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The Chronos Files #3
Description⎮Reviewed Feb. 2016
Narrator: Kate Rudd
Length: 13h 27m
Publisher: Brilliance Audio⎮2015
4.25 ★ Audiobook⎮ I’ll say upfront that Time’s Divide was not my favorite in the trilogy, but I still overwhelmingly recommend it. At first glance, this could seem like your typical YA “teenage girl saves the world” trope, with a love triangle thrown in for good measure. But the devil is in the details, or in this case, the deliciousness is in the details, because that’s what makes this series stand out among all of the other time travel tales. It’s not so much about what the author does, but how she does it that makes me love this series.
Take the love triangle for example, typical love triangles usually wind up with two sides of it riding off into the sunset. But not this one. Without giving too much away, I think this was the most original solution to a love triangle that I have read to date and one that I definitely did not see coming. I think that’s what I like most about this series: I never saw much of anything coming. I hate predictable and formulaic plots. I’ve even sworn off certain authors because that’s all they seem to know how to write. Rysa Walker’s ability to keep me on the edge of my seat throughout this entire series has earned my lifelong loyalty as a reader (listener), especially now that I have learned she lives a mere hour or so away from me. I’ll for sure be keeping an eye out for local signings! How exciting would that be?!
Maybe it was because I went on a Netflix-style binging spree with this series and listened to them back to back, but all three installments felt like one continuous book. I detracted .25 of a star becauseTime’s Divide lacked something I really loved in the other two, a strong historical backdrop. The whole Houdini thing didn’t really entice me as much as 1893 Chicago or 1938 Georgia. Time’s Divide focused more on untangling the knot that the first two installments created and spent more time in the present (or relative present) than in the past. It also saw Kate develop a sizable “heroine complex”. I wish I could say that I came to really love her by the end of the series. I liked her enough to root for her, but that was it. To me, she was a likable character, but not lovable.
I was, however, quite fond of several other characters. This series reminds me quite a bit of The Immortal Descendants series that I so raved about last month. With that series, I was crazy about the main character, but not so sold on the romance (which I felt it could have survived without). In this series, it’s the opposite. I honestly felt that the love triangle strengthened the overall plot and further endeared me to some of the characters. And although she might not have ended up with the side of the triangle that I was hoping for, I don’t feel completely robbed on that front (just read the book, you’ll understand). It’s very 10th Doctor Who-ish.
I think my slight disappointment with Time’s Divide was mainly centered around the Cyrist/5th Column plot taking center stage. It’s all too political conspiracy-esque. I think I preferred that plotline to be less influential in the overall story, more like it was in the first two installments. My head is still trying to process everything that happened in Time’s Divide. I found it harder to follow along with than the other two, which is partially to be expected since everything culminated in this finale. Somehow, I just can’t feel like everything was resolved and tied up with a pretty bow. Maybe that is on purpose because there is a short novella that takes place after the events of this installment, but from another character’s perspective. Or maybe my mind has just been scrambled like Prudence’s from so much temporal whiplash.
As far as time travel stories go, the concepts presented here were some of the most unique and intriguing that I’ve encountered. For the most part, I found it surprisingly easy to grasp and run with. The fast-pace complemented the exciting plot and kept my interest extremely well. As a genealogy buff, the familial element of the story was super attractive to me as well. I loved that it wasn’t just Kate fighting some random crazy time traveling old guy, but that the crazy time traveling old guy was her grandfather. And also that the reader was shown generations of families through time. In one chapter, Kate may have saved the lives of someone in the 19th century and in the next chapter she has dinner with their great-grandchildren in the 21st (loose example). Something about that is just so exciting to me!
Another point I really appreciated about this series was its maturity level. Sure, it has a 17-year-old protagonist, but nothing else about this series screams YA to me. There were several cheeky situations and comments (mostly from Kiernan), but nothing overtly sexual happened because, honestly, who has time to “get busy” when you’re supposed to be saving the world from your crazy grandpa? Although some adult themes were hinted at (which I, as an adult, appreciated), I still think the series is appropriate for ages 16+. I also say this because there was semi-graphic violence throughout the series including an attempted sexual assault scene in Time’s Edge. It was nothing too terrible from my perspective (although I did have to stop listening at night for a while during Time’s Edge), but it maybe triggering?to some.
So if you couldn’t tell, I’m totally crazy about this series and would definitely recommend it to those who love fast-paced time travel adventure stories. This definitely has to be one of my favorite
time travel series! I think I started having withdrawals before I even finished it. I’m so in love with this series that I broke one of my cardinal rules and spent a whopping three audiobook credits (that I was saving for upcoming releases) on the three Chronos Files novellas. Usually, I refuse to spend credits on novellas at all, but approximately eight hours after finishing Time’s Divide, my resolve broke down. It only took five minutes of listening to Time’s Echo for me to know I made the right decision. I’m going to try to pace myself with these novellas, however. My hope is that by the time I finish them, I will have found a new series to obsess over and help cure my Chronos Files hangover!
Narration review: Kate Rudd did a great job narrating this series. I always enjoy her work! I wish her tonal range was just a little bit larger when voicing male characters to provide greater distinction, but that’s a minor complaint. I imagine it’s probably difficult for female narrators to distinctly voice so many male characters (and vice versa) and it wasn’t anything that detracted from the performance in a major way. I still thoroughly enjoyed her narration and will absolutely be listening to her again in the future. I especially appreciated the accent she voiced Kiernan with because it brought his character to life in such a vivid way. ♣︎