Given that this is Alex Scarrow's debut venture into the world of science fiction/fantasy writing he doesn't make too bad of a job of it.
The book (and I imagine any further books) centre around three main characters, Maddy, Liam and Sal, who are plucked from various different eras in time at the moment of their imminent deaths. A mysterious stranger appears before them, offering them the choice of either the end of their current lives, or the chance to live another. They soon find themselves whisked forward (and back) in time; recruited into a shadowy undercover op's team known as the "TimeRiders". After some very brief training, they are soon tasked with correcting anomalies in the timeline, created by future time travellers jumping back in time in attempts to try and change history to their own ends. Accompanied by a very "Terminator" like cloned operating unit, or " meat robot " named "Bob", and mentored by the mysterious stranger, Foster, this first book in a planned series centres around an attempt to change history by a man named Kruger, who jumps back in time and ensures that Hitler does not lose the Second World War, with disastrous consequences for all of future mankind.
Much of Alex Scarrow's previous incarnation as a games designer (as well as rock guitarist and graphic artist) is evident here. The book is clearly aimed at the mid-teens level, although it is still an enjoyable journey for all ages. It isn't a taxing read, and would probably be a good stepping stone into the sci-fi genre for any newcomer. Characters and scenes are ably painted, and the main plot is easy to follow, and while it's not the most gripping of stories, it bounds along at a decent pace, never becoming bogged down in sub-plots or an overly self-indulgent writing style, yet still manages to provide the reader with the odd anxious moment or two.
The book has clearly been written with one eye on the future, as it is evidently constructed with the mindset of tying it in with perhaps future video games / cartoons / merchandise spin-offs etc, should it prove to be a success. Whilst not particularly unique or ground-breaking, its nevertheless a fun read, and hopefully only the first keystone in what could be a very successful series, should its aimed readership pick up the ball and run with it.
Review by Robert Johnston
3 positive reader review(s) for TimeRiders
Aidan from Unit Sates
Book I absolutely AMAZING, finished the whole series in 5 weeks, and couldn't put it down!! I think it would "maybe" make a great movie series as well, and would love to see what "Becks" would look like!!!
Anon from UK
Amazing series - completely gripping and totally unputdownable. N.B. In the review you say that a man called Kruger causes all the fuss back in World War Two? His name's actually Kramer.
Lottie from UK
Time Riders is a thrilling book to read. You can't read the book without becoming hooked after the first few chapters. It's a sci-fi journey, taking you to the furthest points in history and back again. Full of emotion, drama and action, just like any book should be. Well done!
Liam from Ireland
When I picked this up, I got hooked into it within the first few chapters, it is brilliant. Well done Mr Scarrow.
9.6/10 from 5 reviews