Cover Image: In the City of Time

In the City of Time

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Member Reviews

I enjoyed this book I liked the representation of polyamory in this book. I loved the adventure and friendships made along the way.

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I liked the diverse cast of characters, especially Saudade (an android) and Willa (a woman plucked out of the 1890s). Riley and Jaideep have a great relationship, and I love their back-and-forth. Riley and Jaideep are going back in time to try and prevent a crisis that took Jaideep’s family and is destroying the Earth. They are willing to be erased from existence if they can prevent the cataclysm. But they didn’t plan for murderous android time agents or a mind-bending conspiracy. This book is full of danger and excitement, but some concepts are confusing (pocket universes - using a handwritten or computerized script to create artificial worlds). There are ethical questions, threats of paradoxes, contradictions, and mind-blowing concepts. If you like your sci-fi with time travel, this book is for you.

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"In The City of Time" left me feeling somewhat disappointed as it fell short of my initial expectations. While the premise held promise, the execution left much to be desired, and I couldn't help but wish for a more in-depth development of the storyline. The characters, though likable, lacked that crucial connection for me, failing to leave a lasting impact.

The novel does manage to present an interesting plotline, but it suffers from poor execution that hinders its full potential. Moreover, the characters felt somewhat hollow and underdeveloped, leaving me yearning for more depth and complexity.

Despite these shortcomings, I recognize the potential in Gwendolyn Clare's writing and storytelling abilities. Although "In The City of Time" may not have been my ideal read, I remain curious and eager to explore her other works. Perhaps in different narratives, Clare's talents will truly shine, and I'm hopeful for more engaging and captivating stories in her future releases.

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I really tried with this one. I thought the premise sounded interesting. Then I started reading and found myself with a narrative that read like a science textbook with a little bit of narrative to go along with it. The synopsis mentions that this book is set in the same world as another series by Clare. I wonder if a lot of the world-building that Clare assumed the reader has read the previous series and thus spends absolutely no time on things that absolutely confused me. I could potentially read the rest of it and it would not take much time at all. However, I have no desire to push myself to read a book that I know will end up with a rather low rating. (DNF'd at 44%)

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book.

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The characters were interesting and vivid. The universe felt familiar yet unique in its own way which made for a really seamless reading experience.

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I was unable to provide review due to time constraints of me starting college. I look forward however to reading this book in the future simply as a fan, not a reviewer.

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This was...entertaining enough, I suppose. It lacks substance in many ways.

LGBT friendly, also features a polyamorous relationship which is something I've not seen done in a book previously (not saying it hasn't been done, this is the first time I read such a book)

Honestly not sure if there are content warnings for this book unless mild gun violence and two females kissing would bother you

I thought of the ending I hoped the book was working toward shortly before the end. It wasn't. I guess my preferred ending would have been a mismatch with the tone

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Willa Marconi has been doing research in a laboratory at the University of Bologna in 1891 when her mentor at the school dies unexpectedly. Without her mentor's support she risks losing her access to the lab, her stipend, and all her research to date. But when she discovers a strange signal while using her radio equipment, she fights to hang on to her research.

Fast-forward about 140 years - 2034 and the Earth has become uninhabitable. Humans exist only in pockets of artificial worlds which are often on the verge of collapse. Jaideep lost his parents when the Bay Area pocket collapsed and now Riley will do anything to help Jaideep, including making a time machine to travel back in time to prevent the catastrophic event that caused the Earth's devastation.

Something goes wrong, however, and instead of Riley and Jaideep going back in time, Willa is pulled forward with them and the three of them are stuck in an abandoned city with an android time-cop hunting them and only a faulty time-machine to help.

This book is set in the same universe as author Gwendolyn Clare's Ink, Iron, and Glass books (the first of which I reviewed three years ago), but you don't have to have read those books to enjoy this.

Clare has done a nice job of providing us with post-apocalyptic science fiction story, mixed with some time-travel, featuring some pretty resourceful teens.

