I’ve just finished reading the ninth and final book of the Time Riders series and I’m so happy that a much-loved series has finally reached its conclusion! … Or ‘sort of’ conclusion, judging by the ending. To give it justice, I will now be reviewing it as a whole chronicle series, rather than based on just one book because there’s so much good things to say about it.
1-Sentence Summary. Just seconds before their death, three teenagers from different times were rescued by a time-travelling man and recruited into a time-travelling secret agency that is hell-bent on fixing history whenever it was messed up by other time-travelling strangers.
Why I Picked it Up. Telling me that this is about time travelling teens who cheated deaths and are now fixing alternate histories would have made me enthusiastic enough to pick up anything! The premise of the story promises so much possibilities and re-imagining of histories.
Why It’s A Gem
- EXPLORING POSSIBLE ALTERNATE REALITIES. Ever imagine what the world could have been like if Hitler won the world war? Or if strangers suddenly went and pose themselves as the next Roman emperor? Or if dinosaurs were unintentionally intelligent enough to survive their own extinction? There are lots of re-interpretations of could-be histories to be entertained with in this series. It always felt like you’re travelling into many different worlds in this book.
- THE BIGGER STORY ARC IS SO, SO SATISFYING! You know how Harry Potter has several plot twists that just changes your life forever? Like when it was revealed that Snape is actually the good guy and why Voldemort couldn’t kill Harry? Well, there are about six life-changing plot twists of that level in this series. Sure, each book has its own missions to achieve. But creeping at the back of these missions were bigger stories and questions like who even created this time-travelling agency? Why were the three teenagers chosen instead of the others? Why is it so important for them to maintain history anyway? Are they even working for the good guy or bad guy? These are big questions that will be answered book by book. And the answers doesn’t feel forced either since Alex Scarrow pretty much already know how it ended even before he started writing the first chapter. So the answers and ending were all set up with a purpose from the start.
- IT DOESN’T FOLLOW THE TYPICAL ‘YA BOOK FORMULA’. The series keeps surprising you because it doesn’t stick to one way of doing things. Sometimes the team do things together, sometimes they split up, pairings were swapped, sometimes they fix history by fixing the present instead of the past, sometimes multiple versions of the same characters join the team etc etc. The storytelling of each book varies just enough to keep you interested and surprised throughout the nine books.
Why It Can Be A Rock
- IT ISN’T AS EPIC AS IT COULD HAVE BEEN. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. To be honest, I’m putting it here for the sake of putting something here as a ‘disadvantage’. The stories are not as adrenaline-packed as it could have been and I personally felt that it’s fine. Time Riders series is like a chill story that wants to be told enthusiastically but not needing to obsess your attention with. It’s like that relaxed friend who’ll always be around if you want a good story. Frankly, I like that feeling about the book.
- SOME THINGS DON’T MAKE SENSE. There were times when the time-travelling or technology mechanics of the story just don’t add up. Like there was one mission where they just simply washed their hands off of something and history is fixed? It contradicts with the time travel rules that the author set up for the book in the first place. But in the end, the book moved you pretty fast that you can overlook certain inconsistencies and just get sucked into the thrilling adventure!
As A Reading Panda Averaging the Whole 9 Books, I’d Give It :
(8 out of my 10 bamboos)
The story does really, really well as a whole series. I absolutely love how it ended, with the author setting up just enough mystery for readers’ imagination to take over with their own versions of the ending in their head.
I find myself wanting BOTH the prequel and the sequel to this series to find out more about the characters’ stories. This series must be really good that I would absolutely read the past AND the future of this series, whether it involves time travelling or not.
I dedicate this last book to three teenagers I’ve grown to love as my own children. They live on in my head (yapping away even when I’m trying to get some sleep).
To Maddy, Liam and Sal.
– Alex Scarrow’s heartwarming dedication page on his final Time Riders book.
As a bonus, here’s the author, Alex Scarrow pitching on his first Time Riders book to readers.