Thursday, October 5, 2017

[Blog Tour] Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Hey guys! I'll be reviewing Invictus as part of Rockstar Book Tours Blog Tour! Without further ado, here's the review
About the Book:
Author: Ryan Graudin
Pub. Date: September 26, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 464
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook
Find it: AmazonB&NiBooksTBDGoodreads

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.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Being a time travel lover, Invictus hit all my soft spots when it comes to this genre. Ryan Graudin does not disappoint. I loved her Wolf by Wolf series, and going from alternate historical fiction to alternate time-traveling dimension sci-fi is a big genre difference. But Ryan Graudin is one my faves, so I expected nothing less than amazing.

I got amazing.

Farway Gaius McCarthy is captain of the time-travel vessel Invictus. Before, he was top of his class, set on becoming a licensed time traveler, until something happens on his final Sim test that screws his chances up. Nowadays, he spends his time going from year to year, recovering lost artifacts before they're lost to time forever. His ragtag crew includes his cousin Imogen, the Historian who keeps them on track with whatever period they enter; his friend Gram, the Engineer in charge of all the technical aspects of Invictus; and Priya, the medic/Far's girlfriend who loves collecting songs on her headphones throughout the ages.

Juggling both alternate dimensions and time travel in one book? It's Steins Gate all over again. There's even a doomed romance. I always end up going for the doomed romances.
The world Graudin has crafted is nothing sort of lush and intense and in-depth. It's well-thought out, twenty-third century Rome. Time travel is the norm here, and it's so great. I would live in this world. The information is revealed gradually and is never too heavy handed/info-dumpy.

This novel is so fast-paced it's crazy. It's a constant stream of movement. It was a nice touch to add a jump to our time, or well, 2020. I was trying to decide whether to rate this 4 or 4.5, but the last 100 pages bumped my review up massively. It was perhaps the best part of Invictus, because loose ends are being tied up and ultimatums are being reached in such a satisfying way. It's so hard to talk about this book without spoiling it, because this book is one big set of spoilers.

Honestly, any quote on time grabs me, and it's hard to pick my favorites.

"It's all about perspective, isn't it? That's why Aunt Empra loved time travel so much. She always said the past helped her make sense of the present... sometimes even the future, too. I didn't understand what she meant until I started traveling. When you witness the breadth of history, you understand how small you are. And yet at the same time you realize how much your life matters... How much you shape the people are you. And vice versa. (187)."
"Trust isn't a plunge off a cliff. It's something you build."
"Then consider this the first brick (214)."
"Maybe we'll bump into each other on a street corner. I'll flash my impish grin. There's a vendor a few streets away selling real coffee, but since I'm still a cadet and too broke to pay, I'll invite you to sit on the curb and share a stimulant patch while we smell the roasting beans instead (325)."

That scene reminded me so much of Makise and Okabe. Cry.

My only fault with the novel is the character building, which led me to not feel much of a connection to any of them up until the end. Even then, I felt as though I did't get a whole lot of insight into certain characters - Empra being one of them. Also there might be some plot holes considering time travel and alternate dimensions but I couldn't think of any.
To sum it up, I definitely recommend Invictus! If you love time-travel hijinks and fast-paced stories, then it's right up your alley. It certainly was for me.

Now, about the author...

About Ryan:

Ryan Graudin grew up in Charleston and graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Creative Writing in 2009. She is the author of All That Glows and The Walled City. She resides near Charleston with her husband and wolf-dog. You can find her online at

Interested in winning a copy of Invictus now that I piqued your interest?
3 winners will receive a finished copy of INVICTUS, US Only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Find the rest of the tour here!

Tour Schedule:

Week One:
9/25/2017- Mary Had a Little Book BlogReview
9/26/2017- The Petite Book BloggerReview
9/27/2017- Seeing Double In NeverlandReview
9/28/2017- Mom with a Reading ProblemReview
9/29/2017- That Book GalReview

Week Two:
10/2/2017- Feed Your Fiction AddictionReview
10/3/2017- The Book NutReview
10/4/2017- Omg Books and More BooksReview
10/5/2017- Wonderland NovelsReview
10/6/2017- Ohana ReadsReview

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