The teen characters make-or-break this novel (since there aren't many characters beside them), and they are definitely a nice trio of diversity with some mad skills and witty banter that should endear them to teen readers. The time cop is also a powerful character in its own way, but I couldn't help but constantly picture the cop from the Terminator movie.

Looking for a good book? In the City of Time by Gwendolyn Clare is a nice diversion and for fans of time-travel science fiction a quick yet satisfying read.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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This is a fantastic twisting tale of time travel! I'm always Leary of time travel books because I do not like groundhog day esque sequences. In the City of Time is not only wonderfully written, it's also one of the best time travel stories I've read!

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In the City of Time by Gwendolyn Clare, with its plot about three geeky young scientists and time travel, should be a novel I adore because I love it when stories get all nerdy and scientific. Unfortunately, I do not love when authors make up entirely new laws of science to explain their science fiction, which is precisely what Ms. Clare does in this latest novel. Her explanations of time travel are so far from scientific that I could not even begin to understand what she was trying to say. Sadly, her scientific explanations were not the only issues I had with the novel. Her use of polyamory feels a little opportunistic; it feels like Ms. Clare jumped onto the inclusive bandwagon without considering whether it is the right thing for the characters. That particular relationship doesn't even feel like a romantic relationship to me but rather more like best friends with occasional benefits. And I don't believe that someone from the 1800s would be 100 percent okay with polyamorous relationships and willingly enter into one after only a few minutes of thought. The lack of science alone made me hesitant to pick up In the City of Time every day. Add in the questionable inclusion choices, and it all made for a novel that was a slog to read.

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I love a crazy time travel story and this one surprised me by starting from the future with our heroes trying to go back to course correct when the world was almost destroyed. The sci-fi "how" of things was confusing so I gave up trying to fully understand the timeline and just followed along for the fast-paced adventure. I admit that I haven't read the companion series that came first, so that could be why I sometimes felt unsure on details. Either way, the twisty plot was still enjoyable. I liked that the characters were diverse and felt like individuals, though my favorite character was Willa and how she was willing to help her new friends despite constantly being the fish out of water. I definitely would like to take the author's advice to go back and read the companion series as well as the second book in this duology.

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A big thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for gifting me an eArc in exchange for an honest review.

Time travel. It be real cray. Especially when you're also dealing with alternative realities, and pocket dimensions. Time can really end up being a big ball of wibbly wobbly time wimey.....stuff.

In the City of Time by Gwendolyn Clare is a YA sci-fy book that combines the elements of time travel and pocket dimensions, in a neat and unique way. In the year 1891, Will has just been kicked out her big time gig at the University of Bologna when her mentor suddenly dies. And because she is a women of science, all of her funding and lab get taken away. But she refuses to let her research go to waste. Meanwhile, in 2034, the world is a hot mess with alternate realities and pocket worlds due to a great cataclysm that decimated most of humanity. Yet, Riley will do anything to help her beloved Jaideep, including breaking the very space time continuum to hopefully stop the cataclysm at the source. But in reality, Riley somehow pulls Willa and strand them in an isolated world unlike their own.

So in simple words, it all gets complicated.

Clare does an excellent job, in creating world both like our own and not. While not making it all over complicated. But I loved how morally driven the characters were. As they were constantly faced with the fact at their actions had consequences, whether they liked it or not.

But overall, this book is not for anyone who isn't a hardcore sci-fy fan. Mainly because a lot of spoiler reasons.

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I honestly found myself a bit lost during this book, likely because I had no idea that this took place in a universe that had been introduced in other books (which is admittedly my own fault). But because of this I felt like there wasn't as much world building/explanation of the universe as I wanted, which made me feel like I was missing some of the details in the story.

I think that if I read this after reading the other series, I would have really enjoyed it. It was definitely a YA book but I found it dealt with important themes and had good representation throughout the story. It was a fun plot, set all throughout time, and I tried to just read along and let the story unfold rather than focus on getting a 100% understanding of exactly what was happening and how everything worked. By the end, I think everything was clear and any of the details I may have lost along the way didn't take away from it too much.

