Escape In Time by Robyn Nyx is a fast paced science fiction, action novel with a nice romantic subplot. This was my first science fiction novel and it set the bar extremely high for all the sci-fi books that have come my way since.
Landry Donovan is elite in every way. As a highly trained extractor for Pulsas Vita, she is tasked with building a better future by saving people from the past. Operatives are sent back in time to accomplish their missions by any means necessary. The missions include brutal and violent acts to achieve the desired outcomes. Time travel is physically dangerous work. While modern medical advances can repair the physical wounds, there is no treatment for the effects that living for years in the past can have on the mind.
Pulsas sends Landry’s team back to Nazi Germany to save a Jewish doctor who is working on the cure for cancer. The objective is to save her just before she becomes one of the thousands of women to die at the Ravensbrück death camp. To bring her back any earlier might interfere with the course of her research work done at the camp.
For the first time on a mission, Landry is distracted by thoughts of a woman. Jade Carter, an enticing professional basketball player, knows that Landry has a career she can’t discuss, but never would Jade suspect that the few weeks Landry is away are actually months Landry has lived during World War II.
Jacqulyn Delaney, a Pulsas operative has been undercover at Ravensbrück for several years while waiting for Landry’s arrival. Delaney’s job is messing with her mind as is her desire for a relationship with Landry that is more meaningful than just a friend with benefits. When Delaney finds love at Ravensbrück, it puts a new perspective on the future.
Can Landry and Delaney save the doctor, or will their personal demons leave them stuck in the past?
Landry Donovan is a wonderfully layered character. Like many impressive heroes, she is smart, in peak physical shape, good looking, and she has an easy manner about her that commands trust and confidence in the operatives who work with her. Her work as an extractor has taken a toll on her, emotionally. Her off hours are spent with gorgeous, willing one-night stands. This is was no big revelation for me. What I loved is the extent that Landry goes to build a “normal” life for herself on the mainland. The scenes with Landry and the family who lives below her apartment are beyond charming. Lizbeth, Caitlin, and their daughter Priscilla have unofficially adopted the mysterious neighbor. Spending time with them is like an elixir for Landry and the time she spends with them has softened her character ever so slightly and it makes her all the more appealing.
My heart goes out to Jacqulyn Delaney. She is the perfect operative. She is able to put aside all emotions in order to carry out her missions, but her ability to detach from those gruesome operations has begun to falter. Having lived ninety cumulative years in the past while only being in her thirties has begun to take its toll, yet she desperately wants to do more for mankind. Her unrequited feelings for Landry add another layer of vulnerability to her character and watching her struggle to stay true to the mission provided me with the angst that I just can’t resist when handled so deftly.
Jade Carter is a primary, secondary character who is an arresting presence from the moment she enters the story. Like the other women in the book, she is gorgeous, smart, and talented. What makes her stand out is the fact that she is the first woman to turn down Landry for a hot night of passion. She is composed and matches Landry in her confidence. She knows her worth and Landry sees it, too.
The Writing Style
Nyx balances the task of developing emotionally complex characters and creating a plot that is well paced and full of action on a grand scale. It would have been easy to write Landry as a typical action hero, but Nyx created her with just the right amount of subtle contradictions to make her relatable. Landry’s character arc is written with finesse and love is a substantial motivation. That’s a win for me.
The story itself moves at a break-neck speed and I found myself holding my breath during some of the more suspenseful moments. Just as the characters make it through one harrowing event, they are on to the next perilous step in their mission. The way Nyx slowly amps up the tension in some scenes is top notch. And talk about a cliffhanger; wow! I won’t spoil anything, but I was online, ordering book two in the series before my Kindle went into sleep mode.
I love world history and I’ve always been drawn to nonfiction books about WWII. Nyx does an amazing job of depicting what awaited the women at Ravensbrück. The detailed descriptions of the architecture, clothing, daily routines, and personnel are spot on. It is violent and shocking, but because it’s a familiar point in history it made my investment with the mission’s success significantly deeper.
There were no cons for me.
Escape in Time will forever hold a special place in my Kindle because it was my first experience with science fiction. I know. You’re rolling your eyes at me right now. The genre never appealed to me or at least I didn’t think it would. This novel changed all that. This book is so rich in character development that I became emotionally invested in Landry and Delaney and worried for their safety like a mother hen. The story is so packed with action and intrigue that I lost a lot of beauty sleep over it. But most of all, I was fascinated with the meticulous plotting Nyx did around the time traveling aspect. She built a process that is so rich in rules and details that I found myself working out “what if” scenarios in my head while I was cooking dinner or making my daily commute to work. The story is captivating, and the best part is that it’s the first in a fantastic trilogy. I am so glad that I decided to try something outside my comfort zone! I hope you enjoy it, too.
Excerpt from Escape in Time by Robyn Nyx
His steel-toed boot connected with her ribs for a fifth time. She felt and heard the bones crack. The sixth kick sent the splintered ends into her lung and pierced it. Being beaten to death by this asshole was unexpected. Landry knew the dangers of time travel and the risks of missions like these. At least no one was home waiting on her return, depending on her to come home.
The guy fell to the ground beside her, and even through the intense fog of agony that cocooned her whole body, she managed to smile at his dead eyes…and the serrated tip of a hunting knife that protruded between them.
“What the fuck, Landry?”
She could just make out her colleague and operative Delaney through her rapidly swelling eyes. She pulled open Landry’s shirt and leaned in to listen to her labored breathing. “You’ve got a punctured lung. I’m going to have to deal with it.”
Landry nodded as Delaney retrieved a health kit from her pack and pulled out a hefty syringe.
“This might sting a little.”
Landry’s laugh turned into a painful cough. “Do it.”
Delaney thrust the syringe through Landry’s chest wall and released the pressure. Landry struggled to suppress a scream. Delaney waved the PRU at her. “Now let’s get the fuck out of Dodge.”
With Delaney’s help, Landry held the PRU at arm’s length and traced a large circle in the air. The inside of the circle became blurred until it looked like a half-shredded photo, its pieces still clinging together. She held the PRU to its center, and three thick luminescent blue light threads reached out and hovered mid-air. Delaney took hold of a thread and wrapped it around Landry’s wrist, pressed the end into her fist, and folded her fingers over it.
Landry watched as Delaney and Joyce did the same. They’d enter in body mass order—Joyce first, Landry second, and then Delaney. Landry pressed the retrieve key. She glanced back at the dead man at the base of the tree and gripped her ribs to ease the pain. As they were pulled into the time circle to travel back to their future, Landry was glad her mom would be able to fix the damage to her body. Her mind was another matter entirely.
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Escape In Time
Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781626398559
- Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Robyn Nyx Online
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