Author: Ryan Graudin
Publisher: Orion Children’s Books
Release Date: September 21st 2017
Time flies when you’re plundering history.
Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-travelling 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-travelling 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.
In this heart-stopping adventure, Ryan Graudin has created a fast-paced world that defies time and space.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
I received an ARC of this book free from BKMRK. It in no way affects my views on Invictus.
My Thoughts On…
Far has always wanted to explore history. Growing up hearing his mother’s tales as a Recorder means he wants to follow in her footsteps and be able to explore the past, however when he fails his final exam and is kicked out of the Corps it looks like his dream is over before it ever begun. Until he gets a second chance. Lux has been watching Far’s process in the Corps and when he’s kicked out he makes Far an offer he really can’t refuse.
Together with his cousin, friend, and girlfriend Far travels though time stealing priceless artefacts from history before they’re lost to time so Lux can sell them on the black market. They’ve never failed before, until Far is sent after the Rubaiyat aboard the Titanic, to retrieve the book before the ship sinks on April 12th. The Invictus is supposed to land at 6pm, giving Far plenty of time to search the cargo before the collision with the iceberg. Until the numbers go wrong and Far is left with little over an hour to find the book and get back to the Invictus before the Titanic sinks.
Far has already been beaten to the Rubaiyat though. Eliot has her own reasons for being aboard the Titanic that evening. She bargains her way aboard the Invictus using the Rubaiyat as ransom. Far, Imogen, Gram and Priya try to work out who the mysterious newcomer is, however the more they discover about Eliot the more they realise the past isn’t as safe as they thought it was.
I love time travel books and I loved Ryan Graudin’s Wolf by Wolf duology, so when I heard about Invictus it went to the top of my to-read list. I was thrilled to get an ARC at YALC and luckily Invictus was every bit as amazing as I’d hoped it would be. Ryan Graudin has written a fast paced story as Far, Eliot and the rest of the Invictus crew try to stop history from fading before their very eyes. It’s a dangerous journey with very real consequences that had me on the edge of my seat, fearful for these characters I know so much and so little about.
Farway’s dream is to travel through history like his mother did. He grew up listening to her stories and despite seeing what time travel did to her, aging her weeks or months in the space of minutes for him, all he’s ever wanted is to be like her. Far is confident, some might say cocky, and seeks adventure. However despite his confidence he still has doubts, despite his brashness he sticks to the important rules that come with time travel even while breaking the small ones. After his mother went missing, lost somewhere in history, Far is still searching for her, still searching for answers.
Eliot is an enigma. She jumps into Far’s life, bring with her chaos and confusion, but never fully reveals anything about herself, what she was doing on the Titanic, or why it’s so important for her to be a member of the Invictus’ crew. There is something Eliot is trying to achieve, something to do with Far, and there are people monitoring her every move. Eliot is tired, weary, but there is still something that keeps her going despite that. She is reckless at times, though the mission she is on is important and her abilities get her a place on Far’s crew, she can be a loose cannon.
The rest of the crew aboard the Invictus are Imogen – Far’s cousin with bright hair and an even brighter personality – Gram – Far’s friend and the Invictus’ navigator with a head for numbers – and Priya – Far’s girlfriend and the medic who’s gotten all too used to patching up Far after his adventures go wrong.
The people aboard the Invictus are a family, they have each other’s backs and share each other’s worries and concerns. When Eliot takes the Rubaiyat it’s not just Far’s head on the line with Lux but all of theirs, and as Far is suspicious of Eliot’s motivations so are the others. They make a good team, working well after plenty of successful missions into the past, and even after Eliot’s reveals knock them all off their game they still work together to try and come up with another solution.
Ryan Graudin has created an incredible world in Invictus. The story travels all over the world and all throughout history; from the Titanic in 1912 just before it sinks, to Las Vegas in 2020, to the Great Library of Alexandria just before it burns, although the bulk of the action takes place in Rome. Invictus switches between Far’s real time, 2371, and the distant past, 95AD. Even in 2371 the history of the great city of Rome is still standing, and with time travel being a possibility history plays a large part in people’s lives, with the rich and privileged spending money to buy a small part of it. The rules for time travel in Invictus are complicated, there are plenty of restrictions Far feels no shame in breaking although he knows there are some that should never be broken for fear of changing his present.
Invictus is an incredible time travel book. Although it was a little confusing at times, especially when we discovered the truth behind Eliot’s reasons for wanting to be on Far’s crew, Ryan Graudin had developed the story enough that I didn’t feel lost. Invictus was a story that had me hooked, broke my heart several times, and left me wanting more from Far and his world.
What did you think of Invictus? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.
All quotes have been taken from an ARC and may differ in the final publication.