Sci-fi month: Timebound and Time's Edge Joint review

18108877Title: Timebound
Author: Rysa Walker
Genre: YA, science fiction

Rating: 3/5 stars
Goodreads Summary:
When Kate Pierce-Keller’s grandmother gives her a strange blue medallion and speaks of time travel, sixteen-year-old Kate assumes the old woman is delusional. But it all becomes horrifyingly real when a murder in the past destroys the foundation of Kate’s present-day life. Suddenly, that medallion is the only thing protecting Kate from blinking out of existence.
Kate learns that the 1893 killing is part of something much more sinister, and Kate’s genetic ability to time-travel makes her the only one who can stop him. Risking everything, she travels to the Chicago World’s Fair to try to prevent the killing and the chain of events that follows.
Changing the timeline comes with a personal cost, however—if Kate succeeds, the boy she loves will have no memory of her existence. And regardless of her motives, does she have the right to manipulate the fate of the entire world?
22066090Title: Time's Edge
Author: Rysa Walker
Genre: Science fiction, young adult

Rating: 4/5 stars
Goodreads Summary:
To stop her sadistic grandfather, Saul, and his band of time travelers from rewriting history, Kate must race to retrieve the CHRONOS keys before they fall into the Cyrists' hands. If she jumps back in time and pulls the wrong key--one that might tip off the Cyrists to her strategy--her whole plan could come crashing down, jeopardizing the future of millions of innocent people. Kate's only ally is Kiernan, who also carries the time-traveling gene. But their growing bond threatens everything Kate is trying to rebuild with Trey, her boyfriend who can't remember the relationship she can't forget.
As evidence of Saul's twisted mind builds, Kate's missions become more complex, blurring the line between good and evil. Which of the people Saul plans to sacrifice in the past can she and Kiernan save without risking their ultimate goal--or their own lives? 

I'm reviewing these two books together because I read them almost back to back and I'm kind of fuzzy on what happens where. I did like the second book more than the first, because it seemed like the author was more sure about the rules of time travel (or maybe I finally got used to them) and things just made a lot more sense.

I'm a whovian, therefore I am partial to anything related to time travel. I had heard a lot of great things about this series, so I was excited to start reading. I thought the first book was really confusing, especially at first because the main character and her grandmother are both named Katherine. It's hard to keep the Kates and the Katherines straight, especially when there are alternate universe versions of both from other timelines. I eventually got the hang of it, and I did enjoy this series.

In the first book, Kate learns about her family "history" (future? present? past? I'm not even sure) and discovers that she comes from a line of time travelers. These time travelers are part of an organization called CHRONOS, which was originally to study previous points in time and better understand the way of life. When Kate's grandfather starts meddling with the past, the repurcussions are stark for the future. Bigotry and religous cults abound, and many honest people find themselves unknowingly turning towards darkness. The only way to stop him is to undo his changes in the past, but when timelines are already fluctuating and merging, it's only a matter of time before all the changes cause the world to collapse.

I thought the author did a really good job of creating a set of rules for time travel and sticking with it. There aren't too many paradoxes and things to worry about, and most of the science fiction is really well-explained.

I think Walker's real talent is with creating believable characters. Everyone in these novels, from Kate to Trey to Katherine to Kiernan to Connor to Pru is complicated and realistic. They have good days and bad days, miscommunications and insecurities. I felt like I was reading about a real (dysfunctional, time traveling) family, with some friends tagging along for the ride. The crazy time traveling stuff never makes the every-day growing up and figuring out who you are thing seem silly or too mundane.

I'd recommend this fun series to people who love time travel!

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