*I received a free copy of this book, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
RECIPIENT OF THE B.R.A.G. MEDALLION
Blurb: An average Wednesday night gets turned upside down when 16-year-old Cate McAuliffe inexplicably finds herself whisked to The Village, a way station for accidental time travelers. And she’s not there alone. Stranded amongst countless others struggling to grasp that the year is 2043, she meets Angus Danann, a handsome 19-year-old boy from Ireland. They are magnetically drawn to each other from the beginning, although Cate tries to suppress her feelings.
But then Angus tells her about an intriguing Irish myth involving a goddess of dreams and the man who loves her. They both recognize themselves in the legend, and admit to having independent yet eerily coincidental experiences.
It becomes clear that Angus and Cate are destined to be at The Village together, if only to figure out how to help the other “rifters” back to their own time. As the two of them struggle through one harrowing situation after another, they attract the attention of General Lyons, the stern overseer of The Village. He suspects the rising toll of incidents associated with Angus and Cate aren’t happening by chance.
With their lives at risk, Angus is forced to reveal a secret that changes the game completely–for all of them. If they give General Lyons what he wants, they get to go home. But if they succeed at their task, Cate and Angus doom themselves to being stranded in vastly different times, separated from one another forever.
In A Drop of Blue, Isa Briarwood has created a compelling and chilling dystopian future, in which the American government gains access to time travel but not control of it, and use their advantage to their own nefarious ends.
The resultant world of The Village is pretty terrifying, as the ‘villagers’ are completely adrift under the control of a tyranny with dubious intentions, and I felt crippled by helplessness just reading about the situation that Cate found herself in. Luckily Cate is both braver and more proactive than me, and sets about to get herself home, tackle the injustices, and save the other ‘rifters’ stranded in the same predicament as herself.
Cate is a great heroine: strong and resourceful, caring and inquisitive. My only exasperation with her is her relationships with the various young men she meets. She seems to fall in love with every attractive young man who is her age or thereabouts, and in turn they follow her adoringly. Or do they? Let’s just say that I have my reservations about the ‘love of her life’ and his elastic relationship with both the truth and casual violence!
The plot here is really well-paced and planned, with a good mixture of action and explanation, and the book ends on a cliffhanger that leads neatly towards the next in the series. There is loads of scope here for adventures in pretty much any time and place, so it will be fascinating to see where Briarwood chooses to go with the wider corruption plot next. It was intriguing to get snippets of clothing and lifestyle from the different historical eras represented in The Village, and this detail is something I would like to see more of in the future.
Thus far in the story there is nothing to limit this to adult readers and I would certainly be comfortable with a teen or YA reading about Cate’s adventures. I would recommend this book to any fans of time travel and/or fantasy with some romance for good measure!
The rustling of the leaves in the wind, the chirping of the crickets, the scent of pine; all the sounds and smells of life are gone. Silence is sudden and complete as I plunge into a white void, making it seem as if all my senses have abandoned me. Within a moment, peace engulfs every atom of my being, and I feel as if sparkling threads of energy weave through every molecule.
A memory surfaces from my childhood: blue food dye dropping into a bowl of water. The blue spreads and dissolves until there’s only the barest trace of color, almost undetectable. I now understand what it is to be that blue drop.
– Isa Briarwood, A Drop of Blue
A Drop of Blue is available to buy on Amazon right now!