Monday, July 8, 2013

Staff Review: The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway

I do not understand why The River of No Return doesn't have a dozen people on the hold list. Sure, this is Bee Ridgway's first novel, and you probably don't spend a portion of your work and free time tracking new books, seeing what's getting good advance reviews, judging the cover art for books that won't be available for sale for months, etc. etc.

Maybe this is the first you're hearing about The River of No Return. That's fair, but now you need to place a hold on the library's copy or go out and buy your own because this is a book worth reading.

Let me walk that back a little. I usually wait a few weeks before posting a book review on the library's blog, and I only just finished this book on Saturday, so I'm maybe still bubbling over with those good book emotions. So! Walking it back, you need to check out The River of No Return, at your earliest convenience, if you are the sort of reader who enjoys:
  • Time Travel
  • Globe Spanning Conspiracies and Secret Societies
  • Love Stories
  • Characters Who Aren't Dimwits
  • Complicated Morality
In 1812, Lord Nicholas Falcott is presumed dead at the Battle of Salamanca, but instead he finds himself transported into the distant future and the welcoming arms of The Guild. Left in the past is Julia Percy, granddaughter of the Earl whose estate borders Nick's own, and with her grandfather's death in 1815, Julia is truly an orphan. How their paths come to cross again, and all of the manipulation and complications that requires is where the story lies.

If, like me, you enjoy historical romances, you won't be disappointed there. I wouldn't be surprised if Ms. Ridgway hasn't read her share of Julia Quinn's, Mary Balogh's, and all the other authors whose books have "duke" in the title. Never fear, a prior love of steamy romance novels is by no means a must to pick up this book, but if you find you enjoy the love story, you might want to browse around our Romance collection!

My only complaint is that the book ends with a couple of dangling plot threads. On the one hand, I'm happy for the idea that I might get to explore this world of time travelers again in some future sequel. On the other hand, I'm going to be wondering... Well, that would be a spoiler, so go! Read the book, and come back and we can discuss what we think is going to happen next!

Other books to read, in case I succeed in creating a wait list for The River of No Return:
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (read alikes for Outlander)
The Rook by Daniel O'Malley (staff review for The Rook)
Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (staff review for Discovery of Witches) (read alikes for Deborah Harkness)
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig

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