This one is definitely a niche when it comes to my shelves. When you think of books with time travel there are a definite few that come to mind, but a solid list of five was pretty hard. I had to go all the way back to when I first got on goodreads! So what makes a great time travel novel? Well, besides the actual traveling in time, it comes down to how it’s incorporated into the story, the rules/ramifications of messing with time, and the temptations/dangers facing the character. You know, just a few things.
Ruby Red (Precious Stone Trilogy)by Kerstin Gier
- This is one that I don’t even know what had me picking it up way back when, but it was so addictive! This one had me on edge, especially since time traveling is an innate ability the characters have, only kept under control by using a device at scheduled times. In the beginning it sounds rather innocent, maybe strange that there is a whole group backing a couple of teenagers who time travel, and a historical fashion department at their disposal, but things turn as the main character, Gwen starts to realize everything they’ve told her has been a lie. I still love this series even years after the fact, and am probably ready for a reread, Gwen’s determination and perspective making this book downright addictive.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
- Another Series, this first book is an amazing ride as Claire goes to Scotland on holiday with her husband, Frank following WW2. Frank is a full fledged historian tracking the path of his ancestor, BlackJack Randall, but Claire isn’t exactly of the same mind, going off and learning about the medicinal herbs of the region. While on one of her treks she visits the standing stones where she hears a buzzing. Following the noise she touches the center stone, falling back in time to Jacobean Scotland, and the struggle between the Scots and the British. If you love historical fiction, and strong willed women this one is definitely for you with Claire railing against the Scots, who are sexist given the time period, and less concerned with sanitary conditions.
Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy) by Deborah Harkness
- All I remember when I picked this one up was that I wanted to read it before the show came out like a good book nerd, and I did. What I didn’t see coming though was that I would inhale said book and make an emergency run to Barnes and Noble for the next two. Yes, an emergency run. I’m not entirely sure if this is a spoiler since the story eludes to Diana having some serious powers, and we all knew she couldn’t keep it tamped down forever, but if this is, I am so sorry! In this pick, the main character is able to time travel using her magic in an attempt to escape the dangers of her current time, taking her back to Elizabethan England. It’s in a very dangerous time for witches that she learns how to control her powers, and grow as a witch with the help of the women of that time. I really enjoyed the different times/worlds of this series and how detailed they and the story itself were. It was like going on an adventure yourself as you discover all the intricacies of this magical world.
Firebird Trilogy by Claudia Gray
- The last series of this list, this one is a bit of a stretch. In this case, the scope of the world is based on different verses/universes, kind of like talking about the different versions of Marvel worlds if that helps. One of the worlds the character is able to travel to is set in a historical Russia during the time of the czars, which I’ve always been interested in (especially after Fox’s animated Anastasia!). It’s a small component, but this world has a huge impact on the main character, Marguerite, and her perspective on the firebird device that allows her and her companion, Paul to “jump” into the bodies of their other selves in these worlds. It definitely becomes a question of what is right versus wrong in the pursuit of science, and the temptations of messing with things like time travel or universe travel.
Daughter of Time by Sarah Woodbury
- This one is perhaps one of the older ones on the list for me, but still a true time traveling novel. Sort of like a mix between Outlander and Ruby Red’s time traveling, the protagonist in this novel suddenly is swept back in time to the Middle Ages (my favorite historical time period!!), and meets Llywelyn ap Gruffydd (not even going to try and say that one), King of Wales. This one follows more of a romantic storyline, but still makes you feel like you’re witnessing an incredible part of history. It definitely made me want to learn more about Welsh history, and visit there (one day my dream of a UK tour will come true!!)
What are some of your time travel novels you’ve enjoyed? Read any on this list? Let me know in the comments below!