Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The River of No Return by Bee Ridgeway

Bee Ridgeway’s debut The River of No Return is an interesting tale of time travel, intrigue and a dash of romance. Nick, Davenant, aka Lord Nicholas Falcott, Marquees of Blackdown, learns that people have the ability time travel as he leaps from 1813 to 2003 as a French soldier is about to kill him on a battlefield. Introduced to the Guild he is set up for a comfortable life in the 20th century. But after 10 years he is called back to England to do what he was told is impossible, travel back to his hometime. But it is not to be a mere visit, he has a mission to track down the splinter group, the Ofan, and beat them to the mysterious Talisman, which may hold the key to the future.
Now this may sound a bit cliché and Ridgeway does make use of some themes and concepts that are a bit worn, however, there are number of things that make tis a rather interesting story. First, is the innate ability of people to time travel without making use of any outside device. Some of the concepts relating to the time travel ability remind me of Hiro Nakamura from the TV show Heroes. Also, Ridgeway creates what is called the Pale, a point in the future that no one seems to be able to travel to or from. This point is also moving inexorable and inexplicable backwards in time.
The style is delightfully simplistic, especially when compared to many debut authors, and makes the 450 pages go by smoothly. She does get caught up at some points in the romance aspect of the story and in having the characters debating the various aspects of time traveling. The only point of the book I was a bit disappointed in was the lack of overarching resolution. Many of the plot lines came to a conclusion but the Pale and the actions of a few other characters still remain a mystery, indicating that perhaps Ridgway intends a series.


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