I actually liked a time travel book!

InvictusInvictus by Ryan Graudin
Published by: Little Brown Books for Young Readers on September 26, 2017
Genre: Adventure, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Pages: 464
Source: BookExpo America
Book Details
Rating: ★★★★

Time flies when you're plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far's birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he's ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far's very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

I loved the letter from the editor at the beginning of the book:

Letter from the editor of Invictus: "Invictus is a time travel book for readers who don't like time travel books"

That whole, “time travel book for readers who don’t like time travel books” ended up resonating with me 100%. Time travel isn’t usually my thing, but I loved Invictus!

Things I liked

  • Interesting characters. The book is told from different points of view (like four or five). At first I was put off by this. The synopsis implied to me that it was all going to be from Far’s point of view. But the other characters grew on me and by the end I enjoyed the different characters’ chapters.
  • The historical parts were really cool. Gladiators, Titanic, Alexandria, etc.
  • I loved the time travelling, and that’s actually coming from someone who can be a bit iffy about time travel books. It was a perfect balance of interesting time travel mind-fuckery, but still being easy to grasp. Sometimes time travel can be SO confusing that it’s no longer even fun to read about because I’m so lost… that wasn’t the case here. It was a cool idea but also easy to understand what was happening and how actions affected the future.
  • The cover!! I love the design, but I also love the texture. I can’t even tell you how many times I stopped reading to stare at and pet the cover. The cover was mostly matte but then the word “Invictus” was glossy and it just felt super cool

Things I was ehhh about

  • The main character, Far, is already in a relationship with one of the other crew members when the book started. The romance wasn’t the total focus of the story but it still played a significant part. It was hard for me to be really invested in it though because it was already in full swing when the book started. I just wasn’t hugely attached to it and that was kind of a bummer.
  • The technology was kind of weird/confusing. For example, there’s a bunch of math that needs to be done to time travel and here’s a quote:

    “The numbers weren’t just changing this time. They were disappearing.”

    That just made no sense to me. I didn’t really get the whole numbers changing/disappearing thing. How does that even happen with math? I just really, really didn’t get how that whole part worked.

  • There were a few slow parts – particularly in the middle. But it really sped up again at the end!
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I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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  1. The title of this post totally made me laugh 😀 I love time travel books personally, but it can be hard to get a well done one so I understand why so many people aren’t fans.

    1. Yeah time travel can be confusing/frustrating sometimes. This one was great though! I hope you enjoy it if/when you read it! 🙂

  2. The more i tried to resist the fact that Tim travel is a fiction, the more it sounds real to me.. But it’s gonna be scary, imagine finding yourself go back to a time where there are no computers?
    Am very sure this book is going to be interesting and i hope to read it one day..

    One more thing Ashley, I checkout your bio and i think we have something in common – am also stuck in between reading novels and coding [on blogger for years but just started WP this year].
    Seems we’re born on the same month? lol

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