by Dorothy L Sayers
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But something sinister is going on at the ancient castle at the edge of the moors . . . something beyond the scandalous skeletons rattling around the O’Riordans’ closets. The former heir was killed three years earlier in a suspicious fall. The same night, the family matriarch suffered a stroke that left her mute.
Despite the malice that surrounds her, Cathleen is drawn to the brooding, darkly passionate man who is plotting to control the family. But even he may not be able to protect her when the crimes of the past reach into the present to terrorize the living.
The newest stage in human evolution begins in outer space. Survivors of a cataclysmic nuclear war awake to find themselves being studied by the Oankali, tentacle-covered galactic travelers whose benevolent appearance hides their surprising plan for the future of mankind. The Oankali arrive not just to save humanity, but to bond with it—crossbreeding to form a hybrid species that can survive in the place of its human forebears, who were so intent on self-destruction. Some people resist, forming pocket communities of purebred rebellion, but many realize they have no choice. The human species inevitably expands into something stranger, stronger, and undeniably alien.
The power of the opening pages sustains itself for the entire story, and it’s a story that is not easy to forget, with genetically enabled time travel, the threat of imminent death, and even a dash of romance. The settings are also a delight, as Walker effortlessly whisks the reader from the comforts of present—day Washington, DC, to the rather alien world of 1893 Chicago. But what really makes Timebound so memorable is Kate, its heroine. Like many great heroines, she’s intelligent, witty, and courageous. But she’s also flawed, and more than once I found myself crying out in frustration at the choices she makes. I was so invested in her—so thrilled by her successes, so terrified by her losses—that I became utterly bewitched.
As much as I enjoyed my back-to-back readings of Timebound, Rysa doesn’t plan on leaving her readers wondering what happens to Kate next. She’s hard at work on the sequel, and I cannot wait for the opportunity to fall into Kate’s world once again.
One final note: An earlier version of Timebound was self-published as Time’s Twisted Arrow before winning the ABNA Grand Prize. We’re delighted to have discovered it through the contest and to be presenting it to you today.