Get Swept Up In The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway

April 15, 2013 Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, Supernatural, Time Travel 41

Salutations, Bookworms!

I’ve been a book blogger for a while now, 8 months or so. I’m still not entirely sure what I’m doing, but I’m pretty sure I’m doing something RIGHT, because I recently got an email from a publisher offering me a free book! Now, this is not the first time I’ve been offered a book, but it IS the first time I’ve accepted one, since time constraints and/or lack of interest have prevented me from taking them in the past. You’re supposed to be VERY CLEAR AND UP FRONT when you review a book you’ve gotten for free. HEY INTERNET! I GOT THIS BOOK FOR FREE!

Now that we have the formalities out of the way… I got an email offering me a copy of The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway. I was intrigued because the email claimed that fans of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander would like this book. I was intrigued, but also a little wary. I mean, was I in for a poorly executed copy of Gabaldon’s awesomeness? I’m not very nice when that happens…

rivernoreturn

I needn’t have worried. This book had elements I’ve seen in other places, but they were woven together into something completely original and enthralling. If you took the time travel romance element of Outlander and combined it with the conspiracy theory aspect of, say, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, added a some of the magical bits from The Night Circus, and put it in a blender with a chocolate milkshake, you’d get close to The River of No Return. It’s delicious.

Without getting super spoiler-happy, I’ll give you the lowdown. Nick Falcott is a Georgian-era English aristocrat who decides to fight in the Napoleonic wars. Just as he’s about to be done in by a Frenchman, he vanishes into thin air and re-materializes in 2003. Oops. He’s rescued by a mysterious group known as “The Guild” who locate accidental time travelers and help them re-acclimate to the time they’ve jumped into. The Guild provides the unwitting time travelers with money and sets up new lives for them in new countries. They also force them to learn medieval Finnish. (A secret society has got to have SOME quirks, right? They can’t ALL speak Latin, for heaven’s sake.) Anywho, Nick gets all situated with his indoor plumbing and his blue jeans and indulges his affinity for homemade stinky cheeses and beautiful women for a good 10 years. All is well until he receives a summons from The Guild…

Meanwhile, in 1815, Julia Percy is super sad because her grandpa kicks the bucket and she’s stuck with her douchey cousin as heir to the manor (or castle. They call it a castle, but as there are no crowns involved, I don’t think it counts.) Julia doesn’t realize her grandfather’s gift of freezing time is anything more than a strange game the two played. Of course she realizes it’s not NORMAL to go around stopping time, but she has no idea just how important she will be to The Guild, their enemies, and Nick (bow chicka bow wow).

I imagined nick looked rather like Hugh Dancy in period costumes. You know, plus the appropriate scars and whatnot.

I imagined nick looked rather like Hugh Dancy in period costumes. You know, plus the appropriate scars and whatnot.

Okay. I need to stop talking before the spoilers happen. Here’s some stuff I loved. First, there were some seriously funny one-liners in this book. I laughed out loud several times (particularly when Nick pondered his existence as “just a dude.”) Second, despite having a very science-y twist with the time travel, it was very accessible to me. The idea that time travel was facilitated by feelings and the flow of human history rather than, like, equations and black holes made me really happy. Third, time travel brings all sorts of fun colorful characters together who wouldn’t normally get to hang out. Gender bending teen from the 80s is like BFF with a medieval Swedish turnip farmer? It’s awesome.

My only complaint, if I can even call it that, is that the book left a lot of unfinished business. I assume (and hope… nay DEMAND!) that this is the first in a series of novels, because if it isn’t, I might cry. The concepts aren’t new, but the take is fresh and FUN. If you liked Outlander or Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore or The Night Circus or just generally enjoy books that don’t suck? Check out The River of No Return. Bee Ridgway, you’ve got yourself an admirer right here.

Alright, Bookworms. Since we’re talking time travel here, if you could go back to any point in history, where would you go? Why? Would you try to smuggle in deodorant, toilet paper, and contact lenses? (Because I totally would…)

41 Responses to “Get Swept Up In The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway”

  1. 1WriteWay

    I used to fantasize about living in the time of Jane Austen or George Eliot because I grew up with their novels. But in my fantasies, I always have money, lots of money. I guess with time traveling, I’d have to carry gold :). Since working in public health, though, I have to admit that the idea of living in the past when poor hygiene and sanitation was rampant makes me a bit squeasmish. Great book review!

    • Words for Worms

      Have you read Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict? It’s not the greatest book I’ve ever read, but a modern woman ends up in a Freaky Friday body swap situation and talks about how bad everyone smells. It’s delightful. 🙂

  2. Sarah Says Read

    I’ve heard about this book around, and it sounds so fun!!! I like-a da books that make me laugh. And comparing it to Outlander AND Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore??? GOLD.

  3. Rhian

    I’m not sure I’d want to travel back to a time before the Internet!

    The only thing I like about “the olden days” is how people didn’t specialise, so someone could be a botanist and a chemist and a philosopher and an explorer, pretty much whatever took your fancy. *That* would be cool.

    • Words for Worms

      I really like indoor plumbing, but it would be cool to live history, you know? At least for a little while. And I do love that you could be many things- perhaps my childhood dreams of being a ballerina-doctor-lawyer-archaeologist-penguin wrangler would be a reality! Oh wait. Women didn’t get to do that stuff back in the day. Boo antiquity!

  4. Megan M.

    Oooh this sounds really good. Like I need another book on my TBR list! 0.o

    I loved Highlander (the TV series) and Braveheart and Outlander, so I would kind of like to go back to that period in Scotland. But I’d like to have the option to come back, because things could definitely get hairy.

  5. The Underground Writer

    I’m confused (which happens quite easily): Did the publisher offer you the book so you could read it and then blog about it?

    As for time travel – I wouldn’t want to go back in time. I like my antibiotics, vacuums, anesthesia, dishwasher and heated car seats, thank you very much.

  6. Jen (Me Woman You Man)

    Awesome timing! I was doing a little online shopping today at Chapters.ca and needed something else to add to my cart to get free shipping. They’re offering this at 34% off if you pre-order (it’s being released April 23). Whoo-hoo! A new, recommended read AND a sale AND free shipping! That’s a lucky day for me! Thanks for the review!

      • Jen (Me Woman You Man)

        Finally got around to reading this…and LOVED it! Was on my own this weekend while hubby took the kids to the cottage and I devoured this book uninterrupted (ahhhh!)…although I had to keep putting it down every time there was some huge revelation, just to digest the ideas (and so it wouldn’t end too soon).

        Totally agree this had better be the first in a planned series. Otherwise the loose ends (and there are several) would just be sloppy.

        Highly recommend it! And I never would have found it if it weren’t for you…thanks again!

    • Words for Worms

      Oh teen angst is the worst! It totally ruined the 90s for me, except that the 90s were really good for angry teenager music, so I guess it all worked out.

  7. Laura Lynn

    Great review! I’d go back in time, for certain. I’d have a hard time picking AND I’d want to be able to come back. If I had to stay, never in a million years. If I could come back…Elizabethan England, Ancient Greece, Maya civilization, industrial revolution in the USA…more and more.

  8. Lily from It's A Dome Life

    I want to read this now. It sounds like a fun read. I think if I had a time machine I might head towards the future.

    Getting free books is an awesome perk of being a book reviewer! You just need to start reviewing snacks on the side so you can get them for free too. That would be so great. I love to read and eat the candies…so bad!

  9. Melinda

    This sounds like a lovely book! As for your question, I’d love to go back to the 20’s. I love that era! 🙂

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