Time travel

All posts tagged Time travel

The Next Together (The Next Together #1) – Lauren James

Published October 5, 2017 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

How many times can you lose the person you love? 

Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again, century after century. Each time, their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated.

Spanning the Crimean War, the Siege of Carlisle and the near-future of 2019 and 2039 they find themselves sacrificing their lives to save the world. But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace?

Maybe the next together will be different…

A powerful and epic debut novel for teenagers about time-travel, fate and the timelessness of first love. The Next Together is told through a mixture of regular prose, diary entries, letters, “original” historical documents, news reports and internet articles.

What did I think?:

I really love having a sister who is also a book blogger. She understands the excitement of review copies and makes some brilliant recommendations that, because she is my sister and obviously knows what I like, I’m certain when she raves about a book that I should expect great things. This was the case with The Next Together, part of a duology and encompassing so many genres that you would think it would feel a bit muddled. Not in the slightest. This novel is part historical fiction, part science fiction, part fantasy and part romance and manages to slot into each of these categories with ease and grace making it such an exciting and rewarding reading experience.

This is the story of Katherine and Matthew who have lived many lives/reincarnations, from the The Siege of Carlisle and The Crimeon War in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries respectively, to the near futures of 2019 and 2039. Each time they live their lives they encompass different roles i.e. a noble lady and her servant, an ambitious journalist and his eager assistant, two talented scientists who make a breakthrough discovery and finally, two teenagers who are attempting to find out more and clear the names of the scientists who pre-dated them. In each life, they meet each other and fall deeply in love and then are torn apart when something happens in that particular time period to kill one of the pair. The story based in 2039 is critically important and may shed some light on why Katherine and Matthew can’t simply have a “happy ever after,” but we get some wonderful glimpses of those three other past lives that are both poignant and heart-warming.

As I mentioned before, this book has got a bit of everything genre wise, and I loved how the author combined all the elements to make this a fascinating, exciting and at times, nail biting read that I thoroughly enjoyed. As with all romance novels, I’m always worried that the romance could come off as a bit cheesy but I had no need to worry with The Next Together. Katherine’s wonderful and hilarious sense of humour and Matt’s strong, dependable persona made their relationship a delight to read about and wasn’t at all sickly sweet or unbelievable. I adored how Lauren James told the story in a mixture of notes, emails etc between Katherine and Matt which provided a lovely modern contrast between the more historical sections of the narrative and again, for me, made the love between them feel all the more authentic. I’ll be reading the second novel in the duology, The Last Beginning very soon and cannot wait to get started (especially after the gripping ending!) If it is in any way, shape or form as beautiful as The Next Together I’m in for a huge treat.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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The Immortals – S.E. Lister

Published September 19, 2017 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

Rosa Hyde is the daughter of a time-traveller, stuck in the year 1945. Forced to live through it again, and again, and again. All she ever wanted was to be free from that year, and from the family who keep her there.

She breaks out at last and falls through time, slipping from one century to another, unable to choose where she goes. And she is not alone. Wandering with her is Tommy Rust, time-gypsy and daredevil, certain in his heart of hearts that he will live forever.

Their journeys take them from the ancient shores of forming continents to the bright lights of future cities. They tell themselves that they need no kind of home. That they are anything but lost.

But then comes Harding, the soldier who has fought for a thousand years, and everything changes. Could Harding hold the key to staying in one place, one time? Or will the centuries continue to slip through Rosa’s fingers, as the tides take her further and further away from everything she has grown to love?

What did I think?:

First of all, can I just talk about this gorgeous cover? I posted a photo of it on my Instagram as I was reading it and it seriously does not do justice to how stunning the cover art actually is. I was recommended this book on a reading spa I went to with my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads at Mr B’s Emporium Of Reading Delights in Bath. If you haven’t been there before, I highly highly recommend it. Not just for the reading spa which was amazing (and the second one that we’ve actually had there!) but the bookshop itself is just beautiful and the staff so knowledgeable and friendly. Check out their website HERE and my post about our first reading spa HERE. Anyway, back to the book! I was so sure this was going to be a five star read for me, purely from the synopsis. It came ever so close in the end but didn’t quite make it. However, I urge you with every fibre of my being to read this book as everything from the writing, setting and characters is all kinds of fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment I spent reading it – it’s truly a story to be savoured.

In a similar manner to The Time Traveller’s Wife (another of my all time favourite reads) The Immortals follows a young woman called Rosa who is forced to travel forwards and backwards in time without much control. Her father was a time traveller himself although he became stuck in one particular year, 1945 which he is obliged to re-live again and again every New Years’s Eve when he travels right back to the beginning of the year with his wife, Rosa and her younger sister. Rosa is aware that her father is re-living this nightmare year because of a traumatic event in his past that he refuses to come to terms with but she is getting fed up of it so decides to run away and live her own life, flitting from decade to decade and embarking on crazy, wonderful and in some cases, not so wonderful adventures. She meets a host of interesting people, including Tommy Rust who becomes her time-travelling buddy for many years but it isn’t until she meets a distressed soldier called Harding that she begins to realise the nature of time and the effect it could be having on her body.

