Invictus by Ryan Graudin
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.
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.
I have a weakness for time traveling stories, even though I am usually disappointed by them. I also love a good heist story and lovable thieves, so when I saw this on Netgalley, I knew I needed to read it. I was not disappointed this time.
The crew of the Invictus was a fun group to spend time with. They are all very smart, and creative and fast to come up with solutions to difficult situations. I just loved them all.
Farway is a very adorable and a good leader of his merry little band. He is the captain and the one that takes most of the risks. His crush on Priya and then their relationship is sweet and not overwhelming. Their romance is sort of in the background though. When we first meet Far he has a crush on Priya, and then the story jumps ahead a year and they are a couple. So it was nice to see a YA with no major relationship drama as part of the story. I really liked Priya, she is the engineer and medic of the group. She is the rock in this group, always know what is going on and can handle herself when there is a crisis.
Gram is the genius of the group and handles the jumps in time. He can mult-task like no other person I’ve seen. He is a sweet and kind of clueless when it comes to Imogen. They both have crushes on each other but are too afraid to say anything to the other. I loved Imogen, she was such a fun character and someone it would be easy to be friends with. I loved that she changed her hair color everyday and sometimes even to the period that they were heading to. She is the historian of the group and the costumer. She knows a lot about history and talks Far out of some pretty difficult situations.
Eliot shows up and puts quite the kink in their little group. She is an enigma even to the reader, and even though we see parts of the story through her point of view you still have no real clue who she is and what she is doing there until the big reveal of everything.
The one thing that many time travel books get wrong is that you can’t travel through time and space at the same time. By this I mean if I want to time travel to ancient Greece, I need to travel to modern Greece first and then travel back in time. I loved that the Invictus was a kind of air-ship that had a lot of fancy cloaking devices and was the time traveling machine. They would take the ship to the place they wanted to end up in and then jumped to the time period they wanted. That is how time travel would work if it was possible.
There was not as much heisting and thieving of artifacts as I would have liked, but it was certainly a fast paced and action packed story that had me reading into the night. There are some twists to the story that I was not expecting and that made this much more than a simple time travel story. It is being advertised as a stand alone, and reads like one, but I would certainly pick up another book about our time traveling band of thieves.