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Review of Timebound by Rysa Walker

Timebound cover

I’m a sucker for time-travel novels (I even wrote one) so my interest was peaked when I stumbled across an interview with author Rysa Walker during which she discussed her book Timebound, the first book in the Chronos Files series. I was so intrigued that I bought it….and after having finished it, I think I have found myself a new favorite series.

The story begins when 16 year old Kate Keller’s sickly grandmother (also named Kate) tells her granddaughter that she has genetically inherited a supernatural ability to travel through time. She gives Kate a blue glowing medallion and explains that it is the medallion that enables those of their bloodline to time travel; however only those with the right gene can use the device. Her grandmother promises to begin training Kate on how to use the device.

But shortly thereafter, everything instantly changes in Kate’s world. A murder in the past combined with a sinister plot has changed Kate’s timeline and her reality. The present and past that she knew now never took place. With a blink of an eye, Kate suddenly finds her herself in a classroom with a strange teacher and fellow students she doesn’t recognize. People she loved are gone and friends no longer know her – and she learns that if she so much as removes the medallion from her neck even for a moment, she will instantly blink out of existence.

To fix the timeline and restore things back to the way they were, Kate must tear herself away from those she loves and travel back in time to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair where she is to face more than one known murderer. Once Kate returns to the past, she engages in a struggle for survival in a race against time as she tries to prevent a terrible chain of events from taking place and altering the past – or should I say, one of the “pasts”. While in 1893 she uncovers a sinister plot which will devestate the entire world, which makes her success even more crucial.

It’s difficult to talk about this book without giving out spoilers. Suffice it to say that this is an exquisite addition to the YA genre and this exciting novel left me satisfied yet wanting more. The fast-paced story combines mystery, young romance, multiple timelines, power, murder, action, politics, real-life villains and religious zealots – all with an intriguing plot line that kept me turning the page.

I’ve read my share of time travel books whose timelines were so confusing and convoluted that it was difficult to keep track of what was going on and why. This was not the case with Timebound. I felt that the timelines and the intricate web that the author weaved were clearly presented – although it does require the reader to pay attention while reading. There are times when even the main characters are momentarily confused by the various timelines.

The characterizations are excellent. The author brings Kate, her grandmother and all the other supporting characters (including her two love interests from two different timelines) vividly to life in this mind-boggling, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants romp. Think Doctor Who meets Marty McFly but with a tinge of sweet romance thrown in. The author expertly handled the different settings which at times were so vibrant and vivid that they played out like a movie. While Timebound is technically classified as a Young Adult novel, I feel that the intricate and well-crafted plot as well as the riveting storyline will appeal to a much wider audience regardless of age.

From what I could gather, this is the Walker’s first full-length novel and I felt that she shows notable talent in her believable plot development, careful attention to detail and well thought-out characters. Walker intelligently gives us an exciting YA adventure with twists and turns, where answers are elusive and love is mind-bogglingly complicated and impossible – but no matter how complicated, Kate finds that the only impossible thing is to walk away.

This is the beginning of an new exciting series and I can’t wait to read the recently released second book, Time’s Edge. Recommended!!

You can check out Timebound HERE.