Time Riders: The Eternal War
This is the fourth in a time-shifting series for young adults, which is well worth reading by anyone of any age. Three teens are given a choice in the seconds before death – choose life and join an agency so secret no one knows its name, or die. All three will live locked within a time bubble in New York City during 10 and 11 September 2001, watching for timewaves: evidence that the past has been altered. If that happens, they must fix it. In The Eternal War, much of the action is set in 2001, but in a near-present that is much changed, all because Abraham Lincoln has a drink too many and finds himself in 2001 having to survive in a Civil War that has never ended. Liam, Sal and Maddy, and their seven-foot support units, Bob and Becks, are with him, each trapped in their own world of danger.
It’s a world of chivalry and brutality on all sides – American, French and British all play their part until the Americans finally decide to try and unite to get history back on track. But beneath lies prejudice, reminiscent of the original conflict over slavery. Now the perceived threat comes from genetically engineered creatures that have been left to run free long enough to gain a soul. There are faults and good in everyone. The future is also by no means utopian – it is no wonder that characters seek to go back and change it. Even more worrying is the increasing darkness surrounding ‘The End’. The impact of mankind and its decisions on our planet have preoccupied Scarrow’s other novels, and he does not shy from presenting similar themes here.