Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: 26th September 2017
Publisher: Little Brown Young Readers
Add it: Goodreads
Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far's birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he's ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.
But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far's very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.
I was really excited for Invictus because I’m a sucker for time travel in books and shows, plus the book starts off at a gladiator match in Ancient Rome. What more could I ask for? I was, however, left a little disappointed by the world building, which is a shame.
Of course, I looooved the time travel elements to this story. Jumping around in time from Ancient Rome to the sinking of the Titanic and to the burning of the Great Library of Alexandria was entertaining, and those parts were pretty great. I liked seeing these different time periods. Or, rather, I liked the idea of seeing them. The issue I had was that the world and time periods weren’t expanded upon or described well enough for me.
The world building in Invictus was a little disappointing. I wanted to learn more about the present day with the Corps, and also about the time periods that the crew was jumping to. The author didn’t describe the settings particularly well, which really drew me out of the story. I don’t think descriptions of settings are Graudin’s strong point.
The main plot was really good, and I enjoyed reading about the crew jumping around in time and trying to outrun something mysterious.
I didn’t care for any of the characters, really. The main character, Farway, was your typical arrogant YA boy, and none of the other characters stood out at all despite having the story told from their viewpoints in several chapters. None of them were distinct, and the only one I particularly enjoyed reading about was Eliot. The romance between Gram and Imogen was dull and I really couldn’t be bothered with that either. Farway and Priya were kind of adorable though.
Despite being disappointed by Invictus, I’ll definitely be trying out Graudin’s Wolf by Wolf duology, which sounds a lot stronger and more developed.