Oh my stars, Return Once More was an amazing read! It had everything I love about YA fiction, and still managed to be unique. In this historical/sci-fi/time traveling dystopian the fate of the future rests in the hands of a few.
Series: The Historians #1
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on October 20th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Historical, Ancient Civilizations, Fiction, Time Travel, Romance
provided by YA Bound Book Tours
If you could learn the identity of your one true love-even though you will never meet- would you?
Years have passed since refugees from a ruined earth took to space, eventually settling a new system of planets. Science has not only made the leaps necessary to allow time travel, but the process engineered a strange side effect-predicting your one true love.If you could save your one true love from an untimely death, would you be able to resist?
Sixteen-year-old Kaia Vespasian is an apprentice to the Historians-a group charged with using time travel to document the triumphs and failures of the past-and she can't resist a peek at her long-dead soul mate in Ancient Egypt. Before she knows it, she's broken every rule in the book, and the consequences of getting caught could destroy more than just her new romance.
Or would you have the strength to watch him die?
But when Kaia notices a fellow classmate snooping around in a time where he doesn't belong, she suspects he has a secret of his own-and the conspiracy she uncovers could threaten the entire universe. If her experience has taught her anything, to changing history means facing the consequences. The Historians trained her to observe and record the past, but Kaia never guessed she might have to protect it- in a race across time to save her only chance at a future.
Kaia is a historian apprentice. Her job basically involved using technology to go back into the past, with her peers and a mentor, to observe history as it happened. This sounds like the coolest job ever! Yea, there is some boring sounding reflection that needs to take place, but to actually go back in history and see things as they happen, that just seems like such a gift. Of course, with every gift, there is a price. Kaia not only goes back and witnesses history, she take a vow to protect it as well. Since there are an infinite number of things that could change if just one thing is changed in the past, historians must make sure they don’t disturb the past while they learn from it.
Not only do these people in Genesis have cool time travel, but they can also find out the identity of their “true”. The true is basically a soul mate. A true could be anyone, living in any timeline, but the temptation to find them is still there. For Kaia this temptation is greatly magnified when her roommate discovers her true is someone living in the same time, and is in the same class as they are. I know for me, that would be enough to make me find out for myself. That is exactly what Kaia does, except her true is long dead. Kaia’s true was an Egyptian king names Caesarion.
The problem comes in when Kaia discovers a class mate going back and making changes. Maybe she could take a risk and meet Caesarion before he dies? Maybe she could save him from a short life and a murderous fate? I doubt I would have the self control to NOT find out who my true was if I lived in Genesis. I don’t blame Kaia. OF COURSE, I would try to find him as well. Who could resist the temptation of finding out what true love feels like?
Kaia was a such a great character. She is only 16 at the beginning of this story, so everything is SO new to her. She just hasn’t experienced much. Also, I loved that she wasn’t an expert at anything. I don’t see too many stories with this kind of character, so I really loved that she was normal.
This story does use insta-love to get people together, but only in the case of a “true”, so I could totally forgive that aspect. Even though there is some insta-love, I still felt the connection between Kaia and Caesarion. The romance in this book really worked because Kaia was such a relateable character.
The pacing in this story was so good. In first person POV, we get a good look at Kaia’s life. We see her indecision, her friends, her studies, the technology, Caesarion himself, and a mostly bad guy names Oz. I loved learning about the world of Genesis and what the Historians do, but I loved the time travel scenes the most. Kaia spends a good bit of time in Ancient Egypt getting to know Caesarion. In these scenes we get so much detail, it is like being right there. The historians must look the part when they go back in time, so there is special attention on wardrobe and customs. This carries right back to Genesis with people dressing in period garb throughout the story.
Also, I have to mention that I don’t usually enjoy historical fiction so much. This book is a rare exception. The history in this book was a major factor, but the time travel aspect made it awesome.
I am finding it VERY difficult to describe how much I enjoyed the reading of Return Once More. This book is friggin fantastic! It had adventure, I swooned, I cried, and then it ended. Now I want MORE. I am so delighted that this is just the first book, because I want more of this story. I highly recommend this book!