If you are enthralled by the idea of time travel, envisaging it as a romantic way of experiencing other times and places, The Time Traveller’s Wife will have already disabused you of that idea.; It is awkward, uncomfortable and embarrassing, often landing you in dangerous scrapes. Alex Scarrow’s YA Time Riders series shows time travel in another light. It can be a huge disaster for the world. One person changing a tiny thing in the past has a ripple effect that could endanger our whole civilization.
The story starts with the recruiting of three very different young people, each torn from certain death in various catastrophes to live in a time bubble in New York 2001 and learn how to fix time contaminating events caused by the misuse of time travel. They have to travel in time themselves and clean up the messes created by other time travellers from the future before they bring disaster upon us.
Scarrow’s writing is so gripping, his characters engaging and well-developed that the story steams along at a fast pace, drawing in adult readers just as intensely as the teens it is written for.
While some stretches are quite harrowing, there is plenty of humour and emotion mixed in with the drama, and you even start to care for the support unit, a genetically engineered ‘meat robot’ who is there to protect them on their missions and who starts to develop learned human character traits.
Altogether a great read and the sequel looks pretty good too.
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