Sherry D. Ficklin and Tyler H. Jolley is one of those books. It's not a bad book, it's just different from what I normally read.
Looking at the cover, I thought this was a science fiction or steampunk novel. There is definitely a story there, and an air of mystery.
The Tesla Institute trains a special group of young adults called Rifters. They're trained in the art of time travel. They protect the time stream. I seriously wanted to write that they're protecting "the space time continuum." While I was reading this, I couldn't help but think about the movie series Back to the Future. Where was Marty with the DeLorean? As you can see, I don't read too many books about time travel. In this book, traveling back and forth to different time periods is the norm. Some students have fantasies of altering some moments (ex: the sinking of the Titanic) in history, but they are warned against it. Changing history could put the entire universe in jeopardy. Plus, you don't want to run into a younger version of yourself in the time stream like Marty McFly. See why I kept thinking of Back to the Future!!! The Hollows, a rival faction of time travelers, are doing just that. Members of the Hollows don't care if they are messing with time. All they want is to find Tesla and take control of the time stream.
Lex, a member of the Hollows, and Ember, a Rifter, are tied together, but they don't know how. Ember is constantly haunted by nightmares. Could they be nightmares from her past? Are they a glimpse into her future? She's strong when she needs to be, but the nightmares can be crippling. Lex is forced into enemy territory when his girlfriend, Stein, dies during a mission. To get her back, Lex has to steal the Dox, which can allow time travelers to re-enter their own timeline.
I'll be honest, I had to re-read some parts. I just wanted to make sure I didn't miss something. I'm so used to contemporary stories; it just takes me some time to understand more complex plots. What wasn't complex is the character interaction, which was great. Ember is surrounded by a great group of friends. Ethan is overly confident, but Ember isn't afraid to banter back and forth with him. Her friend Kara can be a little maddening, but she is a true friend to Ember. Lex has the same level of camaraderie with Stein and Nobel, so it makes sense he is willing to into enemy territory for his girlfriend. Overall, this is a fun and engaging read. It's also good that I stepped outside of my comfort zone, otherwise I would be cutting myself off from some very worthy books!!
Rating: Give it a try
Note: I received a copy of the book at BookExpo America as part of a blog tour with the publisher (Spencer Hill Press)