Can I just say – what an imagination this author has to be able to write a fantastical time-travel novel such as this? It’s beautifully layered, complex yet easy to read at the same time and filled with some brilliant, wonderfully drawn characters that instantly pull you into their lives and make you care about them, even if you might question some of their actions at times. I had an especially hard time with Rosa. Some of her motives and decisions are incredibly selfish and questionable as she jumps backward and forward in time yet still she seems to learn from her experiences and I felt a strange sort of affection for her as the novel progressed. The only thing I’m in a bit of a muddle about is the character of Harding. He appears relatively late on in the narrative and, on reflection, I think it would have been a slightly stronger story if he had appeared earlier and we had learned more about him as a character as I was infinitely more interested in his past than I was in Tommy Rust’s. That’s probably the only reason I haven’t given this novel a higher rating. Otherwise, this is everything I could ever want from a novel – captivating writing, magical elements, amazing world-building….go and read it!!

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

 

Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit – SEPTEMBER READ – A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Published September 30, 2013 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract”.

Meg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?

What did I think?:

This book is the September read for my Kid-Lit challenge this year which I participate in with my sister ChrissiReads. I have to admit that I have never actually heard of this book before, and was shocked to see how popular it is. I’m not certain if it was more popular in the U.S, but wasn’t widely read in the U.K? Either way, I’m very pleased that I’ve finally read it and can see what all the fuss is about. The story centres around the Murry family, mainly the daughter Meg (who was an incredibly likeable character to me from the start) her youngest brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin. It opens on a very windy evening where Meg is having trouble sleeping in her attic bedroom so ventures down to the kitchen where she joins Charles Wallace and her mother in a midnight snack. The reader is told that their father is absent, but everything seems to be slightly peculiar and mysterious, and there is no telling where he is and when he might return. A stranger blows into the kitchen whom Charles Wallace seems to know as Mrs Whatsit, who mentions the word “tesseract,” in connection with their father, kicking off an exciting adventure where Meg, Charles Wallace and their friend Calvin travel through space and different worlds in order to help and rescue their father, learning a few life lessons along the way.

This was such a lovely book to read, and I think I would have thoroughly enjoyed reading it as a child. It has  a bit of everything and I think that is part of its charm – magic, strange creatures, relatable characters that can serve as decent role models, humour, a couple of scary moments to get the heart pounding, oh and a giant, evil pulsating brain. (Shouldn’t every story have one of those?!) It has morals without coming across as preachy, teaches the value of our families and encourages children to grow and develop as individuals by addressing them as if they were adults, not idiots, which I found personally refreshing. There is the suggestion of faith through Christianity, but I don’t find this comes across in an obnoxious manner, and would not be offensive to any atheists. This is a beautiful piece of classic children’s literature and I would definitely be interested to read the other books in the series, while images from this story will remain with me for a while. Especially the pulsating brain.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

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The Shining Girls – Lauren Beukes

Published September 29, 2013 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

The girl who wouldn’t die, hunting a killer who shouldn’t exist…

A terrifying and original serial-killer thriller from award-winning author, Lauren Beukes.

1930’s America: Harper Curtis is a delusional, violent drifter who stumbles on a house that opens onto other times.

Driven by visions, he begins a killing spree over the next 60 years, using an undetectable MO and leaving anachronistic clues on his victims’ bodies.

But when one of his intended ‘shining girls’, Kirby Mazrachi, survives a brutal stabbing, she becomes determined to unravel the mystery behind her would-be killer. While the authorities are trying to discredit her, Kirby is getting closer to the truth, as Harper returns again and again…

What did I think?:

This is the first novel showcased on Richard and Judy’s Autumn Book club this year and I was eager to read it after seeing a lot of publicity posters for it around Tube stations in London. The first thing that struck me whilst reading was how original and unique the story felt, and how much focus was placed on the serial killer as an ordinary (yet obviously very sadistic and warped) human being – which actually made him scarier in my opinion! Lauren Beukes has set up her villain of the piece, Harper Curtis as someone who seems unstoppable, perpetuating his terrible crimes by travelling through time from 1930’s Chicago at the heart of the Depression to the present day almost sixty years later in the nineties. He is assisted in his travels by a special House which appears to be built especially for his purposes and allows him to travel through decades. Within the House is also a special room which has a list of girls that “shine,” and whom he is obligated to kill and leave a memento from the previous victim, confounding all who try to track him down. He’s the ultimate hunter, vanishing into another time after each murder, untraceable-until one of his victims survives.

Kirby is an extraordinary character who manages to get help after being attacked by (deep breath everyone) holding her intestines in, resolute and refusing to die. Warning: the murders are incredibly gruesome and not for the weaker stomachs amongst us! By some miracle, Kirby manages to survive, and instead of wallowing in self pity or living her life in fear, she becomes determined to track down her killer and make him pay for what he did to her. So, the hunter becomes the hunted, and the author drags the reader kicking and screaming, but horribly intrigued, all the way to the end. This was a brilliant and fascinating new take on the serial killer genre, and there are some parts I won’t forget in a hurry. Lauren Beukes is a talented author who certainly knows how to write a compelling story – I literally could not put this book down. I can’t wait to see what she’s going to give us next.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0