A boy born beyond time and space finds he is running out of time to save the worlds.
Born aboard a time-traveling ship, 17-year-old Farway Gaius McCarthy dreams of being a Recorder like his missing mother, Empra McCarthy. Ejected from the Academy, Far goes rogue, working as an antiquities thief for a black-market baron. Acting as captain and Recorder of the Invictus, Far and his teenage crew—Historian Imogen, Far’s rainbow-haired cousin; Engineer Gram, a math genius; and Medic Priya, Far’s love interest—plus a mischievous red panda go on excellent adventures. But they alter their course after encountering the mysterious Eliot, a girl on a grim mission to stop the Fade from devouring the multiverse. They live in the future, but race is constructed as in the past: Farway, Imogen, and Eliot are white, Gram is black, and Priya is Indian. Action sequences are abundant, but the panicked, delirious prose and multiplicity of narrators make for a long read, counterintuitively. Graudin depicts the futuristic, high-tech world (2371 C.E.) and the fulsome and frenzied historical settings with equal richness, and her theory and mechanics of time traveling are remarkably coherent, if strongly reminiscent of Connie Willis’ works.
A madcap, vivid time-travel tale with a strong ensemble, both indebted and cheekily alluding to Doctor Who and Firefly. (Science fiction. 14-adult)