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Timeriders: City of Shadows by Alex Scarrow
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Timeriders: City of Shadows (2012)

by Alex Scarrow

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Are you a fan of Alex Scarrow's TimeRiders series? If the answer is yes and you have not yet got your hands on a copy of the sixth book in the series, City of Shadows, then you must do so immediately. And if you have not yet read any of the books in this series then go out and get the first TimeRiders books as you have one hell of an exciting ride ahead of you.

Over the course of the first five books in this series Alex Scarrow has gradually woven an incredibly intricate plot, creating a multitude of seemingly unrelated threads. This does at times make reading each new book something of a challenge when six months have passed since the publication of the previous book, as the plots are so complex that remembering everything that has gone before is not always easy. For those five books we have been very much like Scarrow's trio of teen protagonists, very much in the dark as to the real nature of their task and finding things out as the story progresses. For those of you desperate to find answers to some of the questions that have been bugging you for so long then prepare to stunned. And shocked. And amazed. City of Shadows is the game changer for the whole series.

The significance of Sal's teddy bear?
The man who gets merged with a horse in The Eternal War?
Who sent the team of assassins after the TimerRider team in Gates of Rome?
Foster's story?

By alternating the story between a variety of different periods in time, and especially the future where we meet Waldstein properly, in this book Alex Scarrow provides answers to all of these questions, although staying true to form, he then goes on and creates even more questions for his readers. In fact, just like the characters we continue to be led to believe one thing, and then suddenly discover that we may have been wrong all along. Yep, this book will seriously mess with your head.

I feel it is only fair to add a small extra comment on this book for those fans who, like me, were looking forward to a story set predominantly in Victorian London, featuring Jack the Ripper. In actual fact, less than a third of the story is set in this era, with most of the narrative being devoted to 2001, and the actions the team have to take immediately following on from the end of Gates of Rome. This books is less about rectifying contamination events in time, and much more about how the characters survive as they have to cut themselves loose from their Brooklyn base. However, I don't think you will be disappointed with the story - I certainly wasn't.

I remember when the first TimeRiders book was published, another author told me that she had wanted to call one of the books in her series Time Riders, but her publisher had asked her to choose an alternative title as they felt that books with the word 'time' or 'time travel' in the title didn't sell. I don't know why they believed this - perhaps they had market research findings that suggested, despite the popularity of Doctor Who on TV, that children and young adults did not find time travel stories particularly cool or exciting? If that was the case then Alex Scarrow has single-handedly injected both of these elements into the genre and made it a very hot property indeed. ( )
  book_zone | Apr 1, 2013 |
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Liam O'Connor should have died at sea in 1912. Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010. Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2026. But all three have been given a second chance - to work for an agency that no one knows exists. Its purpose: to prevent time travel destroying history... They escape to Victorian London and the streets where Jack the Ripper roams. But, before they can establish their new base, they make their most shattering discovery yet - and it will change everything...… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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