Author: Ryan Graudin.
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.
Every bit the exciting romp it purports to be in the description. Now, I did come in with high expectations, because it’s Ryan Graudin, and those were rather disappointed. It’s nowhere near as good as Wolf by Wolf. I couldn’t figure out exactly what was missing until I saw someone else’s review where they commented “it lacks emotional depth” and I realized, that’s it. Graudin’s previous work had amazing characterization, and it wasn’t just that the characters were real: you had to care for them. So much pain and courage and hope, all wrapped up together.
Invictus isn’t like that. Farway is fun to read and root for. He’s arrogant, driven, searching. He’s the time-thief, the boy-without-a-birthday, rogue and leader. But his story is still all excitement and little to no emotional depth.
And as time-travel stories go, it’s not anything groundbreaking. Time-thieving, world-fabric ripping at an anomaly, characters sacrificing themselves to save their future/past/other selves; it’s all been done before.
All that being said? The crew is great, the ship is awesome, and if you like time-travel stories and the accompanying tropes this will be fun.
Sexual Content: Some kissing. It’s made clear, without straight out saying it, that a woman is pregnant, who the father is, and that the child is definitely illegal.
Violence: Character briefly watches gladiators fighting – only a brief description. Multiple characters are taken by a world-ending nothingness. Character is stun-gunned. Character fights in a gladiator ring: this time is more described, and there’s some blood and pain.