Invictus by Ryan Graudin
I’ll admit it: I’m a sucker for time travel fiction, so it’s no surprise I was drawn to this novel, with its plot about the son of a 24th century time traveler and an ancient Greek gladiator. But wait! This is also a gripping sci-fi journey, with compelling characters, and enough twists and turns to qualify as a thriller.
The protagonist is named Farway Gaius McCarthy, and though everyone in his time honors his time traveling mother, his father is “unknown,” except to his mother, as it is a serious infraction against the code for time traveling. When Far fails the test to get into the government-sponsored time travel program that his mother is famous for, he becomes a blackmarket adventurer, captaining a time-traveling crew to steal valuables from the past. Terrific and complex characters, with a little romance and mystery thrown in. And then there is the mysterious Eliot, who pops in and out of time. As we learn her back story, Far’s becomes ever more complex.
These reluctant heroes end up being the only ones who can save the Earth itself from ultimate disaster. And I must admit, as much as I love series, this stand-alone is refreshing as it ties up all the loose ends in one intense story. Highly recommended.