Published: September 26, 2017
Publisher: Little,Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 458 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 4.0/5.0
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Time flies when you’re plundering history.
Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.
But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.
I’m a bit ashamed to admit how long it actually took me to read this book. From the first time I picked it up and began reading to the finish, I think it was about a month. Now, during this month I was getting married, going on a weeklong trip, and trying to finish last minute moving so I kind of have a good reason for taking so long to finish it up. This is also in no way indicative of the book being bad, slow, or wholly unsatisfactory in any way. It was actually a very fun book and I enjoyed both the story and characters.
Invictus is possibly the only YA time-travel novel I’ve ever read. How is that possible? It was reminiscent of Wesley Chu’s Time Salvager, which I loved and at first I was concerned that the two books may be too similar for me to really enjoy Invictus. This, however, wasn’t the case because while there are striking similarities, this particular book is much lighter and obviously geared towards a younger audience less concerned with the science fictionand more concerned with character dynamic. This is a world where time travel is a career choice – heck, there’s even a school for it! Those that travel do so to record moments in history without disrupting the natural course of events and each traveler has a crew along to help out with medical, historical, or technical crises.
Farway Gaius McCarthy has time travelling in his blood and he’s on track to graduate top of his class and have a crew and ship of his own… until he flunks his final exam. Now he’s working black market jobs with a crew of his closest people… until a strange girl shows up, steals his mark, and nearly gets them killed. This sets off a series of events that leads to some startling revelations, a rushed quest to save the world in 100 pages or less, and several rather touching personal moments between the characters. The whole crew was likable enough, but I felt they were rather immature to have a ship and time travel, with the constant risk of destroying history. Not something you should let a teenager do, am I right?
Overall, this was a fun book and I’m glad I finally finished it. If there is a sequel, I think I’ll read it just to see how things play out. I’ve heard that Ryan Graudin’s Wolf by Wolf books are even better than this which makes me want to check them out more than I already did!