Science Fiction, Young Adult

Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Pages: 464

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Release Date: September 26, 2017

Genre(s): Science Fiction

Format: Hardcover

Goodreads Synopsis

Time flies when you’re plundering history.

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.”

What Did I Think?

Rewriting some jacked up history with time-traveling thieves heading up the mission? Yes please!

I can honestly say that the overall concept of Invictus was unlike anything I’ve ever read in my entire life… and I LOVED IT. This book had a whole plethora of things going on: time travel, forbidden romance, and all the repercussions that these two things create in a world like this. Not only was the concept unique, but it was also executed pretty dang close to perfectly. Ever element of the plot flowed smoothly into the next, but there were still plenty of plot twists to keep the reader on their toes. It’s rare that I even pick up sci-fi books because I typically just don’t enjoy them, but I am so glad I went out on a limb and gave this one a shot!

Let’s talk about our main character, Far. Poor guy has had a rough life, exacerbated by the fact that he failed his time-traveling test– literally something he’s spent his entire life studying and preparing for. While his life didn’t exactly turn out like he planned, I was so happy that he got to go on an even bigger adventure that I’m sure he ever imagined he’d be a part of! While there were elements of romance between Far and his girlfriend, Priya, I appreciated that the main focus of the book was on Far trying to figure out who he really is (and on the actual adventure he and his crew are on, of course).

Speaking of the crew, they are one DOPE group of misfits, let me tell ya, complete with A RED FREAKING PANDA named Saffron! How much cooler could it get? Priya was one of my favorite members of the crew, and I was shocked that she’s as young as she is for being such a great medic. Eliot was a freaking creeper when she first joined the party, but she’ll grow on you, I swear! Gram was definitely one of the sweetest dudes ever and I really enjoyed his perspective on things, and Imogen, Far’s cousin, was just kinda there (yeah, she’s not my favorite by any stretch of the imagination, but that’s because the other characters were just so much more fun!).

Time to wrap this thing up with some final thoughts! The pacing of this book was spot on. In a lot of sci-fi books, the writer spends an astronomical amount of time telling us how the world works and it drags on for WAY too long, causing the reader to become uninterested in the story. The opposite happened in Invictus– the reader got the perfect amount of insight into the world Graudin created to set the stage for an adventure that transcends time, literally! The storytelling was captivating and I was rooting for Far to accomplish his mission from the very first page. Overall, this book was full of adventure and suspense, and I couldn’t get enough of it!

Who Would I Recommend This Book To?

I highly recommend this book to anyone like me who says sci-fi is just not for them. There’s a good chance that Invictus will completely change your perspective on this genre (at least for me it did!).

If you enjoyed the plot twists, adventurousness, and #squadgoals of the Six of Crows duology and the Lunar Chronicles, this book is for you, 100%.

I’d also recommend this book to literally ANYONE. Yeah, it was that good, y’all.