I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Return Once More by Trisha Leigh
Series: The Historians #1
Published by Bloomsbury Spark on October 20th 2015
Genres: Romance, Science fiction, Young Adult
Source: ARC from publisher
Buy on Amazon
If you could learn the identity of your one true love—even though you will never meet— would you?
Years have passed since refugees from a ruined earth took to space, eventually settling a new system of planets. Science has not only made the leaps necessary to allow time travel, but the process engineered a strange side effect—predicting your one true love.
If you could save your one true love from an untimely death, would you be able to resist?
Sixteen-year-old Kaia Vespasian is an apprentice to the Historians—a group charged with using time travel to document the triumphs and failures of the past—and she can’t resist a peek at her long-dead soul mate in Ancient Egypt. Before she knows it, she’s broken every rule in the book, and the consequences of getting caught could destroy more than just her new romance.
Or would you have the strength to watch him die?
But when Kaia notices a fellow classmate snooping around in a time where he doesn’t belong, she suspects he has a secret of his own—and the conspiracy she uncovers could threaten the entire universe. If her experience has taught her anything, to changing history means facing the consequences. The Historians trained her to observe and record the past, but Kaia never guessed she might have to protect it— in a race across time to save her only chance at a future.
Oh my goodness. This book was so full of twists! Oh man, most were possible to predict in a very vague fashion, but a few were out of the blue…I have to say, this book was full of intense, interwoven plots that were all explained as well as they could have been.
It’s hard to explain. It felt like a very long book, but it felt like things were taking a long time to be explained because there were so many of them going on at once. We would switch between plotlines fairly frequently, but all were very important. I do feel like I need the rest of the story because it was intricate enough to pull me in and with a premise like this—time travel + space civilization—there are so many possibilities. I felt like a lot were explored with this book and that was fantastic but there could still be more, more big ones. I believe that time travel is the most complex of all issues. Temporal manipulation is a tricky business. This book might be the first that I’ve read that really explores it, even if it is fiction. (I often say that I learn better through fiction.) I will definitely be reading the next ones.
I didn’t expect the book to be so complex. From the synopsis, it seems more straightforward. But then as you keep reading it becomes a whole mix of things. Honestly, at several points throughout I could see the plot branching off in another direction, and though some things did not immediately come to pass, I think they still might. They live on a group of planets that have been terraformed, but only brief bits of info are given about each. Kaia’s brother is a pirate, so a space pirate, basically. (Remember the animated movie Treasure Planet? I love that movie.) Just with that alone I think, oh there’s definitely going to be adventure somewhere. They’re going to have a bigger role. You can’t just have that fact hanging around the whole time and not expand on it. We’re gonna see the other planets someday.
Mmm, I have to talk about the romance, because it was such a big part of the book…even if parts of it didn’t feel just right to me. It feels very complicated. Let me try to sort my thoughts out.
Okay. Where to begin.
How about at the beginning? It really does begin with Kaia finding out her match is the son of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar. Of course she time travels to get to know him. Who wouldn’t? And it certainly feels like the whole meant-to-be thing. The thing that I always say I never get annoyed by, and that you can’t fight, and that is a real legitimate thing. That part’s fine. It’s a very sad storyline, for obvious reasons, and it gets really horrible when Kaia has to make a cruel decision towards the end (crueler than you think. This is one of the surprise plot twists). But it felt right. It’s the other ones that were a bit off.
I kind of liked that Kaia’s best friend Annaleigh didn’t seem to be into the whole dating/romance scene. It’s nice when there are clearheaded people who don’t get caught up in that. I hang out with a lot of those people. But then there’re their friends Sarah and Oz, who is a little off from the beginning, and things get tricky. Sarah and Oz are True Companions, or matches. But Oz is so surly and boring that it’s truly hard to see what Sarah sees in him. That was a bit disappointing. I wanted to like him despite everything but that made it difficult. And then all the fake romance between Oz and Kaia to cover up their rule-breaking…even if some of it might have been based on real feelings, it still felt off. Don’t get me wrong, I could totally see this as a legitimate storyline—it feels like it could be right, even if it doesn’t feel right at the moment—but in this particular book it’s a bit awkward. Especially with Oz’s annoying mood swings. And poor Sarah, who doesn’t know the truth…
So yeah, it’s a big complicated mess. A few things are sewn up neatly (“neatly”) by the end, but then—BAM!—plot twist that wasn’t entirely unpredictable. But boy (*cackles and rubs hands together*), it’s going to make for an interesting sequel.
In no part of my rambling should you infer that this book is annoying or boring (heaven forbid you intuit that) or bad in any way. Certain parts of it pique my interest (see above paragraphs) but I translate that as potential. I am fairly confident it will all work out and gosh darn it I want to read more about the effects of time travel no matter, so if the author continues to milk the concept I will be satisfied no matter how time travel’s interference in the character’s various love lives turns out. But I’m certain I’ll enjoy it anyway.
Hmm, conclusion, conclusion, what should you take away from this review…Some days I’m better at this than others. Okay. This book was very complex, had a fantastic premise that was explored well and will be explored more (I am certain of it), was satisfying, was long and creative, had an effect on my emotions, was difficult to put down, and made me definitely want to read more. It also made me want to have a copy of it on my shelves as a reference for time travel. Isn’t that a fun idea? A shelf for fictional time-travel reference books. I think I’ll do that.
reaction upon finishing
*a few moments later*
this could be veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery interesting
this book in one word