i went into this book with admittedly a little trepidation, i’m not overly fond of books that are set in the past, being someone who strongly believes in equality in all forms; reading books set in eras where races are turned into slaves and women are treated like objects to be kept pretty makes me frustrated and angry, it sweeps me up into a mindset that is consumed by social grievances and distracted from the plot and characters. But with this novel – which i believed will be – turned series, i was surprised to say the least that i wasn’t turned into an irrationally angry human being but rather fascinated with the plot line and trying to guess the outcomes of the story that Alexandra has concocted. It was interesting, sweet and complicated in a way that is unique to my reading experiences, however it was a bit of a long read, that had a tendency to drag a little bit. Nonetheless it is a book i am satisfied to recommend.
In general, this book was really quite good, the plot line was really well-developed and thought out. The characters were really beautifully written and they evolved in their own ways that was developed steadily along the plot line. In terms of adversaries, in this case Cyrus Ironwood; he wore his black cape with pride and played the part of the dictator splendidly (by played i hope you know i mean written). An unexpected quasi-villain was Rose – Etta’s mother – her utter disregard for her daughter’s life was beyond cold and callous, she was so intent on the “good of the future” that she became cold and manipulative of her daughter, and despite all this Etta still adored her mother like any daughter would, which speaks less of her mother and more of Etta. Also, Sophie as a character was really quite interesting to explore during the course of this book. She evolved from a slightly annoying and completely haughty child to someone who was a genuine threat with her greed, selfishness and desire for power leading her to stalk Etta and Nicholas throughout time and come close to ending their lives with her actions causing dangerous consequences.
Etta and Nicholas’ journey is a compelling one which makes you want to continue reading until the end and is what is going to motivate me to buy the next instalment to the series. it all begins when Etta’s violin recital goes awry and she is kidnapped by Sophie and taken to the 1700’s from there she and Nicholas meet and develop feelings for each other and their ways that have been developed by their vastly different upbringings. Etta is taken to NY on board a ship that has been commandeered(?) by Nicholas and his crew in order to take the girls to NY on orders of Cyrus Ironwood. On their journey Nicholas and Etta develop the beginnings of a friendship that leads to Nicholas swearing to protect her should Ironwood have bad intentions. When Ironwood reveals his plan to manipulate Etta with the life of her mother being threatened in order for Etta to retrieve an object that Rose has hidden somewhere in time and space. This object is called the Astrolabe and it has the capacity to create time portals that did not previously exist. They are left a letter concealing a riddle that leads them on the path to the astrolabe. In a very treasure hunt type plot they travel through all time periods imaginable, surviving wars and ancient civilisations all the while falling more and more for each other. It really is an entertaining read that i believe will make an enjoyable series, however many books it ends up spanning.
On negative aspect i’d like to mention though it may seem little is descriptive language. Whilst the characters and plot-line are quite artistically developed, she lacks i descriptive language. A lot of the time the places and people that are encountered, including the main characters and described in ver little detail and in some aspects i myself had to fill in the gaps as much as i could in order to picture what is happening. If asked i couldn’t even begin to describe the appearances of the main characters, only their personalities, that goes for the locations and times visited as well. If theres one thing i would change about this novel it would be that. Otherwise i am quite pleased by the overall book and writing style.
Til next time!