The River of No ReturnJulia sat beside her grandfather’s bed, holding his hand. The fifth Earl of Darchester was dying.

Two hundred years after he was about to die on a Napoleonic battlefield, Nick Falcott, soldier and aristocrat, wakes up in a hospital bed in modern London. The Guild, an entity that controls time travel, showers him with life’s advantages. But Nick yearns for home and for one brown-eyed girl, lost now down the centuries. Then the Guild asks him to break its own rule. It needs Nick to go back to 1815 to fight the Guild’s enemies and to find something called the Talisman. In 1815, Julia Percy mourns the death of her beloved grandfather, an earl who could play with time. On his deathbed he whispers in her ear: “Pretend!” Pretend what? When Nick returns home as if from the dead, older than he should be and battle scarred, Julia begins to suspect that her very life depends upon the secrets Grandfather never told her. Soon enough Julia and Nick are caught up in an adventure that stretches up and down the river of time. As their knowledge of the Guild and their feelings for each other grow, the fate of the future itself is hanging in the balance.”

The River of No Return sounded like a really fascinating story, and I was happy to receive a review copy from Dutton Books. And it was really fascinating. It’s one of those books that’s made better by the fact that the font is really nice. Anyway, the plot of The River of No Return is very intriguing; I am fascinated by time travel, and this is a lengthy book which deals in depth with a certain interpretation of it. The way that the Guild was described was really interesting too; at times, I thought they were benevolent, at others, that they were evil and twisted. Bee Ridgeway makes the reader’s opinion of everything shift back and forth, and then back again, right until the very end of the story. 

I really enjoyed the characters, but I have to say that I found Julia’s story more interesting. I got kind of annoyed when the narrative shifted back to Nick. But when they met up back in 1815, the story was just as interesting. Sometimes I wasn’t always fond of their relationship, but it was nice to read about them together, rather than jumping back and forth. The River of No Return is a delicious mix of so many different genres: fantasy, historical fiction, romance, mystery, thriller, and it succeeds very well in all of those genres. 

Sometimes I wished that the way time was stopped was described a bit more thoroughly. Does Julia just think about doing it and it happens? Or is there some special thing that she has to do in order to stop time? Despite being somewhat vague, I enjoyed reading about this power. I also liked visiting Jane Austen’s England from a fresh perspective. 

I loved how the reader never knows who to trust, the Guild or the Ofan. As I mentioned earlier, we alternate between liking one or the other, just as Nick is unsure about his loyalties also. There are lots of other twists in the book as well that surprise both the reader and the main characters. The River of No Return is a read that will push you along with it, just like the metaphorical (or perhaps not so metaphorical) river in the book. Speaking of metaphors, the amount of them kind of annoyed me; still, a great book. 

Read The River of No Return:

  • if you like fantasy
  • if you like historical fiction
  • if you like romance
  • if you like mysteries
  • if you like thrillers

452 pages.

Very Good! I would recommend this book!