In both the Harry Potter and TimeRiders: Eternal War reviews, I shared my opinion that Alex Scarrow’s TimeRiders series deserved recognition as successor to the Potter crown.
TimeRiders: Gates of Rome not only solidifies that opinion, but exceeded even my expectations, great as they were.
The main reason is the setting of Rome, as the Roman era is one of my favourite historical periods. The inclusion of Cato and Macro, protagonists of Simon Scarrow’s Eagle novels is another factor. (see my review of The Legion for details).
The final reason is that, being the fifth novel, a few answers to some of the questions raised in previous books are beginning to trickle through. Scarrow’s depiction of a dystopic near-future, with nations wiped out and a global pandemic decimating the remaining population makes the desperation of the Project Exodus group understandable.
The Time Agency team are also put through an ordeal after Maddy requests help, but a team of assassin Units arrive instead, so they have to escape to the altered Rome where Caligula has used the Project Exodus group to fuel his ambitions.
The Team’s interaction with Cato, Macro and others help, especially when they return to the Field office and Maddy decides to evacuate, leading to a cliff-hanger. Luckily the next one, City of Shadows is out in August, so there is not long to wait to see what happens next!
TimeRiders: Gates of Rome is out in Paperback, published by Puffin Books. £6.99