I kept on mentioning in my previous reviews how I think Alex Scarrow’s ‘Time Riders’ Young Adult SF series would be worthy successors to the Potter Crown. I’m still shocked that amongst the deluge of YA novel Adaptations, none of these have been made into a film or TV Series.
The plots for the first several books 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.
While the first few books have been covered, I’ve not written anything about Book 5-Gates of Rome or any since then, as far as I can remember. Gates of Rome is a huge Gamechanger, as it introduces new character Rashim and the dystopic near-future of the 2060’s.
The team go back to Rome and encounter a deranged Caligula, instead of Claudius as Emperor, so have to reverse the damage.
Then, attempting to contact Waldstein, the founder of the TimeRiders, they are hunted by Support Units, which makes Book 6-The City of Shadows a complete change of pace as they relocate to Victorian London.
Book 7- The Pirate Kings cranks up the Oo-argh Factor as Liam and Rashim take to the high seas in the 17th Century.
Book 8- The Mayan Prophecy sees a major change, which I won’t spoil here, but made me instantly dislike it. But it all leads to the epic conclusion in Book 9-The Infinity Cage as the plotlines are tied up better than a Reef Knot.
Maddy, Rashim and Becks go forward to 2070 and flooded New York before journeying through abandoned US to confront Waldstein. It’s quite a dystopic vision, a solid indictment of Humanity’s rampant consumerism and overreliance on gas, oil and all the greed of Western politicians, banks, corporations and so on.
A more philosophical contrast is of Liam and Bob in First Century Jerusalem, at the time of the Jewish Passover where a certain Preacher is causing ripples and waves amongst the hierarchy and Roman occupation. They get thrust into the centre of the action as Liam makes a shocking discovery underneath the Temple and a close encounter that changes everything.
It’s quite a rollercoaster ride, leaving you a bit breathless, but the story does not end on the last page, as author Alex Scarrow has set up a page on his website where people can submit their own versions of the TimeRiders story where he left off. For me, it’s a challenge way too tempting to be able to resist. Expect a side trip for the STARDIS crew any day now. Mr. Tiglet may even rustle something up, with him; you never know what he’s going to do next!
TimeRiders: Infinity Cage is published by Puffin. £6.99