Review: The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway

25th April 2013


*This book was sent to me by the publisher, Dutton, in exchange for an honest review.

Julia Percy sits beside her grandfather’s deathbed, grieving his coming death and anxious about what life without him means. As an orphan whose cruel cousin Eamon will come into the family estate and title, Julia is concerned. Plus, the magic of her life, her grandfather’s ability to manipulate time, will die with him, and it saddens her.

Meanwhile, Nick Davenant is 200 years in the future and an ocean away. Having jumped just as death was imminent on the battlefield, Lord Nicholas Falcott wakes up to the knowledge that he can never go back. The Guild, a secret network of time travelers, trains him to live in his new present and gives him a new name and an ungodly amount of money to adjust.

And he’s mostly fine with that, except the dark eyes of a young woman haunt his dreams. When an edict from The Guild arrives, Nick learns that everything he’s believed about time travel is false, that he can go back – and The Guild needs him to return to his own time because there are others like him but with different, more sinister aims. Nick is hesitant to return, but he’s thrilled to reunite with his mother and sisters and the dark-eyed girl, Julia, the granddaughter of an earl who lives in the neighboring estate.

Time travel in The River of No Return is no scientific experiment. Instead, time jumpers only move within the river of time through periods of intense emotion – and most jumpers only discover their abilities on the point of death. Learning to harness that energy is Nick’s task. Julia, on the other hand, is unaware of her abilities, thinking her grandfather was the manipulator of time. As her cousin attempts to find the talisman, something he believes will give him these abilities, Julia comes to realize her grandfather was not the manipulator…she is. Her abilities far exceed those of her grandfather or The Guild, and that puts the dark-eyed Julia, the woman Nick realizes he loves, in danger.

I don’t think there’s much you can say about a book that kept you up until 3:45 a.m., but I’ll try. The story of my relationship with this book began when I told the publicist I was intrigued by the premise of a different sort of time travel novel. The relationship heightened when I opened the package and discovered an absolutely beautiful book tucked inside. I actually gasped. I knew it was true love when I didn’t eat dinner, missed the gym, and only looked up at 3:45 a.m., the book finished and tucked by my side. Even after I set it down, I thought about this book, part time travel, part Regency romance, all adventure. Now that’s a good read.

Add this to your Goodreads shelf.

  • Ruth Anderson

    This book sounds amazing! Adding it to my Amazon wishlist now!

    • It IS! Such a great read.

  • Lauren

    For some reason, the cover of this book reminds me of one of my top reads from last year, Tell The Wolves I’m Home. While the time travel element made me wary (and I think also the length – you know me, anything over 350-400 and I start to get hives), your review makes me rethink my hesitation. Thanks, J!

    • I still cannot believe I haven’t read that. I need to get on that.

      As for the length – my threshold is 400. Anything approaching or over that I give the side eye.

  • Oh, I’m intrigued. I like time travel when it’s used properly – when the time travel itself is the protagonist of the book. There are not many books like that. This one sounds just like what I would enjoy.

    • Such a great way to describe that, as I’m not into time travel in general. But in this case, it’s just great.

  • Oh, wow, this sounds so intriguing! Definitely adding it to my to-read list.

    • Awesome! Hope you enjoy.

  • Bellezza

    Oh my goodness, now I really can’t wait for my copy to arrive from the publisher! Thrilled you loved it so much.

    • I can’t wait for you to either. It is such a lovely book, aesthetically. Beautiful on the shelf.

  • I think just the fact that it kept you up until almost 4 am is enough. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Should be, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Charlie

    I’ve read that this is a particularly good and different example of time travel. The limitations in it sound a lot better than the back and forth that makes other stories too convenient. Definitely on my list.

    • I really like the premise, too. It keeps it from being too complex and confusing as some time travel stories can be.

  • Anne

    I just picked this up at the library yesterday. I am really excited to read it!

    • Curious to see what you think of it!

  • Sheila DeChantal

    It is a beautiful book and sounds wonderful!

    • Isn’t it, though? And yes, it was a really great read.

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