The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway-a review

THE RIVER OF NO RETURN by Bee Ridgway-a review

The River of No Return / / Barnes and Noble / KOBO / The Book Depository

ABOUT THE BOOK: Released April 23, 2013

In Bee Ridgway’s wonderfully imaginative debut novel, a man and a woman travel through time in a quest to bring down a secret society that controls the past and, thus, the future.

“You are now a member of the Guild. There is no return.” Two hundred years after he was about to die on a Napoleonic battlefield, Nick Falcott, soldier and aristocrat, wakes up in a hospital bed in modern London. The Guild, an entity that controls time travel, showers him with life’s advantages. But Nick yearns for home and for one brown-eyed girl, lost now down the centuries. Then the Guild asks him to break its own rule. It needs Nick to go back to 1815 to fight the Guild’s enemies and to find something called the Talisman.

In 1815, Julia Percy mourns the death of her beloved grandfather, an earl who could play with time. On his deathbed he whispers in her ear: “Pretend!” Pretend what? When Nick returns home as if from the dead, older than he should be and battle scarred, Julia begins to suspect that her very life depends upon the secrets Grandfather never told her. Soon enough Julia and Nick are caught up in an adventure that stretches up and down the river of time. As their knowledge of the Guild and their feelings for each other grow, the fate of the future itself is hanging in the balance.

REVIEW: THE RIVER OF NO RETURN is the first storyline in Bee Ridgway’s new time travel series that is unlike any time travel series you will read. This is not a foray into the realm of science fiction, but more of a fantasy where emotions and thoughts pull the characters into another era.

The focus is on Nick Falcott who facing death ‘jumped’ forward two hundred years and found himself in the twenty first century with a new identity and everything he ever wanted at his disposal. The fact that he wanted to return to 1815 and to the woman with whom he was falling in love, was of no consequence. The Guild, the ruling time-travel elite and cult-like overlords, had given Nick his orders and in doing so have once again placed his life at risk. The Guild needs to stop the Ofan from bringing about the end of the world or so they say, and Nick is the man they option for the job.

THE RIVER OF NO RETURN is a storyline that takes the reader on a journey from the Spanish battlefield of 1815 to modern day America and London England where intrigue meets romance and, spy vs spy. The story is awash in philosophical speculation about time travel and the inherent possibilities of changing the course of history. If you could go back, what would you do to stop a catastrophe in the making?

Bee Ridgway introduces The Guild and The Ofan-two warring factions of time travellers each with a hidden agenda. The world building is continuous and intricately detailed throughout the storyline-but at times went above and beyond what I thought was necessary. The book is over 500 pages long and, filled with back-story, history and reflections about the philosophical aspects and conundrum of the time travel directive. Like a river that flows in one direction, the journey will take you far but can you ever go home again? The river is a symbol of time–flowing forward; it can speed up or slow down and in some cases, be stopped, all together; it is a river of emotions and one that will pull  our hero as well as the reader into another time and era.

The character development changes on many occasions such that we are never sure if the character we currently know is the same character we will meet at another time. The dual-personalities and counter-espionage make for a storyline that keeps the reader in suspense until the very end and the end most definitely leaves room for a continuation of the story.

There are numerous characters that overlap from one era to another. The Guild has been around for thousands of years and in each incarnation, there is a battle between for the right to control time. Not only do we see time travel, but the ability to stop time-completely.

Bee Ridgway has written an interesting storyline that will see one man pulled between doing what he knows to be right and what he knows he has to do. The philosophical look at time travel is detailed, with unanswered questions at every turn. And for some reason, the hero and heroine are kept in the dark through much of the storyline and must discover exactly who and what they are, on their own. Part of the storyline takes place in modern day and the remainder is set in the early 1800s. If you like a story with time-travel elements, historical fiction and a little romance, The River Of No Return is for you.

Copy supplied by the publisher.

Reviewed by Sandy


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