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Invictus

Review

Invictus

Looking to embark on a crazy rollicking ride while time traveling through history? Then check out Ryan Graudin’s latest novel, INVICTUS, and be prepared to teleport into the many wild adventures that lie ahead in the future and then enter back into the past.

Time sure seems to fly when you are plundering through history, well at least for Farway (Far) Gaius McCarthy. Born outside of time as son of one of the most famous time-traveling Recorder’s from 2354 AD and gladiators from Rome 95 AD, Farway’s birth is known as a force that defies all of nature’s laws. While growing up hearing about his mother’s exploits through time, all he has ever wanted is to follow in her footsteps.

"Graudin’s story-telling was so addicting and perfectly crafted that this might even be one of the most impressive books that I have ever read. The pacing was very off-the-charts throughout the novel and I found myself completely immersed in the plot by the first quarter of the story."

But when he fails the final exam needed to be admitted into the government's time travel program, by going to all means, he draws the conclusion that someone hacked the system, thus crushing his dreams of exploring history himself. So when he is offered the position to command his own ship (which he names Invictus) and crew, he jumps at the chance, even if it means being under the control of a criminal, forcing Far to travel throughout time stealing valuable historical artifacts from the past for the black market. The strong captain and exceptional crew work well with each other while journeying through time overcoming obstacles, barely escaping danger and never missing out on a true successful adventure. But during a heist for stealing a valuable book at the sinking Titanic, Far encounters Eliot a mysterious young woman, who always seems to appear as one step ahead of him, throwing his missions into disarray. It turns out that Eliot is far more connected to Far and holds the secret knowledge of his existence. Not certain whether to trust or fear her, Far and his team have to decide if her warnings about the dangers of time are true, in order to stop things before everything around them changes.

First of all, I am a huge fan of science fiction, and the idea of time-traveling, so entering into the world of INVICTUS, I was already excited about the concept, and I have to say that all my expectations for this book were entirely satisfied. Graudin’s story-telling was so addicting and perfectly crafted that this might even be one of the most impressive books that I have ever read. The pacing was very off-the-charts throughout the novel and I found myself completely immersed in the plot by the first quarter of the story. Throughout the story, there are many unexpected twists and turns --- that constantly kept me guessing and on the edge of my seat.

The time-travel aspect of the novel is not at all confusing or poorly explained --- but instead, very easy to follow and understand all the scientific explanations and descriptions. As the story continued, the author started to reveal more and more, that clarified any misconceptions or questions regarding the subject. The whole concept itself was very exciting, heart pounding and intriguing.

The diversity and representation presented throughout the story was phenomenal. Graudin created so many great, unique characters that held a special role in the crew’s missions. I appreciated how each and every one of the strong and intelligent members was always there to help in times of time. They truly brought out the best in one another and formed such a strong and lasting bond, which I very much valued.

From the moment I was introduced to Far, I definitely grew attached to his character. He is confident and arrogant, but not in an utterly obnoxious way like most young adult male protagonists. There is something so endearing about him and the way he treats his crew. His persistence, determination, fearlessness and selflessness, all great qualities that he exhibited, gave his character even more reason for me to support and root for him. He has experienced quite a lot in his life, and seeing him go on a journey exploring time to find his reason for existence was really entertaining and captivating to read.

Full of non-stop intensity and high-stakes, INVICTUS is the perfect novel for fans that enjoyed the crew dynamics of THE LUNAR CHRONICLES and Guardians of the Galaxy as well as the fascinating space and science fiction elements of “Doctor Who” and “Firefly.” With its enthralling world, charismatic characters, and compelling storyline, INVICTUS is a novel that I highly recommend to get lost in.

Reviewed by Laina Q., Teen Board Member on November 2, 2017

Invictus
by Ryan Graudin

  • Publication Date: September 26, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 031650307X
  • ISBN-13: 9780316503075