Release date: January 5th 2016
Etta Spencer is a violin prodigy about to make her big debut. It all goes wrong when she’s suddenly torn away from the world she knows and she finds herself in the past. She learns she has legacy, the ability to travel through time, and a family known as the Ironwoods want to use her to find an object her mother hide from them years ago. Nicholas has been fighting his whole life to be free of the Ironwoods but he gets dragged into this new scheme to ensure Etta brings the Ironwoods what they want. Together, Etta and Nicholas must travel through continents and time to find the one thing Etta’s mother wanted to keep hidden and the closer they get, the more they learn about the Ironwoods’ true intentions.
This was one of my most anticipated novels for 2016 so when I received an ARC, I was extremely excited and couldn’t stop myself from starting it as soon as I could. I loved Alexandra Bracken’s series The Darkest Minds and time travel books so this seemed like it could be a perfect book for me. And it was. I extremely enjoyed my time reading it.
Etta was a fantastic character. There was a quiet strength and fierce determination in her without it turning into her being an instant expert at everything she tried. All she wanted to do was survive and find a way to save the people she loved. She was learning about time travel along with the reader so when she would do something rash or say something out of place, I could forgive her because she was as green as anyone else who’d never believed in time travel. She has a very fiery personality that resulted in some great comebacks and one-liners, and a huge heart that just wanted to save everyone she could.
Nicholas was just as great as Etta. The bastard child of the Ironwood family who was always looked down on and just wanted to live his own life, but he got dragged back into the life he didn’t want no matter how much he protested. He had big dreams but those dreams also made it easy to manipulate him. He was extremely loyal to those who had earned it and had a necessary chip on his shoulders but was really sweet once he let his walls down.
There were so many interesting dynamics between the characters, not just the two main ones. I did love the relationship that developed between Etta and Nicholas. It was slow and complicated and, for the most part, growing in the background while the time travel plot was on the forefront. My favourite relationships, other than the one between Etta and Nicholas, were the ones between Etta and her violin teacher and Nicholas and his half-brother Julian. They were less present than a lot of the other relationships but they had a big impact on me.
The pacing of the book was slow but without feeling like it was dragging. I was never bored. Instead I was completely absorbed into the story, reading every line, and letting the writing paint very vivid pictures of the scenes happening around the main characters. I appreciated the detail because it added so much to the historical aspect of the book. The time travel aspect combined with the Godfather-like Ironwood family and the historical settings made for such an interesting read that I couldn’t put it down until I was finished. And then I wanted more immediately.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.