Time’s Twisted Arrow by Rysa Walker 3/5 stars
You can see my full review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/506228363
Purchase it here: http://www.amazon.com/Times-Twisted-Arrow-CHRONOS-ebook/dp/B009Z6BGJY
I received this ebook for free from the author for an honest review.
Overall I liked it but it didn’t rock my work, so I’m giving it three stars.
It’s well written with few to no grammar errors.
The author has done an immense amount of homework in order to bring together the historical aspects (where not addressed as altered by the author). Bravo!
The time travel plot is set up to be as clear as possible, given that time travel stories can be confusing and difficult to write/follow.
It’s well suited as a YA novel. The romance is just sweet enough with a hint of sexiness.
The plot is interesting and complex with a deeper, more sinister thread set up for future books. I especially liked the Cyrist religion concept.
Some of the tech is cool and well thought out.
Formatting issues with Chapters 9, 19 and 21 going to bold.
The author italicized individual words for emphasis for too often instead of allowing the natural flow of the narrative or dialogue to create it. On average two to three an ebook page, especially in the first half. This tendency was reduced in the second half. Though it’s a YA novel, this made the writing feel unnecessarily juvenile. It falls under too much telling.
While I appreciate the amount of effort the historical research must have taken (I’m a history buff) there’s a point where too much research showing in the writing can bog down the pacing. When your research starts peeking through the story, it’s time to back it off. I felt that many of the conversations explaining the history of CHRONOS, the historical periods, the costuming, Kate’s family and her situation could’ve been thinned and streamlined.
The science behind the time traveling was glossed over. Kate’s grandmother states something like, “…it’s wasn’t my department…” This is likely a good thing given the author may not have enough expertise to write heavier science, but it gives it more of a science fantasy feel rather than a science fiction. Maybe we’ll find out more details in later books.
I never really connected to any of the main characters. I tried, but they all sounded very similar to me. It wasn’t until Kate’s Aunt Pru showed up that I felt that a character was differentiated in dialogue and beats without the use of heavily ‘accented’ dialogue. (I won’t say who that was.) Trey and Kate were interchangeable on the page.
Kate and Trey were a nice characters. Nice and apparently without any real flaws, though it’s never specifically stated.
But she’s smart, talented, has a special power she didn’t know about, good relationships with her parents, behaves, gets good grades, doesn’t mess around with boys (because most are lame), is pretty but doesn’t realize it and yet everyone likes her. Even the bad guys ‘want’ her, etc. Trey wasn’t much different except that he was a boy and didn’t have special powers.
Now, I’m not saying teens/people like this don’t exist, but in fiction they’re generally considered Mary Sues/Gary Stus. As such, it made Kate and Trey boring to me, and therefore the romance fell flat as well. Kate and Trey got along well and even their disagreements were rational and handled maturely. And they’re 16? Really? I’m not saying that teens can’t be mature, but all the time and under the most stressful of conditions? The most Kate did was cry on Trey’s shoulder. (And the author put poor Kate through the wringer emotionally. On one had Kate handled it like a trooper, yet other than her having some marital arts training and a tough grandma, there’s no other reason given for why Kate handles some massive life changes without turning into a seriously blubbering mess for at least a week. A day or so and she’s ready. I wish more adults were like this in real life, not just teens in YA fiction.)
As I said, overall I liked and enjoyed this story. There’s several interesting subplots set up in this first book that will come to fruition in later ones, yet this first one was wrapped up well enough that it can stand alone to some degree. There’s even a plausible happy ending, though I won’t give it away. :o)
I think most people will enjoy Times’ Twisted Arrow and it’s worth the read, especially if you like sweet romances and well plotted time travel fiction.