I mentioned in my Harry Potter review in July how I thought Alex Scarrow’s ‘Time Riders’ Young Adult SF series would be worthy successors to the Potter Crown.
The plots for each book are quite simple- an event in the past changes causing a Time Wave, which disrupts the present and the team (Maddy, Liam, Sal, Bob and Becks) have to correct it, so far so linear.
But the plotting is more complex than at first glance and there are several twists and turns. In the first book, for instance, a group of Future soldiers help Hitler win the Second World War and conquerAmerica. Then Kramer kills Hitler, goes insane and sets off a bomb, triggering a second time wave, which Liam and Bob have to sort out. The same happens in Book Two ‘Day of the Predator’ and Book Three ‘The Doomsday Code’. There is also a subplot about how Time Travel was invented with little bits of info spread through the novels.
Book 4- ‘The Eternal War’ focuses on the disruption to the American Civil War after Abraham Lincoln follows Liam back from 1831. This causes a massive temporal distortion, causing a reality shift where the War never ended. Maddy persuades two opposing Officers to join forces so they can repair the time travel equipment and getLincolnback to his proper time and sort the timeline out.
It’s an exciting series and I am already looking forward to the next one set in Roman times. While it may seem like an episode of Doctor Who, the series has several unique characters in Maddy, Liam and Sal and is an exciting take on Time Travel, following the same thinking as Back to the Future. The continuing thread of the Agency/how Time Travel was invented and what ‘Pandora’ keep it intriguing and I hope will keep going for a bit longer than Potter.