Fiction, Future, Science Fiction, Time Travel, YA

Invictus by Ryan Graudin

This book is part of my BookCon book haul. I randomly picked it up while walking through the Hachette booth, and as soon as I read the description I new this one was heading to the top of my TBR list. A story about time-travelers and a boy who was born outside of time? Count me in! 


Ryan Graudin
Little, Brown and Company

Time flies when you’re plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

In this heart-stopping adventure, Ryan Graudin has created a fast-paced world that defies time and space.

My Review

Invictus is a thrilling, captivating adventure story that spans from Ancient Rome, to present-day Las Vegas, to the 2300s AD, and much more. I love time-travel novels, so as soon as I read this book’s description I was hooked.

Farway Gaius McCarthy is an exemplary cadet at the Academy, until something goes wrong during his final exam. What should be the end of Far’s dreams for his future turns into the adventure of a lifetime (or several lifetimes) when he’s offered a job commanding a ship on the black market. On a mission to steal an extremely valuable book from the Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who finagles her way into a position on his crew. While Far and the rest of the crew try to figure out who this girl is and what she’s hiding, they end up learning that their world is in danger, and thus begins a race to save history as they know it.

Invictus was an absolutely thrilling adventure of a read. I had a lot of big hopes going into this book, and it really exceeded my expectations.

I loved all of the characters in this book (with the exception of any antagonists, of course). For time-travelers from several hundred year in the future, Far, Imogen, Priya, Gram, and even Eliot were very easy to relate to. Imogen was probably my favorite character out of all of them, although it’s really hard to choose a favorite. I think she’s the most positive influence on the TM (time machine) crew, and her love of rainbow-colored hair is awesome. The relationships between all of the characters on the Invictus crew were wonderful, and the dynamic between Far, Priya, Imogen, Gram, and Eliot was really fun to read.

I’m partial to spoiler-free reviews, so I can’t say too much about the main conflict in the story. Once the reason behind Eliot’s appearance in their lives becomes clear, the Invictus‘ crew has some very hard decisions to make. It’s interesting to think about how you would react if you were in their circumstances. It was hard watching them go on a mission to save their world, not knowing how it would turn out or if they would ever see each other again.

There was a lot of action in this book, but no gratuitous violence or anything like that. The action scenes were compelling and thrilling to read. Racing through history on a mission to save (okay, steal) precious artifacts is such a cool idea, and while that wasn’t really a super big focus of the book, the few scenes where that did happen were some of my favorites. The pacing of the story was really on point, and the action fit perfectly into the overall narrative.

I read this book over the course of about 4 or 5 days, which is actually a really long time for me (not because Invictus didn’t hold my attention; it was just a very busy few days in the real world!). I enjoyed it though, because I loved spending time with these characters and I didn’t want it to end.

I honestly don’t have any complaints about Invictus. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure stories. I don’t think you have to be a big sci-fi fan to really enjoy Invictus. If the synopsis appeals to you at all, give this one a shot!

Invictus is now available wherever books are sold.


3 thoughts on “Invictus by Ryan Graudin”

  1. I hadn’t realised how pretty the cover was IRL compared to just on a screen, but your picture makes it look so nice — I’m now quite jealous that I don’t have a paper copy. I really liked the plot and characters, though my one complaint would be the romance, because I didn’t find it particularly engaging (here’s my review, if you’re interested: Also, the plot slightly tied my brain up in knots, haha.

    I enjoyed your review, though — will check out some of your others!


    1. Aw thank you! I can definitely see what you mean about the romance. I actually hadn’t thought about it until I read your review, but it is SUCH a bad idea that the two guys/two girls in the crew end up as couples. I think many people can relate to that failed-workplace-romance thing, and it would be about 100x worse on a time-traveling ship (I imagine).

      Liked by 1 person

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