Historical Fiction, Science Fiction

Paradox Bound by Peter Clines

I’ve never read anything by this author, but he is definitely well known for his other works. After hearing so many positive things about Clines’ other books, I decided to give this ARC a go. Here is my review:

Eli lives in Sanders, a town where nothing ever changes, a town that seems to be stuck in the past. So why doesn’t Eli want to leave? Whether he wants to admit it or not, Eli has been waiting – waiting for a mysterious traveler he met years ago. It isn’t often that you meet someone who’s driving a hundred-year-old car, clad in Revolutionary-War era clothes, wielding an oddly modified flintlock rifle—someone who pauses just long enough to reveal strange things about you and your world before disappearing in a cloud of gunfire and a squeal of tires. So when the mysterious traveler finally reappears, Eli is determined to get some answers. But his hunt soon yields far more than he bargained for, plunging him headlong into a dizzying world full of competing factions and figures straight out of legend. To make sense of the mystery at its heart, he must embark on a breakneck chase across the country and through two centuries of history­—with nothing less than America’s past, present, and future at stake.

The premise of this novel had me really intrigued and excited to read this novel. However, my actual experience with this book was … underwhelming. The story revolves around Harry, the mysterious stranger that Eli meets, as well as a host of other characters who are all looking for a very important thing: the American dream. And to do this, they are going through different time points in American history to find it. Now, I love a good time travel story, especially since the concept of time travel is not the easiest to write about. I quite enjoyed the jumps in time and how it forced the reader to pay attention to all of the little details in the book. However, I wasn’t so impressed with the characters. They were all just so bland and they really didn’t hold any interest. With such a whimsical story idea, I expect really fantastic characters that leave an impression on the reader. Even the villains weren’t as villainous as I was hoping. The entire time I was reading this novel, it felt like everything stopped just shy of being amazing. The pace was just short of gripping and edgy, the thrills and dangers were just short of being scary, the characters were just short of being charismatic, and the ending was just short of being satisfactory. While the premise and concept was interesting, I don’t think the execution was the best. This definitely wasn’t a memorable story, but it could have been. For that reason, I’m giving this a 2.5/5 stars.

Thanks to Blogging for Books, NetGalley, and the publishers for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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