by Sherry D. Ficklin, Tyler Jolley
Series: The Lost Imperials #1
Genres: Science Fiction, Steampunk
Welcome to the war. The Tesla Institute is a premier academy that trains young time travelers called Rifters. Created by Nicola Tesla, the Institute seeks special individuals who can help preserve the time stream against those who try to alter it. The Hollows is a rogue band of Rifters who tear through time with little care for the consequences. Armed with their own group of lost teens--their only desire to find Tesla and put an end to his corruption of the time stream. Torn between them are Lex and Ember, two Rifters with no memories of their life before joining the time war. When Lex’s girlfriend dies during a mission, the only way he can save her is to retrieve the Dox, a piece of tech which allows Rifters to re-enter their own timeline without collapsing the time stream. But the Dox is hidden deep within the Telsa Institute, which means Lex must go into the enemy camp. It’s there he meets Ember, and the past that was stolen from them both comes flooding back. Now armed with the truth of who they are, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for time destroys them both…again.
Time travel, steampunk, Rifters, and fixed points in time! It’s enough to make this Whovian* drool. These are the reasons I agreed to read Extracted the first book of The Lost Imperials series by Sherry D. Ficklin and Tyler Jolley. Gads, this was delightful, and I quickly became caught up in the action and characters. Mini review: original, fast-paced and an excellent start to an exciting new series with limitless possibilities.
The tale is told in dual prospective. Lex and Ember are rifters. When they joined the war, they lost the memory of their past lives. One works for the Tesla Institute led by Nicola Tesla and the other works for a rogue group of rifters called the Hollows run by Claymore. Both the Tesla and Hollows believe they are preserving the timeline against the other. When Lex’s girlfriend dies during a rift, the only way to save her is to go back into his own time-line. To do this safely, he must obtain a gadget known as the “Dox” from the Tesla headquarters. When he rifts, he discovers Ember and their memories come flooding back. The tale that unfolds kept me riveted from the world building to the characters.
The authors do an excellent job of giving each character voice allowing me to connect with them. Ember is strong, opinionated and questions everything. She has a love interest, but she is a leader first, and I admired her strength. Lex, how could I not love Lex, he is ready to die trying to save his girl. *swoon* He is strong, honest, and not quick to temper. The dual perspective really worked for this tale, not only because it allowed me to get inside Lex and Ember’s heads but also because it introduced us to both the Tesla and Hollow rifters. The authors provided solid, unique secondary characters. Stein, Lex’s girlfriend is bad-ass, with a little snark as she tells it like it is. Ethan is sure and a little cocky, but when it comes to Ember he is all gooey on the inside and I loved it. I really liked Nobel; he is a wizard with gadgets and gizmos. Gloves, oh my just wait till you meet him. Other characters added to the tale and weaved their way into my heart. Hey peeps, no love triangles or insta-love. The romances are secondary but help flesh out the characters.
Extracted was a fresh, unique and exciting beginning to the Lost Imperial series. It nailed time travel in a way that even the non-geek will enjoy. The world building was solid and rather than an info dump we were fed information throughout the tale. I love when an author paints a world in such a way that I can see it. It created a wonderful book high for me as I traveled alongside them. The pacing was beautifully done, from the alternating chapters to the converging of the two main character’s timeline. There were heart-stopping moments, chaos, elation and twists that made me smile. As a Dr. Who fan, I am familiar with the whole time continuum and the effects of time travel. The author’s grasp and take on fixed points was delightful. It had an air of believability; the plot was tight, and they felt in control of this epic world. While I still have questions, the tale wrapped up nicely after an intense and climatic event. They provided hints of what is to come, and I closed the book giddy with anticipation.
I recommend Extracted to fans of time travel, steampunk, fantasy and science fiction. Extracted is one of the best books I’ve had the pleasure to read in 2013. I am anxiously awaiting news regarding book two of the Lost Imperials.
Four and half cups of coffee out of five
* Whovian – Doctor Who fan
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