GUSH Review! Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Title: Invictus

Author: Ryan Graudin

Pub. Date: September 26th, 2017

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Publisher:  Little Brown Books For Young Readers

Pages: 464

Formats: eGalley & physical ARC


Time flies when you’re plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

Since finishing up Invictus I’ve gone on a Ryan Graudin video binge on Youtube…this is when I KNOW I love a book! when I can’t let it gooooo! *cue Elsa/Frozen*  well in one of these videos Graudin mentions getting inspiration from Dr. Who and Fire Fly. These are shows I’ve only watched in passing & that now have immense curiosity for after finishing this book. Time travel alone has always intrigued me in Sci-Fi & that’s probably because I love History so much that the idea of traveling back to ancient Rome was SUPER appealing. We get introduced to our MC Farway Gaius McCarthy as he preps to take his final SIM exam to determine whether he is Recorder material. You only get 1 shot to pass this exam & failure means expulsion. Things go haywire during his SIM & Farway is given the boot from the academy. Being the best of the best, Farway knows his exam was tampered with however he has no real way of proving it. Faced with the reality of having all of his dreams of one day commanding his own time travel machine & crew taken away, Farway is quick to accept a offer from a Boss in the black market.

The opportunity: to man his own time travel machine in exchange for his services stealing valuable pieces from the past that will not be missed.

Translation: Stealing valuable pieces that won’t alter history & in turn alert the time travel police.

Farway of course gathers his most trusted friends from the academy and forms his crew to carry out these heists through different periods in time. When I think of my experience reading Invictus, the first word that comes to mind is FUN! popping in & out of time, wearing period fitting costumes, stealing ancient items all the while trying to stay incognito was insanely fun! Besides the awesome plot we get this great set of characters you can’t help but get attached to. I feel Graudin accomplished exactly what she said she set out to do with this crew & that was making them feel like home. By the end of the book I could tell you who was who blindfolded & that just made my reading experience all the more better. In terms of plot pacing I wouldn’t say it was fast paced however, there was never a time something wasn’t happening with one of the characters. There are also elements of parallel universes which I’ll be the first to admit intimidated the hell out of me however, I was able to follow the madness without having to double back haha!

Farway- at the top of his class, he knows he is destined for time travel. He is also well known for being born outside of times parameters. His mother is a Recorder of much fame garnering recognition for her many achievements. The truth about Faraways conception however is one well kept secret. Faraway wants nothing more than to follow in his mother’s footsteps in hopes that it will lead him back to her (trying to be vague here lol). It’s hard not to like Farway, he’s great with his friends aka crew and isn’t scared to take some risks for the sake of time travel 😉

Imogen- I LOVE THIS GIRL! I mean, who wouldn’t love a character who wakes up every day & colors her hair in with different colored chalk? 😂 funny, sweet, always positive, & loves her cousin Farway to pieces! She also keeps a Red Panda fur baby she named Safron who is feisty & offered up a couple of laughs along the way. Imogen is also the Historian on the crew & is in charge of researching the time periods they’ve been sent to steal from in order to dress them all accordingly.

Gram- you can find Gram at his station playing with his rubix cube & or computations to make sure they land in the exact time period desired. He is the Engineer who double majored as a recorder & basically I saw him as a Jack of all Trades. Gram is also a POC & I was glad to see this brought up by him seeing as time traveling may take them to places that would put him in danger. Gram is a very quiet character with a high IQ & the few times he was off the Invictus to aid in a mission I really enjoyed (hope to see more of this).

Priya- The medic on board & also resident beat master, Priya is known for compiling epic playlists. Her spicy Chai tea keeps everyone going & when she isn’t jamming to her tunes she can be found either patching up one of the crew members with stitches OR lending her mechanic skills to the maintenance of the Invictus.

Eliot- This character is SUPER mysterious & carries with her many truths. At first she annoyed the hell out of me but I came around to appreciate her resourcefulness. Without saying too much about this character for fear of spoilers, I will say that she kept things very interesting on board. As the source of Farways frustration I thought Graudin was writing her in as a love interest however, I’m so glad that isn’t the case & that her role is way more interesting than that.

