September 8, 2017

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey • Invictus

Invictus book cover
Invictus was one of my most highly anticipated 2017 fall releases after I first heard about it. After all, it's pitched as being Doctor Who (!) meets Firefly meets Guardians of the Galaxy (!). Though I can only speak to the first and the latter, it lives up to the expectations I had going into it. It was fun. It was hilarious. It was exciting. It was heartfelt. It was the sort of science fiction meets history meets heists meets lovable characters read that I wanted it to be, and perhaps, maybe even a little bit more.

The novel is about Farway Gaius McCarthy, a young man born outside of his time and of a forbidden relationship between a time-traveling Recorder and a gladiator. All he's ever wanted is to travel history, but his ability to do so is threatened when he fails his final time-traveling exam. But opportunity, it seems, has come knocking on his door, and soon, Far is commanding his own ship and crew to go on black market heists to steal valuables from the past that won't be missed. Things change when he encounters a mysterious girl during one such heist, a heist that marks the beginning of changes to the life and History they thought they kew.

Seriously, holy shazm, what a fun read! Time (and place) travel is certainly well-done, what with the crew's leaps into a number of locales and settings for work or for play. I was fascinated by the worlds they visited, including the details they explored (language and outfits and structures and more). It's also got an excellent aspect of mystery to it, as the crew struggles to figure out who this new girl is, what she wants and what her presence means for them and the rest of their world. The pop culture references, the hilarious hijinks (particularly of a certain red panda), the more mundane exchanges between the characters - all of it added up into a story that I was completely immersed in every time I cracked it open.

But, of all the aspects of the story, my absolute favorite has to be the characters. I fell head over heels in love with the entire crew of the Invictus. Far, their fearless leader who struggles to protect his loved ones and his future the best he can, and who also is on the ground for every heist. Priya, talented Medic and Mechanic, who patches the ship and its crew up physically and emotionally. Gram, their Engineer, who makes sure that they jump to the right spot in time with his coordinates and calculations. Imogen (my favorite!), who has a red panda called Saffron (who is adorable), the Historian with the ever changing hair colors and the incredibly vast knowledge and ability to acquire the knowledge needed to make sure their appearances are perfect for whatever time period they are in. And the mysterious new girl, Eliot, who I won't go into specifics about but suffice to say, I thought she was so intriguing. Readers have the chance to read from each of these perspectives, and it's just all too easy to fall in love with these characters with every single encounter.

I just loved Invictus! It was smart, it was heartwarming, it was epic. I enjoyed every single moment of the adventure I went on with the crew of the Invictus, and I'm so happy that one of my most anticipated releases turned out to be one of my best reads for the year. This is definitely a new addition to my favorites shelf, and I'd highly recommend checking out Invictus for yourself!

Invictus by Ryan Graudin
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | Publication Date: September 26, 2017
Source: ARC received at the NOVL Brunch (Thank you!)


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