Timebound was the 2014 winner of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest, so I think it satisfies the ‘indie’ title only in the vaguest sense. I wrote this review in my new, shorter style; if you want me to return to the wordier style, let me know in the comments!
Author: Rysa Walker
Won the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest in 2014
I downloaded the Kindle in Motion Version, but my old-ass Kindle didn’t show any of the illustrations.
This looked like a cool book with a cool premise. There’s also the steampunk subcontext, which a lot of my writings and readings have this month.
I wasn’t a big fan of this book, but I don’t think it’s due to such intrinsic problems that no one would like it. I think it’s very much YA – the thoughts of the main character and actions of the primary love interest were very ‘teen.’ The way the hormonal love steams through the book didn’t feel very mature or psychologically developed. Since the book was largely character driven (action started about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way in), I found it hard to get into the young characters’ personalities.
I was also not a big fan of the large amount of explanation. Until I was 67% of the way through the book, there wasn’t any real time travel. The decisions the characters make led to most of the problems they had – and I could tell you they were bad beforehand.
Something good about the book was the obviously intense level of research Walker put into the 1893 part. When you get to the time travel section of the book, the story picks waaaaay up and the richness of the descriptions become truly charming. I think sequels may include more time travel and be more action oriented, but I disliked enough of the first book that I will not be partaking of any.
3/5 Discoball Snowcones
One of the big things I was disappointed by was the main character. She constantly had to be saved by someone, even if that someone was a random man from the past coming to save her. It was weird that the main character was posited as strong, but then succeeded at… nothing, really. I suppose you could say that the ensemble cast succeeded.
The book also wanted you to question Grandma Katherine’s motivations, yet it was always clear that she was the only trustworthy person who knew what was going on. The subplot of learning who Grandma Katherine was took up 2/3 of the book, but I don’t think I gained much of anything from it.
Weirdly, I was creeped out by the romantic subplot with Kiernan. He was probably 20+ when he met her on the subway, given that he’d had a tryst with a Kate from a different timeline in the past, but he still was into 17 year-old-Kate. Then, when Kate traveled back in time and met 8-year-old Kiernan? That’s when it got… too weird. It went too far. Nothing sexy happened, praise God, but that subtext with an 8 year old messed with me.
Stay tuned and see the review of both my FIRST EVER AUDIOBOOK and my FIRST EVER ROMANCE, The Time Traveler’s Wife. It’s going to be an interesting experience!