*I received a free copy of this book, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Cate and Angus barely managed to escape from The Village, a way station for accidental time travelers. In order to save Angus’s life, Cate had no choice but to follow him to his timeline. But now Angus is healed, and despite the wondrous things he shows her, she has painful decisions to make. Her family exists in 1972, and she yearns to reunite with them. But to go back means leaving Angus behind, and she loves him more than she ever thought possible. Pulling at her conscience are the lives of thousands of rifters she vowed to rescue. They remain trapped by the malignant General Lyons, a man who views rifters as merely lab rats to exploit for financial gain. Cate and Angus are the only ones who have a chance of saving them, but this time they won’t be able to do it alone.
Swan Girl is the second and final book in the Rifters series, bringing the adventure begun in A Drop of Blue to a stunning conclusion.
Swan Girl is the sequel and conclusion to A Drop of Blue, and I would definitely recommend you read them in order, as this story picks up immediately after the previous one ended.
There is less explanation this time about The Village and how it works, as Cate and Angus are returning there and therefore already know the setup and so the reader only finds out the details relevant to the story (unless of course they read book 1 first!).
This story consists of two distinct threads. First there is Cate’s struggle to reconcile her desire to stay with Angus and her longing to return home to her family. Her wavering takes her from a virtual honeymoon in futuristic Ireland back to her own time in 1970’s USA, as she attempts to work out where her heart – and the rest of her – belongs.
This journey of self-discovery takes up most of the first half of the book and is quite slow-paced as Cate gradually builds her relationship with Angus, then tries to rebuild her relationships with her family and friends. Her eventual decision is startling in its decisiveness, and we are then swept straight back to The Village to rescue the other rifters left stranded there at the end of the first book.
From this point the pace picks up and there is a lot more action and suspense, as Cate and her allies are forced to run, hide, lie and steal as they desperately try to concoct a plan that will allow them to return each and every rifter to their home time and place, before the General catches up with them and puts paid to their attempts to rescue his income source.
With all of the drama and high emotion of the climax, I felt bereft at the speed of the ending, and was still trying to process what had happened. Luckily the author had preempted this and provided a neat little epilogue to wrap things up properly and satisfy some of the loose-end questions I had.
Young Adult fans of time-travel adventure-romance will enjoy the Rifters duology, with its time-crossed lovers and sinister Village compound/medical prison. Again though, do make sure to read them in order, for best effect!
Tears spring to my eyes as everything that has happened starts to register. Only minutes have passed since I was filled with terror; survival and escape the only things on my mind. We’re both lucky that Angus managed to get us back safely to the year 2089, to his home in Ireland. The drama of our escape is now an incomprehensible 45 years in the past. My emotions are still rankled, still fresh and raw.
– Isa Briarwood, Swan Girl