When Kate Pierce-Keller’s grandmother gives her a strange blue medallion and claims to be a member of a time travel group from the future named CHRONOS, sixteen-year-old Kate assumes the old woman is delusional. But it all becomes horrifyingly real when a murder in the past destroys the foundation of Kate’s present-day life. Suddenly, that medallion is the only thing protecting Kate from blinking out of existence.
Kate learns that the 1893 killing is part of something much more sinister, and her genetic ability to time travel makes Kate the only one who can fix the future. Risking everything, she travels back in time to the Chicago World’s Fair to try to prevent the murder and the chain of events that follows.
Changing the timeline comes with a personal cost—if Kate succeeds, the boy she loves will have no memory of her existence. And regardless of her motives, does Kate have the right to manipulate the fate of the entire world?
So … sounds good, entertaining and fascinating. Also, there are more than 1600 five-star reviews on Amazon for this book and the author, Rysa Walker, was awarded the Amazon Breakthrough Novel in 2013, so I decided to give it a shot.
First of all, for all the acclaim – it’s pretty boring! The first section of the book is a quite dull … setting up the characters and plot with a heavy hand, telling not showing. Characters seemed to be little more than chess pieces, moved from place to place only to advance the story. Kate (the heroine) never becomes a well-defined character … by the end of the book I cared little about what happened to her.
The middle section of the book then actually s-l-o-w-s the story d-o-w-n with convoluted explanations of time travel, how the Chronos team works and the confusing back story. During the final 1/3 of the story finally kicks into gear as Kate goes back in time to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and crosses path with the notorious H.H. Holmes, which, unfortunately, does not have as great a payoff as it should.
As a fan of time travel stories (see my article, Essential Time Travel Novels), I found this YA novel lacking in many ways. Good idea, haphazardly executed.