These books are fantastic and there are 4 main reasons that I want to touch on to back this up.
#1. Sera’s reaction to the paranormal.
In most of the YA Paranormal that I read, when a character is first brought in contact with things that are out of the ordinary, i.e. paranormal, they adjust rather quickly. I think it took Bella about 24hrs to come to grips with vampires, Joslyn took even less time… some characters seem to never give it a second thought. Sera’s reaction is so different that at first I kept thinking “What is wrong with her?” but then it dawned on me: She doesn’t know she’s in a paranormal book!
See, reading as many paranormal books as I do, I expect the characters to pick it up quickly, but step back and think about the likelihood of that: NOT VERY! So when Sera has weird things go on in her life her reaction makes MUCH more sense. She first wonders if she should tell her dad what she’s seen so he can lock her up in a mental institution. From there she goes on to just complete disbelief… she denies, even to herself, what she’s seen. She is convinced that she’s having hallucinations and just disregards anything out of the ordinary. This goes on for weeks (if not months). Even when someone she trusts explains what is going on it takes her quite some time to come to grips with it. This is so much more realistic (if I can even use that word in relation to this kind of story).
#2. The use of tense as a literary device.
Typically the tense and POV of a book are pretty much just the author’s preferred style. Most books I read are 1st person limited from the past tense. That’s what I’m used to. So the fact that this one is in present tense at first bugged me. Honestly, I find reading in present tense awkward… I mean the story has to have already happened for it to be written down, right? It wasn’t until I was really into the story that it dawned on me: “Michelle Warren is BRILLIANT!” She took tense and made it into a literary device. There is not one list of literary devices I can find with “tense” on them. Usually that just carries the story, but here it ADDS to the story. Why? Because these books are about time travel (just not the Sci-fi kind with machines etc, they have to do with certain individual’s ability to travel in time).
Does the brilliance of it strike you now? How else can you explain time travel without being IN “real time.” This book is written almost as though time is not linear. They jump back and forth so much that it’s almost a circle and it gets confusing; any other tense just would not be appropriate. See, for each person there is a “real time” (the part of time they were born into) but no matter how much jumping they do it is always present tense to them.
#3. Some of craziness of the books that I still love.
First I have to admit that there is a love triangle. If I didn’t mention it anyone who reads my blog and then this book will be shocked because that is usually a huge pet peeve of mine, HOWEVER in this book it was honestly needed for the story to make sense. It’s kind of like the violence in Hunger Games… I may not like it but for the story to have a purpose it needs to be there (and no, the purpose is not “romance” the purpose is actually similar to Hunger Games’).
This review would also not be complete without mentioning that time travel is COMPLICATED! I honestly didn’t follow several parts in the last book (but then I didn’t really follow Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban until the 3rd time I read it… maybe if I read this 3 times it will begin to make sense). The first book wasn’t that complicated. The second was starting to get there. The third was CRAZY! There were so many loops in time that it made my head spin leading to the most simple and yet impossible sentence I think I’ve ever read: “But in my past, that meeting doesn’t take place until tomorrow.” What?!?!?!
#4. The book descriptions’ accuracy.
I know this has been a longer than normal post, so please bear with me. If you decide to read these books (which I TOTALLY recommend) don’t expect the book descriptions on Amazon or the author’s website to give anything away. The descriptions are accurate, but not in the way you might think. I expected to be bored with the second book because it seemed pretty obvious what was coming. Boy, was I wrong! Yes, there are a couple of scenes that are mentioned and they do happen – just not for the reasons or in the way I expected.
What I learned from them: there are things in the world worth fighting for, even at great personal risk…. Freedom and love are among them. Never stop fighting!
In summary: these books are well written and will keep you on your toes. Definitely a thumbs up from me!