Title: The River of No Return
Author: Bee Ridgway
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Nicholas Falcott wakes up in a foreign hospital after being on the brink of death on a Spanish battlefield. He’s shocked to have survived, and even more shocked to learn that he’s no longer anywhere near where and when he thought he was. Nick has jumped forward in time 200 years, and is now in the care of an organization called The Guild. Resigned to the knowledge he can never return home, Nick builds a life for himself in the present day, until he learns that the organization that he trusted with his life has been lying to him when they ask for his help, offering to return him to his former life.
The River of No Return is an exciting romp through time; from the very first page, it draws the reader in and doesn’t let go of their attention for a second. It’s difficult to write a book that is so completely captivating, yet Ridgway accomplishes it like an expert. She drops hints and creates puzzles for the reader, such that at every second they’re endeavoring to answer another question. It’s suspenseful, gripping, and just incredibly well done on the whole.
Ridgway builds an entire mythology behind time travel in The River of No Return. Readers aren’t just expected to accept this feature as a characteristic of the world Nick lives in. Instead, the author not only explores the phenomenon, but creates an entire history behind it. By doing this, she creates an overarching storyline that will continue through future books. There’s more going on here than just Nick and his story, and Ridgway has developed the narrative incredibly well.
But, no matter how great the storylines, both large and small, are in The River of No Return, it would mean nothing if the characters weren’t equally absorbing. Luckily, Ridgway doesn’t disappoint; Nick is, quite simply, a great main character. He’s passionate and smart, but also flawed. Readers will thoroughly enjoy getting to know him, and it’s interesting to watch him cram himself back into the confined expectations of his own time period after living in the freedom of the present. This book is multifaceted and layered; Ridgway makes sure that she doesn’t neglect any one aspect of the book in order to promote another.
I hope my enthusiasm for The River of No Return has come through in this review. It was smart, fun, and enjoyable; Ridgway doesn’t take herself too seriously, injecting humor into the narrative despite the high stakes. This is a novel that is satisfying on its own, yet the unresolved larger plot threads will definitely leave you wanting more.