I loved this cast of characters & the dynamic they brought to the page on board the Invictus. Although we don’t get a ton of time to delve deep into each one, I felt Graudin gave us enough to get to know them for their quirks & personalities. If you loved the cast of characters in Gemina, then chances are you’ll also love this crew 😉

Many of my book blogging buddies have recommended Graudin’s books & until now sadly I hadn’t picked one up. I’m so glad I finally listened & found a new favorite. This was a almost 500 page book and yet it didn’t drag & actually left me flipping for more pages knowing very well that I had reached the end LOL! I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the ending & how everything led up to what isn’t necessarily a happy ending but one full of hope…these are always the best in my opinion. I haven’t seen any news of a sequel however, it was left with plenty of room to expand which again leaves me oh so hopeful! haha. In the mean time I have my imagination to conjure up ideas of where this crew could possibly be headed next, although not as good as Graudin, it will have to do 😉

For more Bookish photos, follow Lair Of Books on Bookstagram

*HUGE Thanks to Little Brown Books, Netgalley, and Ryan Graudin in exchange for an honest review.

Hello Bookworms! I’m hoping some of you out there have already read & loved Invictus cuz I am really trying not to fall into a book hangover & need some support lol! who was your fave character? better yet, do you know if Graudin is in her lair writing us a sequel? *fingers crossed*


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29 thoughts on “GUSH Review! Invictus by Ryan Graudin”

  1. YAY! Lilly I am so glad you loved this book, Ryan Graudin is one of my favourite authors and I am a massive fan of time travel books as well so this was a must-read for me, and it more than lived up to my expectations as well which is always nice. 😀
    I definitely got the Doctor Who references in Invictus, that’s one of my favourite TV shows actually. I loved all the characters especially Imogen and Eliot though. I thought it was an incredible group of characters and a beyond incredible story. I was hooked.
    Again great review, do you plan on picking up more of Ryan Graudin’s books now you’ve read and loved Invictus. 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was actually looking out for you to stop by for this post because I know she is one of your fave authors lol. You are one of my blogging friends who have recommended Graudin many times, whelp I finally listened and now I’m kicking myself for sleeping on her books 😫 I NEED ALL OF THEM 🤗 lol. Imogen & Eliot were pretty cool but Imogen to me goes right into my hall of faves 🙌🏼 I’ve never watched Dr. Who purposely but I’ve caught a few episodes here & there. Thank you Beth! & yes, Wolf by Wolf is my next backlist Read 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I always look forwards to her releases. 😀 And yay I’m glad you listened and picked up this book, now you just have to read her others and I’d highly recommend her Wolf by Wolf duology because it is amazing!
        I’m actually watching Doctor Who right now! 😀 It’s one of those shows I watch on and off really, but I definitely got the influences in Invictus which was nice to see.
        That’s all right, and yes you have to let me know what you think as soon as you finish Wolf by Wolf. 😀 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. haha! I’m glad I already own a copy of Wolf by Wolf 🙂 I belive you, I’m sure I will also really enjoy this one since we have very similar taste in books. If I were to start Dr. Who…do I have to start from the very beginning? or is there another starting point I can jump in from? not sure where, but I had heard some where that there is another starting point lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ohh yay, does that mean you’ll be starting it soon as well. 😀
        Yeah we do, and in that case you’re bound to LOVE Wolf by Wolf.
        With Doctor Who I started from the first of the new seasons, with Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor, but I think you can likely jump in. It’s easy enough to catch up. 🙂


  2. Was the book really that long? Hahahaha! You’re right, it didn’t feel that way at all. I completely want hair chalks because of Imogen. It was such a cute detail about her personality. ❤️

    Great review! Now you have me wishing there was a sequel 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you & now I’m laughing! 😂 yes it was def that long 😱 but I def didn’t feel the page count so that could only mean ONE thing! It was AWESOMENESS 😆🙌🏼😂 & yea can we please have a sequel? 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome review twin! The cast of characters, the plot, and world sound utterly amazing! I might just have to give in a buy it. I really hope a second book comes out and that you may devour it as well just like this one lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yesss, I’m so glad you liked this one! This was my first Graudin book too but I can totally understand why so many people love her books.

    Liked by 1 person

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