Monday, November 30, 2015

Review: Return Once More by Trisha Leigh

Book Blurb:

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.

My Review:

3 Out of 5 Space Stars

Genre: Another-World, Mystery, Space, Romance--

In a far off future, humans have left earth due to declining resources and traveled to space. In a highly controlled environment, soon to be 17 year old Kai is in training to be a Historian. Historians have the capabilities to travel back in time to visit earth and document historic events through video for their history archives. For the most part, Kaia tries to walk the straight and narrow since her brother’s banishment, but some rules she has a hard time following. On her 17th birthday, as per protocol, she received the name of her One True, the person who is genetically compatible for her in every way. Unfortunately, her True is from Ancient Greece, long past dead. Kaia finds her brother’s abandoned time travel cuff and uses it to travel back in time just for a glimpse of him. Little does she know what actions she set into motion.

I like time travel books, and sometimes I enjoyed a star-crossed lovers story also (usually only when I know they can end up together though in the long run). Well, this was most certainly time travel and star-crossed lovers, but it was a completely angsty mess with no happy ending in sight. I found parts of the story to be very interesting, like how the future world is set up, the space pirates, the hows and whys of time travel. There were a few things that bothered me enough about the book that at times it felt like a chore to keep reading. I loved the mystery and conspiracy of the plot and wanted to dive right into it and see who was wrong and what could be gained by changing history as well as the deal with her brother and Oz, and in my opinion there could have been more of that. And the ending! I had some kind of ideas formed, but Wow what a huge twist the author threw in. The ending alone is enough for me to want to read the next book in the series, regardless of anything else.

I am sure I am the minority here, but the author’s apparent love of history at times overwhelmed me. I wanted plot and action, but instead facts about scenery, clothing and weather of the time were thrown on me until I lost interest in what was actually going on. I thought the characters were very interested and well developed but I was so distracted by the verbose descriptions of history that I would put the book down to escape it (I think history is interesting but I have never wanted to read a book of history and I still don’t). I have read other time travel books and loved them with their dash of history thrown in here and there but to be honest I was out of my element and had no interest in broadening my scope.

I would have probably liked the book better without the True concept. Yes, I know it was needed for the plot to explain why Kaia went off the grid with her actions, but still. The concept of having a perfect genetic match somewhere in time where most people will never meet was hard for me to get behind. Add in the fact that Kaia’s just so happens to be a huge historic figure that impacted the world? Why couldn’t he have been an average Joe? Kaia’s true has almost no documentation about his life, yet a blood sample is present to genetically test? Also, they had an instant love connection which I never support in books (unless there are werewolves involved and they are mates). I get the idea of being perfectly compatible (which by the way is done predominantly for the sake of the offspring yet here same sex pairing are done very often), but how did they get a sample of every person who has ever been born in the universe’s blood samples and store in some random machine to match? It just does not seem reasonable, which is probably a stupid thing to point out in a fantasy time travel book, but oh well. And do they really have these feelings for each other, or are they brainwashed into believing they are perfect mates so a feeling is created? I have so many questions and no answers that I can agree with that I doubted so much of the True’s connections in the story.

Overall, I was intrigued by the plot and the mystery and would love to see how the story will play out. I did have hang-ups about certain elements of the book, but it was interesting enough for me to want to pick up the second one to read sometime in the future (you know, after it is actually available to read). I read lots of other peoples reviews on the book and most people loved it so I would recommend this title to anyone who enjoys an angsty romance steeped in history.

I received this title from the publisher in return for my honest review.

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