FeaturedTime Travel

Sunder of Time

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Loved it! 😍

Sunder of Time by Kristin McTiernan was such a pleasant surprise that's perfect for fans of Doomsday Book by Connie Willis.

Synopsis

Isabella Jaramillo is accustomed to getting what she wants.
Living a comfortable life as the daughter of the world’s sole time travel magnate, Isabella has never suffered the irritation of being told no.
Only now she has gone too far and her soon-to-be ex-husband tells her no in the most vengeful way possible—by sabotaging her trip to the past, sending her to a distant land where the locals do not speak her language and are far from impressed by her haughty demeanor.
Now a slave, Isabella makes some surprising allies and discovers the truth behind her father’s rise to power and the terrible price the entire world paid for it. Somehow, she must break free and find a way home, not only to save herself, but to restore history to its rightful direction.

Sunder of Time by Kristin McTiernan is a new favorite science fiction series opener. I'm so glad I decided to give this novel a chance via Reedsy Discovery. I didn't really have expectations for it one way or the other, but it ended up being quite a pleasant surprise in the end. I know I've said it before, but I'm always on the lookout for a cool new time travel novel to lose myself in. Time travel is one of my favorite subgenres of sci-fi and for the most part this one checked all the right boxes for me.  


I can easily say that much of that is due to Isabella, our leading lady. She's basically a socialite whose father owns a time travel company. She usually gets whatever she wants on her own terms, but then she has quite a reality check when a planned time travel trip to the 1920s gets sabotaged and sends her into the distant past instead. To get home and restore the timeline, she has to dig very, very deep and do whatever it takes. She goes on quite a journey over the course of the novel and her arc is a good one. I really surprised myself by just how invested I became in her character given how she behaves when we first meet her to where she ends up. I also particularly enjoyed the author's world-building. It's very complex, dynamic, and detailed. It really feels as if the author has done her homework. I don't often have the opportunity to read time travel novels that goes back in time as far as to the Middle Ages, but the author does a god job bringing what and who Isabella encounters to life. The only really complaint to this novel is that the final 25% of the novel doesn't quite hold up as well to the rest of the novel. It starts off really strong and while the payoff is good, it isn't as great as it could be. The potential for it to have earned a full five star rating is very close, but it just didn't quite make the cut.  


Overall, though, this novel is well-worth your time if you're a fan science fiction, time travel, and Doomsday Book (Oxford Time Travel #1) by Connie Willis. I'm looking forward to continuing this series in the future. There's so much potential for this to become a new favorite series. It's already well on the way to it that's for sure!

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Synopsis

Isabella Jaramillo is accustomed to getting what she wants.
Living a comfortable life as the daughter of the world’s sole time travel magnate, Isabella has never suffered the irritation of being told no.
Only now she has gone too far and her soon-to-be ex-husband tells her no in the most vengeful way possible—by sabotaging her trip to the past, sending her to a distant land where the locals do not speak her language and are far from impressed by her haughty demeanor.
Now a slave, Isabella makes some surprising allies and discovers the truth behind her father’s rise to power and the terrible price the entire world paid for it. Somehow, she must break free and find a way home, not only to save herself, but to restore history to its rightful direction.

Prologue

The woman stood before the Council, her eyes steady as she looked back at the nine men in front of her. The raised, semi-circular table they sat behind had obviously been built for no other reason than to intimidate all who stood before it. In this, it was effective. The silent room was equally intimidating, far grander than the normal municipal courtrooms she’d seen—full of lavish oak trimmings and a lofty Latin phrase, written in gold lettering above the seated men. Ut sementem feceris ita metes. As you sow, so will you reap. She wondered what this room was typically used for.

She had not been offered a chair. The Agency uniform she was loaned fit too tight, so she probably wouldn’t have been able to sit anyway. The Council was clearly not concerned with her comfort. After all, she was the reason they’d been summoned form their beds at this ungodly hour. 

“I know you must be suspicious of me,” she said, willing her voice into steadiness. “After all, I am not technically supposed to exist. According to your records, I was never born. But I am here nonetheless and I have information you want. I know what happened to Isabella Jaramillo.”

The nine men did not speak, but the sound of all of them simultaneously leaning forward in their chairs echoed throughout the cavernous room.

“Like all of you, I’ve devoted my career to traveling in time. And on my most recent trip, I met a woman who, in my world, had never existed. She did not belong in the twenty-first century of my birth. Nor did she belong in the century in which I met her.”

“So she is alive?” The man who spoke was visibly older than the others, withered and plainly dying. He wore the collar of a priest, and she vaguely wondered why a religious person would be there.

“Not anymore, Father. Isabella breathed her last breath centuries ago. But I am not here to tell you about her – not really. I am here to tell you what she told me.”

Describing her experiences was difficult for her. The urge to jump immediately to the important parts overwhelmed her. But for clarity's sake, she knew she must put the events chronologically as she had experienced them. The men continued to observe her, their stares chafing like wool.

“I will admit I was confused by Isabella. She seemed to have a history completely foreign to my own. She was from 2114, a full forty years after my origination date. That was an excellent reason for me not to know her. But other things she said,” her voice dropped to a whisper, “troubled me. So I asked her about her country, its history. Her version of events could not have come from the correct timeline. Hearing Adolf Hitler was a famous painter and that there was no second Great War was enough to convince me action must be taken. Extreme though it may be.”

She took a breath. The hostility in the room would get worse before it got better, but right now the men just looked confused—all but one.

“Did Isabella tell you how she came to be Lost?” the middle-aged man with the salt-and-pepper hair and the bandaged forehead asked—the man who had, until this moment, carefully avoided looking into her eyes. Rather he had sat quietly, holding a worn slip of paper in his left hand. She read his name plaque in front of him, even though she didn't need to. She already knew who he was; he was the one she had to fear most. For he knew her as well.

“Yes, Alfredo. Your daughter told me everything I needed to know.”

His grip on the paper in his hand tightened and he looked up at her, pure loathing in his eyes.

About the author

At 17, I had to choose between joining a convent or the Marines. The mother superior at my convent was a veteran and recommended the Marines. Thank God for that advice because that Nun life was definitely not for me. I'm more about time travel, alternate history, and imagining what could be. view profile

Published on January 05, 2021

120000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Time Travel

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