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RIP (Rest In Peace), A CUL8R Time Travel…
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RIP (Rest In Peace), A CUL8R Time Travel Mystery/Romance (RIP [Rest In…

by Bob Kat

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Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey have had other time travel adventures before Bob Kat’s teen novel, RIP, begins, but it’s easy to pick up the thread even if you’ve not ready the earlier novels (I hadn’t). The story starts with Kelly and Austin’s growing relationship, but Austin thinks Kelly’s with Scott and so... Very natural teen relationships ensue, from frantic drives across town to crowded beach for a fireworks party. These are very real and relatable teens, but they also have a secret Spirit Radio and a phone app that lets them move into the past. And Zoey, who might fall for Scott, once fell head over heels for a circus guy back in 1927.

The novel is a pleasing mix of genres, blending the present day with well-researched history, and combining intriguing sci fi with mystery and paranormal ghost story. Historical and geographical details ring true, and the chance to drive a Stanley Steamer in an early car race (where finishing first really isn’t the point) offers a thoroughly enjoyable interlude to investigation and adventure. Of course, there’s always the butterfly effect too, restricting quite what these intrepid explorers can do.

Emma’s voice from the Spirit Radio pleads for help finding her missing child. And the four teens are sure they can save her from abduction, even as the list of suspects grows longer. But a ghostly red ball and other distractions complicate the plan.

The story’s sometimes slow, but only where necessarily for new readers needing to learn where these teens are coming from. As the adventure progresses the action speeds up, and there are some thoroughly enjoyable scenes of modern teens dropped into a world of servants below stairs. The plot’s well-drawn. The history’s well-researched. And the whole is a pleasing teen novel, with just enough heart-searching to provoke curiosity and empathy--and a desire to catch up on earlier tales.

Disclosure: I was lucky enough to be given an eArc before publication. ( )
  SheilaDeeth | Mar 5, 2014 |
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