Nomad by J.L. Bryan
Release Date: July 21, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Dystopian, Time Travel
Source: Review Copy from Author
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***Warning: This book contains adult content and may not be suitable for younger readers. This review will not contain any such material.***
They took everything: her family, her home, her childhood.
By the age of nineteen, Raven has spent most of her life in the sprawling slums of America, fighting as a rebel against the dictatorship. When the rebellion steals an experimental time-travel device, she travels back five decades to the year 2013. Her plan: assassinate the future dictator when he is still young and vulnerable, long before he comes to power. She must move fast to reshape history, because agents from her own time are on her trail, ready to execute her on sight.
Time travel is one of those subjects that has the ability to completely span the quality spectrum.When well-executed, it can be truly incredible, enthralling and really make the reader think about the way the concept plays out. But time travel also has some of the greatest headache potential of almost any subject matter. Nomad did a great job of handling the difficulty of semantics involved while not over-complicating the plot progression or allowing the circumstances to become nonsensical. And the way J.L. Bryan dealt with a change in timeline was unique in the selection I've read and really added a new gravity to the choice time travelers are making.
The novel opens with a literal bang as Raven, our token rebel time-traveler, is dropped in the middle of a highway 50 years in the past (complete with a case of amnesia) and narrowly avoids being hit by a truck. It doesn't take long to learn she's not the only one that made the jump, as members of her targets security force attempt to interfere with her mission.
I really loved the descriptions of Raven's future world - it was the kind of future we all fear, possibly because it seems so in-reach. This was further emphasized when we meet Raven's world's future dictator, who is just so ordinary, given what we've learned about what he'll become. It also has just a touch of the time travel Butterfly Effect as Raven assimilates to the modern world and attempts to save the future.
This is definitely something I would recommend to fans of dystopian and time travel novels. It's well-paced, with a great dose of action and a lot of consideration of what choices and events help determine who we'll become. If you're looking for an entertaining read along these lines, look no further!