- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (March 25, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0142180831
- ISBN-13: 978-0142180839
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 185 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,116,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The River of No Return: A Novel Paperback – March 25, 2014
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In her stellar debut, Ridgeway manages the permutations of the time-travel trope with originality and aplomb. Lord Nick Falcott was an early nineteenth-century aristocrat, until he unexpectedly “jumped” into the twenty-first century while engaged in bloody battle. He then discovers the powerful, secret Guild that keeps a watchful eye on time shenanigans while it shepherds its bewildered new members through their futuristic lives. Nick is prepared to live in contemporary ease in America and willfully ignore the echoes of his past, but the Guild has other plans for him. They send him back to 1815 England to discover the nefarious plans of a shadowy nemesis who seeks a talisman that controls time. Also in 1815 exists Julia Percy, whose grandfather played with time and managed to pass on his legacy to Julia without her being completely aware of it. The juxtaposition between rather foppish yet deeply wounded Nick and spunky, highly intelligent Julia keeps the pages turning, while the entire premise and plot capture unwavering attention. Recommend this engaging, nuanced read to fans of A Discovery of Witches (2011) and Regency romances. --Julie Trevelyan
Praise for The River of No Return:
"A wonderful first novel...Ridgway spins an intricate narrative in elegant prose that combines the best of various genres - spy thriller, historical romance, science fiction, fantasy. Throughout, her juxtaposition of past and present is dazzling and often amusing...The River of No Return has the feel of an instant classic." -Washington Post
“A time-traveling couple enter The River of No Return in Bee Ridgway’s thrill ride.” –Vanity Fair"A highly entertaining romp; her historical details are accurate, and the character are believable. Fans of Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series should enjoy this time-traveling romantic adventure, which may also attract readers who like historical fiction with a twist." —Library Journal “In her stellar debut, Ridgway manages the permutations of the time-travel trope with originality and aplomb.” —Booklist “Ridgway offers a well-crafted blend of science fiction, romance, mystery, and historical fiction.” —Publishers Weekly"Bee Ridgway's deliciously fun debut covers ground similar to smart bodice rippers such as Outlanders and Discovery of Witches." - All You"[A] passionate, thought-provoking and consistently fun debut that's best described as a Regency romance wrapped in a spy novel covered in science fiction." - Shelf Awareness"Verdict: Buy, and make sure to start it on a day you don't have to go to work." - Book Riot"The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway is teh kind of book that is meant to be read under the covers with a flshlight." - Chicago Reader
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A serious page-turner. Read it!
First off, it is time travel without technology. How does it work? I still don't know. The author went to great pains to explain it, but how could she? She didn't know herself. I think she flailed a bit at times. It has something to do about an innate property that some people have. Inherited? Genetic? They can make time stop by thinking it. The truly adept can travel backwards in time. Make the river of time stop in its course. Or something.
If you can get past that, you can enjoy this book.
The book is well written if you like books with a PBS romance feel. There's a great deal of character development, introspection, endless dialogue interspersed with flashes of activity. But, in the end it is a Victorian love story tucked inside of a story of clashing worldviews about what to do with the power to control time. I don't want to be a spoiler, so I'll leave it at that.
As others have said, the ending is not a real ending. It has a rushed feeling as though she had to wrap things up in a hurry.
It seems that some people have the ability to travel through time, especially at times of danger, stress and trauma. Thus a society is formed of those gifted. One of the things they do is try and figure out when time travellers escaping death will appear and rescue and recruit them. Nick Falcott, Regency rake, veteran of the Napoleonic wars is one such traveller, escaping from certain death on a battlefield, he finds himself a veteran cheese maker in Vermont, until of course the organization that rescued him asks him to return to his own time.
Julia Percy's recently deceased grandfather was also a gifted time manipulator and Nick and Julia grew up together. Both come to the notice of the Guild and what follows is a glorious mash up of genres, conventions and counter conventions. The River of no Return is great pop fiction and an all around good read. I'm not even annoyed that this will he the inevitable trilogy because I like the characters and even think some of the secondary characters could be brought forward to narrate.
Bottom line? An incredibly fun read with a wide appeal to many different genre audiences.