I am reposting this review because the kindle edition of Timebound on sale for $1.99 is part of the Oct $3.99 or less sale. Also the rest of the series is on sale as well.
Summary: Sixteen year old Kate must time travel to restore the timeline and stop her Grandfather and Aunt from taking over the world.
One of the things I like most about Amazon is their willingness to experiment. Amazon started the Breakthrough Novel contest several years ago and it has really generated some good books. Timebound is the overall winner and the young adult category winner for 2013.
But that is only one part of the experimentation of this book. Amazon also has started pre-releasing 4 books a month to Amazon Prime members with their Kindle First program. If you are an Amazon Prime member you can pick one of those four books to keep for free (and buy the others if you want.) Timebound was part of the December offering. I picked the kindle version up for free, and then used some promotional credit at Audible to get the audiobook (it was only $1.99 with purchase of the kindle book.)
Amazon’s experiment seems to have worked. After only a month from its official release, Timebound has over 1300 reviews and more than 1200 of them are 4 or 5 star reviews.
Timebound is about a 16 year old girl that discovers that her grandmother (whom her Mother does not get along with and whom Kate barely knows) is dying of cancer. Her Grandmother (Katherine) has moved to DC to be near Kate and wants Kate to move into her home part time so they can get to know one another. Kate will inherit the house and the entire estate when Katherine dies.
What Kate soon learns is that Katherine is a time traveling researcher from the future and was stranded here when her Grandfather rebelled from the time traveling project to try and take over history. Kate’s mother’s twin sister was believed to be killed in a car accident, but actually went over to her father’s side.
The complexity of variable timelines and how the loss of one time line means the loss of a set of relationships and people is handled very well. Time travel books always introduce the problem of changes to the timeline, but for a young adult book, this one is almost maddeningly comprehensive in how changes work and what is the result of those changes. (Not that it is drawn out in its descriptions, but that everything has a consequence.)
A significant part of the book deals with the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Rysa Walker has clearly read The Devil in the White City and leans on that book to help give background. I used to live in the neighborhood of where the Chicago World’s Fair was located, and I loved The Devil in the White City, so I enjoyed that part of the book particularly.
The book is clearly set up for a future series (which doesn’t seem to to be scheduled yet). If you are the type of person that does not like cliff-hangers, you may want to wait until another book or two in the series is out. But this is a well done young adult time travel novel and I thoroughly enjoyed it.