Invictus by Ryan Graudin (review)
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Reviewed by
Graudin, Ryan Invictus. Little, 2017 [464p]
Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-316-50307-5 $17.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-316-50313-6 $9.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 6-10

For a born-outside-of-time love child of an illicit union between a time traveler and a Roman gladiator, Farway Gaius McCarthy thinks his prospects for a career aboard a time machine are looking good—until, that is, someone hacks his final simulation exam at the Academy and leaves him disgraced and dismissed. A shady art plunderer is in need of a time machine captain, though, so Far not only gets his dream job but also the chance to put together his own tiny crew and name his new ship Invictus. So now he’s happily cruising through history in the company of a dear cousin, a best friend, and a lover, grabbing up treasures moments before their historical destruction and taking a cut of the profits. There’s one small hiccup, though, in the entity/phenomenon known only as the Fade, which is not pleased with Far’s very existence and is hot on his heels, wiping out whole segments of the human timeline in its effort to eliminate him. Readers who boggle at the idea of time hopping and the wild unleashing of multiverses will find themselves pleasantly eased in to Far’s story and so thoroughly caught up in character development in the first half of the novel that they will gladly stick through its ensuing convoluted twists and turns. Far can be annoyingly cocky and over-assured, but he’s loyal to his crew and to his beloved Priya, and when he agrees to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the universe (and a boatload of multiverses besides), he makes certain their [End Page 20] love will rekindle in another time. Swoonworthy sci-fi: that’s something that doesn’t come along every day.

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