TimeBound (Chronos Files #1)
by Rysa Walker
narrated by Kate Rudd
(contemporary fantasy, time travel, historical fiction)
I have a lot to say about this novel. First thing: it is LONG. Frankly, too long. I enjoyed the premise. I liked the characters. But about half-way through the audiobook, I stopped caring about them because it was long and the pacing slowed down and I got bored. Eventually, I started listening again. And I got a bit further. And then I got bored again. And then I got the paper version out of the library and skimmed the ending so that at least I’d know what happened without having to slog through the rest of the audiobook. (While I love listening to books because then I can multi-task, I do sometimes get annoyed that I have to go at the reader’s speed. And yes, I know that I can listen at 1.5 or 2 times the speed and still understand the text. But then you miss the nuance of the reader’s performance, and so why bother?) Anyway. That was only one comment I had, and the one that I feel is the most important to start with.
Second thing: the premise is awesome. Just the same way that the “Back To The Future” movie premise is awesome, where you have to prevent actions taken by someone who time traveled to the past in order to keep yourself alive. Awesome idea, and this version of the idea was well crafted. Rysa did a great job on her plotting and worldbuilding. I do think that the novel itself needed some trimming – both for the length and to make the secondary plot more secondary – but that shouldn’t diminish the great initial idea.
Third thing: the characters. Some were awesome, some were good, some were merely okay. This is pretty standard, sure. For instance: there’s one point where Kate has a cat fight with another girl about her age. Said other girl seems pretty stereotypical “teenage girl baddie”. Nothing extraordinary. On the other hand, Kate’s main love interest for this book is rather well developed and doesn’t seem to be nearly as standard. (I’m not saying who, because it looks like there will be a love triangle in this series, and I’d rather you read it for yourself if you choose to, than have me tell you which guy is the boyfriend of choice in this book.) Kate herself is well developed, if sometimes a bit of a stereotype, and her grandmother is a really fun character. I really enjoy her.
I did like the narration for the book, but as I mentioned – when the book got slow, I just couldn’t keep going at the narrator’s pace and had to have the ability to skim it. I’ll certainly be open to trying more of Kate Rudd’s reads in the future, however.
Final rating for this one: probably a B minus. Good, but not great, and I’m not sold on continuing with the series. I think I heard rumors of a movie, though, and that could be worth it, depending on the screenplay.