Day of the Predator

Day of the Predator

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for its prequel, TimeRiders. You can read my review of this novel [here].

Day of the Predator was written by Alex Scarrow and first published in 2010. It forms the second part of the TimeRiders series, preceded by TimeRiders (2010) and followed by The Doomsday Code (2011), The Eternal War (2011), Gates of Rome (2012), City of Shadows (2012), The Pirate Kings (2013), The Mayan Prophecy (2013) and The Infinity Cage (2014). The series follows the adventures of three youths as they use time travel to prevent bad guys from altering past events.

When the TimeRiders receive a broken message from the future, they know that they need to investigate. Someone from the year 2050 has been sent back in time to 2015. His goal is to assassinate the teenage Edward Chan, who will grow up to write a thesis on time travel theory. The TimeRiders know that they need to save Chan as if he dies, the first time machine would never have been built.

Liam and Becks, his new support unit, travel to 2015 to figure out the identity of the assassin is while posing a students on a school trip with Chan. However, things soon go horribly wrong. In trying to send Liam a message, Maddy accidentally opens up a time window which engulfs Liam and Becks, as well as the entire school group. The time window leaves them stranded in the Cretaceous Period, utterly cut off from anyone who could rescue them.

Liam knows that he needs to find a way to contact Maddy and Sal in the future but how can he when every tiny things he does could have a massive impact on the timeline? To make matters worse, he soon finds himself be stalked by an undiscovered species of predator – one that is highly intelligent and is slowly learning through observing Liam’s every move…

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TimeRiders

TimeRiders

Time travel has been a popular mechanic in story telling since H G Wells penned The Time Machine, and with good reason. It enables the author to explore any age – past, present or future – and thus expose their characters to any kind of story imaginable. Yet time travel stories are also incredibly difficult to write as they can easily leave themselves open to gaping plot holes. This is what I am here to talk about today

TimeRiders by Alex Scarrow is a series of science fiction novels that revolve around three teenagers who are recruited into an agency that polices the flow of time, bringing justice to all those who would tamper with history. The series is planned to span nine novels – TimeRiders (2010), Day of the Predator (2010), The Doomsday Code (2011), The Eternal War (2011), Gates of Rome (2012), City of Shadows (2012), The Pirate Kings (2013), The Mayan Prophecy (2013) and The Infinity Cage (due for release November 2014). For the purpose of today’s review, I will just be looking at the first novel.

Following the deaths of the rest of his team Foster, the last surviving operative of the Agency, ventures into time to recruit three new people who have the skills to succeed them. Approaching each as they reach the end of their natural life (Liam drowning on the Titanic, Maddy in a plane crash in 2010 and Sal in a fire in 2026) he offers them the choice to die or join him.

At the Agency’s base in New York (2001), Foster begins to teach each of them the skills they need in order to mount a successful operation through time. However, before he can finish their training, the world around them suddenly changes. The city as they know it disappears in an instant and is replaced by a totalitarian dystopia. One of their enemies has gotten hold of a time machine and used it to alter the past, ensuring that the Nazis won World War II and proceeded to take over the world.

Liam is transported back through time in an attempt to uncover at what point in the War the diversion took place. However, before he can return, history changes again. The New York City of 2001 suddenly becomes a desolate wasteland and, with no power, Maddy and Sal find themselves unable to bring their friend back to the present. Now unable to communicate with each other, the two teams must try to find a way to send a message across time in order to put the past back the way it should be.

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