Time Riders: Day of the Predator

Written by Alex Scarrow
Review by Julie Parker

Not just another time travel story, this is the second in the series about Liam, Maddy and Sal, time travellers extraordinaire. Specially recruited at times of imminent danger (Liam on the Titanic in 1912, Maddy on a crashing plane and Sal in a doomed skyscraper) by “the agency,” these three have been chosen to defy the laws of time and put right mistakes of the past, after the discovery of time travel in 2056.

At the start of this story, they must recreate their “support unit,” a meat robot with artificial intelligence, but Bob turns out to be the female Becks with a personality of her own. Part of the story is the intended assassination attempt on Edward Chan, brilliant mathematician, who was partly responsible for developing the theories behind time travel. When something goes wrong the entire school party, Liam, Becks and the assassin are jettisoned back in time to 65 million years B.C., to the time of the dinosaurs, but this time there is a mysterious unknown species which seems to possess some form of intelligence.

Written in three (at least) time narratives: 65 million B.C., 2001 and 2015, the story is very cleverly written and has so many twists and turns the reader just has to keep on reading. Quite grisly in places, with quite a lot of blood and gore, the second part of the book in particular will keep you on the edge of your seat wanting to find out what happens…and there is an unexpected twist at the end. Recommended for 12+ readers.