5 time-bending stars!
'Prodigal' and ‘Riven’ are the second and third entries in a series of 4 steampunk time-travel novels. Please read ‘Extracted’ (and my review) before continuing this review.
As with ‘Extracted,’ authors Ficklin and Jolley seamlessly integrate steampunk inventions, clothing, and accessories into a clear to follow and fast-paced plot. The main characters and their significant others are developed and complex. Whereas ‘Extracted’ is told through the duel points of view of Lex and Ember, ‘Prodigal’ and ‘Riven’ are told from the points of view of their significant others.
Each book picks up exactly where the plot left off in ‘Extracted.’ ‘Prodigal’ follows the events that occur next from Stein’s point of view. ‘Riven’ follows the events that occur next from Ethan’s point of view. For us Romanov sibling fans, not to worry – each book heavily involves Lex and Ember.
When we last saw her, Stein was reading an old Tesla journal. She learns
interesting information regarding her biological family members, and gets the idea to run a blood test; a paternity test. With Nobel’s help, she confirms the identity of her biological father, but also learns that her body is breaking down and dying quite rapidly. She and Ember travel through time to learn more about her ailments and the tests run on her as a baby, before ultimately deciding that Tesla himself is the only one who might be able to save her.
Stein’s discoveries also motivate her to move out from The Hallows headquarters. Lex, Ember, Ethan, Nobel, and Sisson join her in discovering a new hideout and gathering enough loot to make it a home. It is during one of these trips that Lex and Ethan run into some trouble, and Ethan remembers rather emotional moments from his past. The strong emotions cause him to ‘fracture’ through time, to literally bounce around from one moment to the next, into different places and times. Only the knowledgeable Stewart Stills understands what is happening to Ethan, and is able to train him to control the fracturing.
‘Riven’ also gives us a glimpse of an anomaly in the timeline; an alternative and dystopian future that was never supposed to happen. We also learn more about Sisson, and why she alone has been tasked with procuring a special chemical from the future for Claymore’s helmet.
Though ‘Extracted’ did not end on a cliffhanger, both ‘Prodigal’ and ‘Riven’ do. The books end on the same cliffhanger, however, each present different tidbits of information, as told from Stein and Ethan’s perspectives, and readers are privy to the secrets kept by each. Looking forward to the future release ‘Absolution’ (The Lost Imperials #4).
I highly recommend these page-turners to any reader who enjoys time travel, steampunk, YA and fantasy.