Book Review: The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway

The River of No Return by Bee RidgwayThe River of No Return: What it is about

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

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

20 Responses to Book Review: The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway

  1. Suzanne says:

    Sounds interesting. I think I would probably enjoy the fact that more time is spent in the 1800s. What does that say about me, I wonder?

    • Leeswammes says:

      It says you prefer historical fiction, Suzanne! I also enjoyed the historical side of it, but I was initially drawn to the book because of the time travel idea.

  2. Mystica says:

    This one was reviewed simultaneously on book’d out blog! with a giveaway. sounds very interesting.

  3. Oh, I wasn’t aware this was a time travel book? Nit sure its for me but I may give it a try.

  4. I don’t think I have read a lot of books about time-travel, but I think I would like this one. Thanks, Judith.

  5. debbierodgers says:

    Oh, I do love a “proper time travel book”. As long as there’s not too much romance (what does that say about me?), I think I’ll really enjoy this! Thanks for the recommendation.

  6. Charlie says:

    The negatives sound minor compared the recommendation of a “proper” time travel. I think I know what you mean with that and it sounds great.

  7. Athira says:

    I love this sound of this book mainly because of how well time travel seems to be used here. I will have to check it out.

  8. Laurie C says:

    When this review landed in my email inbox and I saw the phrase “a proper time travel book” I had to click through! I had no idea this had time travel in it. It’s going on the TBR list immediately! I listened to A Map of TIme a while and now I wish I could travel back in time to write the review in a timely fashion!

  9. I’m not much for bending reality, but time travel is something that doesn’t freak me out too much. I think I’d like this (time in the 1800s sounds good!)

  10. harvee says:

    I am curious about this one, having loved the paranormal time travel romances of Gwyn Cready.

  11. Pingback: Latest Acquisitions (July - August 2013) || The Worm Hole

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