Nothing wrong with that, but not really what I expected in this novel.
More time than I had hoped, was spent in the 1800s. A greater frequency of to-ing and fro-ing would have satisfied this time-travel
nerd reader somewhat more. Thus, a large part of the book was historical fiction in which time travel did not (often) take place, but it was talked about a lot.
There is something fishy about the Guild and Nick wants to find out what it is. He discovers that something terrible is awaiting humankind in the future and together with other time-sensitive people, tries to stop this from happening.
I found the ending a little disappointing, because I didn’t feel the story was sufficiently wrapped up. I was reading this on an ereader and the ending came very unexpected. But in all, this was a very entertaining story with some interesting ideas about time.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Number of pages: 464
First published: 2013
I got this: from the publishers, Penguin, via Netgalley (e-galley)
Genre: science fiction, time travel, historical fiction