Author: Bee Ridgway
Date of Publication: April 23, 2013
Formats Available: Hardcover, E-Book
Buy This Book: Amazon
Synopsis: “You are now a member of the Guild. There is no return.” Two hundred years after he was about to die on a Napoleonic battlefield, Nick Falcott, soldier and aristocrat, wakes up in a hospital bed in modern London. The Guild, an entity that controls time travel, showers him with life's advantages. But Nick yearns for home and for one brown-eyed girl, lost now down the centuries. Then the Guild asks him to break its own rule. It needs Nick to go back to 1815 to fight the Guild’s enemies and to find something called the Talisman.
In 1815, Julia Percy mourns the death of her beloved grandfather, an earl who could play with time. On his deathbed he whispers in her ear: “Pretend!” Pretend what? When Nick returns home as if from the dead, older than he should be and battle scarred, Julia begins to suspect that her very life depends upon the secrets Grandfather never told her. Soon enough Julia and Nick are caught up in an adventure that stretches up and down the river of time. As their knowledge of the Guild and their feelings for each other grow, the fate of the future itself is hanging in the balance.
I've never read a book quite like The River of No Return, and I mean that in the best way possible. Stunningly original and full of a cast of fascinating characters, each from an entirely different time, I couldn't put down Ridgeways wonderful debut novel. Part time travel, part romance, a smidge mystery and everything else in between the River of No Return had it all!
The plot of The River of No Return absolutely blew me away. Complex and layered there was so much more to the story than what was merely on the surface. With subplots and interwoven clues I was never bored and found myself rapidly turning pages, eager to find out what happened next. I would have really liked more of the story from Julia's point of view but since the plot focused on Nick it was understandable that most of the novel would be from his perspective. The beginning did start out a little slow but once the plot got moving the multi-dimensional plot pulled me in and refused to let me go.
I loved the idea of Nick traveling forward in time then traveling back to his own time. So often in time travel novels the character moves one direction, whether back or forward, and must learn to adjust to that way of life. However, in this novel Nick first adjusts to living in the 21st century then must re-learn everything he needs to survive in the 1800's. Despite being a tad predictable half the fun was watching the characters get there. The ending leaves this novel open for a sequel (which I can't wait for!) but still manages to have a happy ending nonetheless.
Romance played a relatively small part throughout the novel but the small amount of romance that there is worked very well. Nick and Julia's relationship is sweet but not overwhelming, leaving the focus of the novel on the mysteries surrounding the Guild and the manipulation of time. I really liked both Nick and Julia as well as the supporting characters of Arkady, Alice, Clare, Bella, and Eamon. There were no flat characters here, they all had their own personalities and enough depth to make each of them feel real. From Eamon's brutish personality to Arkady's love for his daughter I felt as though I was right there along with the characters, feeling their emotions and living their stories right along with them.
A wonderful new time travel I wholeheartedly recommend The River of No Return to fans of Regency era romance and time travel. Fun characters, an exciting plot, and just enough romance to keep romance novel fans happy this novel has something for everyone! A fantastic first novel by Ridgeway and I can't wait to see where she goes next!
*Note: I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher in exchange for a free and honest review