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Timebound (The Chronos Files) Paperback – January 1, 2014
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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
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Top customer reviews
The story is about a young girl named Kate, who discovers her familial connections with real historians who can jump back and forth in time to record and analyze events. The focus of this plot was the 1893 world's fair in Chicago complete with Mayor Carter Harrison Sr.'s assassination and a notorious serial killer who was famed during that era. The backstory of time traveling however was the main centerpiece where Kate was tasked to going back in time to save her family and their existence. It was the perfect combination of adventure and connections with few touches of romance.
I will say that the slight pitfall at least for me as a reader and aspiring writer was the rhetoric and different phrases that the author used with Kate's language in the book. Kate is supposed to be a teenager, one who is also just handling the shock of this whole other world she is involved in, and some phrases were clearly not how a teenager would express themselves. For example a 16 year old would never in a million years say, "bloody awful horrid rotten shoes," which honestly sounds like some old grandma from England, or call a band aid an "adhesive bandage." Just things like that threw me off.
Overall however, even with my busy season it was a fun and quick read. Plus it fed my sci-fi and historical novel fix. So I leave you with this quote that I appreciate very much from the novel: "History is sacred - like a nature hike. 'Leave only footprints, take only memories." Thanks Rysa Walker for the great read!
So we start out with Kate getting a chance to meet her estranged grandmother. She has this beautiful medallion on her that glows a bright blue, but Kate soon realizes that no one else can see it glowing. She then learns that she has a time travel gene that has been carried down from her grandmother. Her grandmother is actually from the future, but got stranded back in the 1970s, and has been leading a normal life since then. But the timeline has been skewed (remember the movie, Back to the Future II?) and now Kate and her grandmother are living in an alternate timeline. And Kate is the only one who has the gene who can go back and fix everything.
I loved all the historical aspects to the story. We learn about civil rights, women suffragists, the Chicago's World Fair, and Woodstock all in one story. But I also loved that the story still felt very modern, mostly due to Kate, who refused to get bogged down in all the details. She didn't mind taking a bright pink toothbrush to the World Fair in 1893! Kate is very smart, brave, but definitely not perfect. She is also a brown belt in Taekwondo, so she has some kick butt moments!
She also meets Trey, whom has taken her place in her school, since for all intents and purposes, Kate no longer exists. She is totally freaking out when she meets him, and realizes her mom has disappeared and her father has no idea who she is. Trey helps her out, at first thinking she must be a little crazy, but soon believes her after certain things around her that don't exist start disappearing. The romance between them is bittersweet, because after Kate hopefully fixes the timeline, Trey won't remember her at all. The other reality is she fails and disappears herself.
The characters in the story were very well developed, even the side characters. We also get to meet a lot of different characters at different ages, but sometimes they end up all in the same time. The story line itself does get confusing at times, but I was mostly able to keep up. It was kind of scary how much harm can be done on our planet by just one power hungry time traveler!
The ending was amazing, but it did have a bit of a cliffhanger. I would have liked a few more pages to find out what happens with Trey and Kate! I guess I'll just have to wait for the next book!
I have Kindle Unlimited and bought paperback copies of the series anyway. These books are that good! Five stars!