Invictus by Ryan Graudin (book review)

November 29, 2017 | By | Reply More

‘Invictus’ is a standalone SF book all about time travel by the author of the ‘Wolf By Wolf ‘duology by Ryan Graudin.

This book follows the time travelling adventures of Farway McCarthy, a boy born out of time to a time travelling mother and a Roman centurion father, and his crew, including a red panda, as they go from historical heists to genuine world-saving. Farway and his friends Priya, Gram and Imogen, oh and, not forgetting, Saffron the red panda travel through time stealing items that would otherwise have been destroyed to sell to collectors. That is until they try to steal something from the Titanic and they meet someone who literally turns their world upside down, and possibly back to front as it gets a little confusing.

This was my first Ryan Graudin book and I have to say that I really loved it from the very first page to the slightly tear-stained last pages. I was sold into buying and reading this book by Graudin herself saying it was a combination of ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Firefly’. Now I’m normally highly sceptical of anyone saying something is like something else but, in this case, it was 100% accurate! The whole time travel ship with the close knit gang carrying out heists felt so like ‘Firefly’. The ‘Doctor Who’ element came in with the world-saving section, it certainly had a lot of the running around madly and the hugely sad aspects of a ‘Doctor Who’ episode.

The characters were all so well crafted, even the red panda, and they all had such fully formed characters I feel like I could describe them down to their favourite hobbies. This is what made this book so full of the feels for me, it wouldn’t have caught me so unawares if I hadn’t bonded so much with the characters. I was put through the emotional wringer with this book, those last chapters are so sad and so uplifting at the same time. I just didn’t want it to end and I wouldn’t be mad if there were some spin-off books about these characters. Oh and I’m waiting to see if MAC comes out with any cosmetics with the names from this book (you’ll see what I mean when you read it).

I felt that it was interesting basing the book in Rome and having that as the centre of this new world after most of the rest of the world seems to have been decimated. Everyone is living by eating some kind of unnatural food cubes, unless you’re rich enough to import food from the past. I’ve personally never read a SF/fantasy book based in Rome before so that made a nice change and I liked how Graudin linked the old world and the new.

My only issue with this book is that it’s hard to believe that the characters are all only about 18 years old. They all behave in a much more mature way in so many circumstances in this book.

Overall, I completely loved this book and I’m now going on a Ryan Graudin book binge so the goodness doesn’t have to end. This is the first book in a very long time to have me reading way past my bedtime, also in completely floods of tears. I highly recommend this book.

Sarah Bruch

November 2017

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(pub: Orion Children’s Books. 464 page ebook. Price: £ 4.99 (UK). ASIN: B06XW7Z5DP. Paperback: Pice: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-51010-286-6)

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Category: Books, Scifi

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