TimeRiders: Day of the Predator
by Alex Scarrow
Cover Artist: Photo: Neil Spence
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Walker Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780802722966
Date: 27 September 2011 List Price $16.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
There can be only one timeline and Liam O'Connor, Maddy Carter, and Sal Vikram must keep things on track. Fresh off their success in stopping the rise of a Nazi empire, the three along with their new support clone must keep the founder of the math that leads to time travel alive. It seems pretty simple, but it never ends up that way.
While Liam is in the future trying to save Edward Chan from assassination, Maddy and Sal, back in 2001, make a decision that will change history and send Liam back further than anyone has ever imagined. So far that there is no hope that he will be easily found.
Liam, Edward, and the other students that were in the area are propelled back to the late Cretaceous period. The kids find themselves facing a previously unknown predator. A predator that thinks and adapts. The changes that occur due to these predators and Liam's attempt to get back will lead to ripples that wipe out the world as it should be and the team will need to fix the changes to save the future.
There is a point of view related to the predators that is interesting. Broken Claw sees and learns from the lost humans. This perspective also informs readers as to why the species dies off. The new way of thinking that Broken Claw develops, will help his species survive and flourish long after its contemporaries.
This is the second Time Riders young adult novel published in the United States. The fifth book in the series is due out in Britain February 2012. So there are several more novels for fans to read as they are scheduled in the U.S. I enjoy this series and hope the upcoming novels are published in the U.S. soon.
This is a fun and well written time travel series. The science is consistent, if simplified for the youth audience. The ripples that cause ripples make it feel more plausible. Additionally, there is an ongoing subplot related to learning more about the secret agency that employs them.
Even though this is written for younger readers, I believe that older readers will enjoy the adventures in time as well. Fans of this series should also enjoy the new young adult Gladiator series by his brother Simon Scarrow.
Alex Scarrow can write. His dystopias are well crafted and show research and understanding of the world. He has transferred these skills to the young adult market. His writing draws readers in and makes it hard to put his works down. Some writers have it, and Alex is one of them.