Title: Time Bound
Author: Rysa Walker
Publisher: Skyscape (Amazon)
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I selected this book because it won the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, and I wanted to see what kind of book it takes to win a competition like that. The blurb immediately caught my eye–I enjoy time travel novels, particularly if they involve some deep research into the time period, which this one does. Add that and just a little hint of steam punk, and I was hooked.
It’s a pretty typical YA setup–young college-aged girl has a special ability, and just as she finds out about it, the world goes kablooey. Only this time the special ability is that she can access a futuristic time traveling apparatus, and the kablooey is that the timeline shifts around her just as she learns time travel is possible. Suddenly she has no mother, her dad doesn’t know her, and if she removes the protective apparatus, she’ll vanish like she never was. Of course you have to add in not just one, but two romantic interests as well–first a mysterious young man who pops in to save her life, kisses her, then pops back out again, and the other a friend who helps her through the trauma of trying to regain her existence. I found that particular piece of the book a bit cliché, but I was willing to overlook it for the other elements.
It’s a great setup. What makes this book work in particular is the attention to detail of the past where Kate must travel to save her history–the Chicago World Faire of 1893, in particular learning about suffragettes for the woman’s vote. I also liked the creepy pseudo-religion that her nemesis has been setting up throughout history, taking over things a piece at a time.
The action played out well, the pacing worked, and there was great tension. I look forward to seeing more from this new writer.