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Timebound (The Chronos Files Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Rysa Walker
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,978 customer reviews)

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From the Editor

Here's the one thing you need to know about Timebound: when I finished reading it, I didn't even put the book down before I went right back to the first page to start the story all over again. I'm not exaggerating—it's that good—and I was delighted to see it win the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Grand Prize. Rysa Walker achieves something that, as an editor, I crave. With each sentence, I fell further into the book's world, while my own world—e-mail, work, friends—utterly disappeared.

The power of the opening pages sustains itself for the entire story, and it's a story that is not easy to forget, with genetically enabled time travel, the threat of imminent death, and even a dash of romance. The settings are also a delight, as Walker effortlessly whisks the reader from the comforts of present-day Washington, DC, to the rather alien world of 1893 Chicago. But what really makes Timebound so memorable is Kate, its heroine. Like many great heroines, she's intelligent, witty, and courageous. But she's also flawed, and more than once I found myself crying out in frustration at the choices she makes. I was so invested in her—so thrilled by her successes, so terrified by her losses—that I became utterly bewitched.

As much as I enjoyed my back-to-back readings of Timebound, Rysa doesn't plan on leaving her readers wondering what happens to Kate next. She's hard at work on the sequel, and I cannot wait for the opportunity to fall into Kate's world once again.

One final note: An earlier version of Timebound was self-published as Time's Twisted Arrow before winning the ABNA Grand Prize. We're delighted to have discovered it through the contest and to be presenting it to you today.

- Courtney Miller, Acquiring Editor

Book Description

2013 Winner — Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award — Grand Prize and Young Adult Fiction Winner

When Kate Pierce-Keller’s grandmother gives her a strange blue medallion and speaks of time travel, sixteen-year-old Kate assumes the old woman is delusional. But it all becomes horrifyingly real when a murder in the past destroys the foundation of Kate’s present-day life. Suddenly, that medallion is the only thing protecting Kate from blinking out of existence.

Kate learns that the 1893 killing is part of something much more sinister, and her genetic ability to time travel makes Kate the only one who can fix the future. Risking everything, she travels back in time to the Chicago World’s Fair to try to prevent the murder and the chain of events that follows.

Changing the timeline comes with a personal cost—if Kate succeeds, the boy she loves will have no memory of her existence. And regardless of her motives, does Kate have the right to manipulate the fate of the entire world?

Timebound was originally released as Time’s Twisted Arrow.

Editorial Reviews Review


From Publishers Weekly

This inventive science fiction adventure asks the dramatic question: what do you do when you’re a normal 16-year-old girl attending a private school in Washington, D.C., you find out that your grandmother is actually a time-traveling historian from the future (the 23rd century, to be precise), and she sends you into the past (the Chicago Exposition in 1893, to be exact) in order to stop your grandfather (also from the future) from changing history by creating a new religion, the Cyrists? Prudence Katherine Pierce-Keller (just call her Kate) has to be a quick study in order to enter the family business -- time travel. Her adventures in trying to stop the cult’s temporal shift take her across alternate time lines and involve her with past and future versions of the people in her life. Confusing? At times. But also nonstop fun as Kate races to restore her basic reality. Along the way, she falls for a boy, Trey Coleman, and hopes that he will still be around after she fiddles with history. Kate is the Katniss Everdeen of time travel, even though this means that she adapts a little too quickly to being an action heroine. Her story reads like a mash-up of Jack Finney’s "Time and Again" and Erik Larson’s "The Devil in the White City." In the end, this novel works as a contemporary, sexed-up tribute to one of those great old Heinlein juveniles from the 1950s. —Publishers Weekly Manuscript Review

Product Details

  • File Size: 4387 KB
  • Print Length: 374 pages
  • Publisher: Skyscape (January 1, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CQC9O16
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
93 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Put It Down! December 7, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Blend H. G. Wells' The Time Machine with BBC's Dr. Who, add a side of Jon D. MacDonald's The Girl, The Gold Watch and Everything, season generously with Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next novels, and you have a taste for Rysa Walker's first-in-a-series work Time's Twisted Arrow: Book One of the CHRONOS Files. Part science fiction, part historical novel, part young romance, mystery and action, all fast paced and riveting, this one will keep you up past bedtime.

Her ailing grandmother arrives suddenly from Europe pleading to spend time with her namesake, pulling 16-year-old Kate from her parent's shared custody into Katherine's new home in D.C. only to uncover disturbing revelations about her family - namely, that Kate has inherited a supernatural ability to move backward in time.

Katherine, with help from her research assistant and general dogsbody Connor, explains two earlier episodes Kate experienced as temporal shifts rather than panic attacks, changes to the past that can - and do - alter history. And Kate's ability is the key to setting the past and the future back on track. Still unbelieving, she rushes to school to meet her Dad, only to encounter a very different reality. She finds an ally in Trey, who is drawn into an ever-shifting time line that threatens their collective existence.

Mystery? Drama? Paranormal? Historical novel? Romance? Time travel, historical anomalies, politics and religion, power plays, zealots and villains, disappearing artifacts and powerful medallions combine to dish up a foundation novel that can stand on its own, yet leaves the reader hungry for more. The first bite is young adult and sci-fi, but the intricate medley of flavors appeals to broader inter-generational tastes, defying categorization. I can't wait for the movie!
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54 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Oh the wondrous and endlessly fascinating idea that is time travel-I can't think of a better topic to base a fiction novel on, especially one that the author takes the time to write well. I've always been a complete sucker for this idea, and the infinite possibilities it presents. I've had the pleasure of reading a few novels lately that combine time travel with an impressive story line-this novel was no exception. It was a pleasure to read, albeit a confusing one at times, but I was entertained for the most part.

