Monday, August 14, 2017

Early Review of Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Title: Invictus
Classification: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Format: Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (September 26, 2017)
ISBN-10: 031650307X
ISBN-13: 978-0316503075
Author's Website:
Notes: I received an eARC loan from the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you.

Once upon a time a boy was born out of time. His mother was a time traveler from 2354 AD sent to accurately record history when it happened as it happened. His father was a gladiator hailing from ancient Rome in the year 95 AD. There are rules about such liaisons, but one can't always choose whom one will fall in love with. The transgression alone did not cause reason for alarm. What did, however, was that while traveling between times Far's mother, Empra, gave birth. At first things appeared to be just fine, but then strange and unexplainable things began to happen...

This is Farway 'Far' Gaius McCarthy's story.

Out of the night that covers me, 
 Black as the pit from pole to pole, 
I thank whatever gods may be 
For my unconquerable soul. 

In the fell clutch of circumstance 
I have not winced nor cried aloud. 
Under the bludgeonings of chance 
 My head is bloody, but unbowed. 

Beyond this place of wrath and tears 
  Looms but the Horror of the shade, 
And yet the menace of the years 
      Finds and shall find me unafraid. 

It matters not how strait the gate, 
   How charged with punishments the scroll, 
I am the master of my fate, 
I am the captain of my soul. 


Far is about to graduate from the Academy. He's top in his class and doesn't make mistakes only calculated risks. When he takes his final exam, however, something goes amiss. He's convinced someone sabotaged his examination simulation program, but no one will believe him. They say that's just not possible and "final exams are final." The result is him not graduating and instead of becoming a cadet who travels through time, he's grounded with no possibility of the decision ever being reversed. So instead of earning a spot of the coveted Central Time Machine as he'd hoped, he's offered the illegal, yet much more lucrative position of commander of his own ship. He'll lead a crew of essentially time bandits and they'll travel through time rescuing historical artifacts, documents, books, etc. before they're destroyed forever by the ravages of war, natural disasters, fire and time. Did his potential future employer or someone else sabotage his Sim module or is something much more nefarious underfoot? He'll eventually get to the bottom of things. It'll just take some time. Luckily, he appears to have all the time in the world.*smirk*

Overall, I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. It was a fun story that dealt with time traveling and multiverses. It also deals with the butterfly affect and how one seemingly small and insignificant change can bring about large unforeseeable consequences. Additionally, it inspires one to question what things could go wrong if people could time travel, and if you could change one decision in your life how would your life be different? Surrounded by a crew of his best friends I enjoyed watching this merry band of traveling companions travel through time and uncover a few treasures and mysteries along the way. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

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