Escape in Time by Robyn Nyx

Book one in The Extractor Trilogy

This SciFi novel is futuristic dystopia meets historical fiction and I’m here for it!

What was the book about?
Escape in Time is the first in a trilogy about time travel. The book is set in the not TOO distant future, the year 2075. Time travel has been invented (along with a number of other advances – such as regenerative technology to heal injuries and reverse aging), though it seems that the world at large is unaware of all of this technology. Instead, an organization called PULSUS holds all of the technology, and is using it to make small changes in the past to create a better, but not drastically changed, future. To do this, they send military trained operatives basically under deep cover in the past. They build their life/cover for years in order to successfully carry out their missions. In addition to the operatives, an “extractor” is sent back in time as well, though much closer to the mission date. The extractor’s job is to extract the operatives and bring the technology necessary to get everyone back to the “present.” 

The main character is Landry Donovan, and she is an extractor. There are a few sub-main characters, including Landry’s operative friend Delaney and a potential love interest on the “mainland,” professional basketballer Jade. About half of the book involves world-building, while the other half follows a central mission that involves the team going back to Nazi Germany to save a doctor who had the potential to cure cancer. The characters face obvious external struggles (staying alive in concentration camps, succeeding in their mission, etc), as well as more internal struggles such as adjusting to civilian life between missions, alcoholism, and discontent with how PULSUS is being run. 

Featured Tropes: 
SciFi, historical, futuristic

Book Strengths:
The world-building is really fantastic. Nyx gives just enough detail without getting to the point where the reader is skimming just to get to the good stuff. I found the story to be generally well-paced and was suitably intrigued by the plot (both by the excitement of the dystopian future and by the clearly well researched historical plot). A couple of days after finishing, I’m still thinking about Pulsus and what they’re UP to and what the characters will do next. I’m also a sucker for a good historical fiction novel (especially if it’s also wlw), and the portion of this novel that takes place during WWII was beautifully described and felt well-researched without crossing the line into boring. It must have been difficult to write characters who were “native” to the 1940s as well as those from the future who had time travelled to the 40s within the same scene. It was seamless! I loved occupying both worlds (2075 and Hitler’s Germany) briefly and was amazed at how fluid the transition between the two felt.

Book Weaknesses: 
I thought Escape in Time was a strong book overall, though I do think that there are a few components that aren’t for everyone. So these aren’t necessarily weaknesses, but more just points to consider. While I didn’t dislike the main characters outright, I didn’t fall in love with them either. I also found it difficult to read many of the graphic descriptions of violence, though I appreciate how they serve the plot. There are also more than a couple of graphically described rough sex scenes that, to me, didn’t feel like they served the plot and seemed gratuitous. Finally, the epilogue fell strongly in the “not for me” category, as it incongruously introduced 2 brand new characters and a totally new setting. I’m sure that it is meant as a teaser for the next book in the series, but it didn’t work for me personally. It definitely had me thinking about the next book, but I was expecting to get a tad more information after a cliff hanger ending, which was not the case.

Character Chemistry:
Landry and Jade’s chemistry is good but not off the charts. The romance in this story is secondary to the larger plot points, and it seems to show in the chemistry. 

Heat Rating: 
4 flames
(with a warning for graphic descriptions of rough/angry sex)

Wrap up:
Escape in Time did its job in roping me in for the rest of the trilogy. The world Nyx builds of a not-too-distant future that holds the power for time travel and the associated responsibility in controlling that power is fascinating and well built. I was definitely rooting for Landry and Jade by the end of the novel. If you like SciFi, dystopian futuristic, and historical fiction novels, you can’t miss this one.

Star Rating: 
4

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