Kate Pierce-Heller has discovered that her link to Time Travel runs blood-deep. She has inherited DNA that allows her to use a medallion to travel to secure points in time throughout history, or the future. After a (very short-lived) initial shock, she is quickly given enough proof to secure her position as the world's only remaining hope. A family member of Kates is hell-bent on twisting history in his own favour, and doesn't care if he has destroy his own blood to do it.

I was a bit weary of Kate's 16/17 yr-old character. Her speech seemed a little too mature for her age, despite the fact that she mostly "stuck to her books" as opposed to doing what others typically do at her age. It was slightly unnerving, and a little unrealistic. However, she definitely grew on me as the story progressed: she wasn't whiny, or thoughtless to the point of annoyance, and I learned to appreciate the way her mind worked. As I mentioned before, she seemed to grasp the reality of the situation a little too easily, I wish she had spent a little more time in disbelief, but I suppose the situation left her no choice.
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53 of 60 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Story With an Interesting Plot... February 28, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Timebound's plot sounded GREAT and the excerpt that I read online also seemed super interesting and well-written, so I bought it with high expectations. Unfortunately, I was incredibly disappointed and I couldn't even finish the book.

While the plot was excellent, the dialogue struck me as unnatural, forced, and full of info-dumps. There were pages and pages of characters monologuing with no action what-so-ever.

The main character, Kate, was rather one-dimensional and because of this, I couldn't find a reason to really care about her/root for her.

This being said, I notice that a lot of other readers have high praise for Timebound so this just goes to show that we all have different taste. If you're reading this review and trying to decide whether or not you should buy the book, go ahead and buy it because maybe you'll feel differently and you'll like the novel. Who knows? In any case, my opinion is that Timebound's plot was great but the character development and dialogue left much to be desired.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shallow and talky March 7, 2014
By JoyceA
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was initially interested in this book because of the fictional connection to the all-too-real Dr. H.H. Holmes, and I thought it sounded like an interesting read. I’m way too old to be a young adult, so I was prepared to make allowances for some of the things I might find a little too “juvenile”, for want of a better term. I also found I would have to overcome my basic dislike for the use of the first person in fiction; I prefer the narrator-style approach because I find it provides more balanced insight into all the characters, rather than just one.

What I found I couldn’t get past was the constant, unrelenting exposition. The author has missed the classic “show, don’t tell” advice. Particularly in the first 20 percent or so of the book, parts of it read like court testimony. Explain, explain, explain… someone asks a question, and then there’s some further detail given on what was just said, just like at a trial. If the dialogue were especially sparkling or clever, it might be easier to tolerate, but it’s not. And still, even after all that talking, I couldn’t really figure out what the basics of this world were or how things worked and why. I’m not a fantasy or a time-travel buff, so perhaps there are substantive basics that most readers of fantasy would already “get” so they’re not included here?

When the characters aren’t talking, they’re moving around like chess pieces, with very little internal dialogue or “feeling” about what is happening to them and why. That’s probably a style issue to some extent; I prefer a lot of internalizing from characters since I feel that’s the best way to get to know them, but there isn’t a lot of that here. This is a once-over-lightly approach.

The story itself isn’t a bad idea, the characters aren’t bad (if a little one-dimensional), but the novel as a whole just doesn’t seem to work.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome
I listened to the auto book and enjoyed it very much. Cant wait for the second book to come out soon.
Published 4 hours ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars An OA rating a YA novel
I'm not a usual reader of Young Adult novels, mainly because I'm an Old Adult, and it's usually just too damn much trouble recalling the angst of my youth so that I might identify... Read more
Published 4 hours ago by Ken
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 4 hours ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars soda, but better than coke
It's not the book to read if you want something that finally manages to avoid the plot-holes that seem to be inevitable in a time travel story, but it's not just fluff and air... Read more
Published 7 hours ago by fiskin sears
5.0 out of 5 stars A puzzling trip but it kept my attention.
It took me a while to get my head wrapped around the timeline concept, but the story line encouraged me to hang in there. Read more
Published 12 hours ago by Alice Marie
3.0 out of 5 stars Kept My Attention
This is not a genre that I usually read take that into consideration when you see my scoring. It is the first book in a series and I will not be ordering the second book. Read more
Published 1 day ago by S. L. Webster
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
fast read great detail. you will be lost in this story
Published 1 day ago by Peter B. Malkemes
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I enjoy reading time travel novels and also YA fiction and this fit both perfectly. The characters weren't flat and were interesting. Read more
Published 1 day ago by birdlover
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbound
I gave it five stars, because #1 I have a very hard time reading if it doesn't keep me inspire - otherwise I start daydreaming. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Chickie
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good book, really kept me reading. Looking forward to the second one.
Published 3 days ago by Linda Keeler
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More About the Author

RYSA WALKER grew up on a cattle ranch in the South, where she read every chance she got. On the rare occasion that she gained control of the television, she watched Star Trek and imagined living in the future, on distant planets, or at least in a town big enough to have a stop light.

Timebound, the first book in the CHRONOS Files series, was the Young Adult and Grand Prize winner in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. A CHRONOS Files novella, Time's Echo, is now available exclusively on Kindle and Audible. Time's Edge, the second book in the series, is scheduled for release in October of 2014.

For news and updates, visit her at

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Topic From this Discussion
Book 2?
Yes! Book Two is scheduled for publication in October. There will also be a Kindle-only CHRONOS Files novella, from Kiernan's perspective, within the next few weeks.
Apr 13, 2014 by Rysa Walker (Timebound) |  See all 4 posts
Release date
The book was originally self-published as Time's Twisted Arrow, but it was also entered into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, where it won the YA and the Grand Prize. It's been slightly revised, with a new cover, etc., and will be rereleased by Skyscape 1/1/14.
Dec 1, 2013 by CW |  See all 2 posts
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