I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.
I requested Time’s Children from Angry Robot Books on NetGalley partly because of its unique and interesting premise. Basically, a fifteen-year old boy travels fourteen years back in time. Doing so had some pretty interesting consequences for our character, Tobias. Basically, every time he travels through time, he ages. So, when he was sent on a mission to try and prevent a war fourteen years before the start of a war, he arrives looking like he’s in his late twenties. So basically, he gets stuck in the past in an adult body despite having the mentality of a fifteen-year old boy. Not something anyone would be keen to experience.
First up, as usual, the worldbuilding. I really enjoyed the worldbuilding in Time’s Children. Basically, the magic users here use the aid of certain magical devices in order to access their abilities. There are those who can travel through time, those who can travel great distances, and even those who can create such devices. There are clear limitations to the usage of such devices and capabilities which I really appreciate. I think that having these clear limitations allow the world to be more believable. Of course, having people researching ways to circumvent these limitations also make for a more believable world.
In addition to that, the royal assassination that happens when he goes back also had clear implications for what happens in the future. I liked that the future basically changed drastically because of it and that we actually got to see it change. It was a very tangible way of seeing that yes, this world has consequences. What the character does is very vital and we actually see how it changes the future world that they have. How it was woven into the story through the eyes of another character was also very interesting.
As for the characters, I really liked Tobias as a protagonist. He starts off being really excited to be posted to a royal court and while he is pretty young, he also happened to be rather responsible. He understands the importance of his position and he goes along with this insane plan because he understands the implications of it. Unfortunately for him, things don’t work out as expected and he becomes stuck in the past. I really enjoyed how this was portrayed because Tobias was really forced to grow up quickly especially since he has to take care of the princess. The bits where he has to fight to keep the both of them alive and out of danger has got to be some of my favorite parts of the book. I’m really excited to see where his story goes and how he basically deals with his situation.
Mara is also another interesting character because we see her in the first few chapters and at first, she’s just a side character. Someone who Tobias might regret leaving. Then, as the change in the timeline happens, she forgets about him but senses that something is wrong so she enlists’ Droe’s- a sort of time demon- help. She does eventually figure it out but what happens while she’s discovering all of these things is also interesting. She lived an entirely different life than what we were originally shown and we did see how the world changed through her eyes. I felt like the way it happened was very natural and it flows rather well.
The plot is fairly fast-paced and I read through it in like a day or so. It’s also pretty fun and rather well-written. For me, the best part of the book is really the interesting world and the premise. The ending leaves me with some questions for what happens next and I’m really excited to see that. That said, I can definitely see myself reading the next one because I do want to see what happens next.