The River of No Return

It is 2013. And it’s also the 19th century. Nick Davenant, a seemingly normal, unassuming guy in the 21st century, is actually Lord Blackdown, a marquess from the 1800s. As he lay dying on a Spanish battlefield, Nick jumped forwards in time – 200 years forwards, in fact – and ended up in the care of the Guild, who help new time travellers adjust to life in the strange worlds of the future. 

There are very few rules for Guild members, but the main one is that there is no return. It is forbidden to go back through time, and members must leave the country they were originally living in, never to return. 

So when, in 2013, Nick receives a summons from the Guild asking him to break all the rules at once, he’s immediately suspicious. Some of his newest friends have disappeared in strange circumstances – could the Guild be behind a conspiracy? Are they secretly killing people off? Who are the mysterious forces against which they are fighting? Nick must travel back in time and become Lord Blackdown again to help resolve the future. 

But when he goes back, things are not as straightforward as he had hoped. Firstly, he meets a girl, Julia, and falls madly in love with her. Secondly, he begins to believe that the friend and fellow Guild member who came with him might be betraying him. Nick sets out to unravel the puzzling mysteries whilst trying to win Julia’s heart. 

It’s an alright story, but a bit too romantic for my liking. I didn’t particularly care about any of the characters; all of them seemed to have insurmountable flaws. The mystery of the Guild and who they were fighting was, for me, the most interesting part of the book, but (slight spoiler alert) it was the only thing that remained unresolved at the end. 

If you’re a hopeless romantic, you might like this novel. If you’re not, steer clear of it. The simpering women and pathetic, blustering men are unlikely to win you over. 

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