Overall a fun, slightly confusing, sci-fi/time travel book with a good plot. I will definitely pick up the sequel to see where the story goes once that comes out.

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I will be honest I am 100% lost with this book. I will admit that I have never read another book in this series, so this maybe my own fault. I feel like the plot jumps everywhere, and characters are sometimes hard to keep track of. Now I understand that this is a time travel book so jumping everywhere is to be expected, yet I don’t like how it is handled overall and as a reader it just kept me confused for most of the book. I will say that I love Willa. Any part of the story with Willa seemed to keep me engaged and I didn’t feel quite as lost as to what was going on. I think if you have read books in this series, you will love this book and writing style. For me personally it was a miss, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t recommend it to anyone who has read books in the series or are looking for a time travel series in general.
Thank you so much to Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and Netgalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of this title.

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Did you guys know that this was a companion series to another of the author's series? True story, I hadn't a clue! The author explains this at the start, and she was definitely not lying when she said you could read this series all on its own, because I did, and I definitely enjoyed it!

Here's the thing, and where you might want to read her other series first: I didn't quite understand how they made up these new worlds (apparently, via something called scriptology. And perhaps that is properly explained in the first series. But I just kind of went with it, and it turned out fine.

Because this book isn't really about that, for the most part. It starts there, but then it goes in a very different direction, where our main characters are basically time fugitives. It's a very thought provoking premise really: do you try to change the past at the risk of completely obliterating the current future? Our main characters spend a lot of time pondering the moral ramifications of their decisions, which makes complete sense, and is really necessary. They are also taking huge risks with their own personal lives, as they could quite literally no longer exist if the timeline gets too messed up.

I also loved that all of the characters really grew as people during their journeys. They all find out a lot about themselves as they undertake these massive challenges. They also spend some time exploring their relationships with each other, which is great. The whole story is very exciting and high octane, as well as high stakes. Not only are the stakes impossibly high for our characters, but for Earth at large, which makes the story even more gripping.

Bottom Line: Gotta love moral dilemmas that could change the fate of the world!

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The premise of this book was so interesting that I requested this ARC but once I started reading, this book was just not for me. Maybe I would have liked it a bit more if I had read Clare's previous duology set in the same universe but I haven't so, yeah, just didn't get into it and the crazy paradoxes of time travel.

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I would describe this book as a young adult time travel French farce. Characters are constantly popping in and out of portals in different locations and different time periods. The action is fast and furious. There are themes of polyamory, trans gender, and whether artificial life forms can choose to be good or evil. Our intrepid heroes are trying to prevent a cataclysm even at the risk of removing themselves from existence. This book is part one of a duology by Gwendolyn Clare. I didn't previously read her series; Ink, Iron, and Glass, The author recommends reading it before the second book in this series is published, so I will do that. If you enjoy time travel with all of its contradictions, you will love this book. There are a lot of mind blowing concepts.

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“‘At this point, I’m probably one of the world’s foremost expert on temporal theory,’ Riley said— not a brag, just a statement of fact.”

In the City of Time follows three prodigies on a mission to save the Earth, hoping not to destroy it themselves. The rest of my thoughts get kind of spoiler-y. If you’re a sci-if fan, I would definitely recommend this book! As someone who is decidedly not a sci-fi fan, this book fell kind of flat for me. When your favorite sci-fi book is also your favorite book of all time (which sounds a little contradictory but bear with me), it gets hard to find anything to get nearly that enjoyable. There wasn’t anything I notably disliked that made this book unbearable, so overall it’s a 3/5 for me! The characters were interesting and lively. I think the reason I wasn’t as into it as others is that I’m not familiar with the universe (and other books in said universe) this book is set in, but I’ll definitely check the rest of them out!

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This book is one of my most anticipated read of this year. And it didn’t disappoint. I freaking devoured this book and loved, loved it so much!! I was hooked on to the story since the beginning and till the very end. I loved the world building, and the characters were fun, adorable and entertaining that I can’t help but live vicariously through them. Gaahh I wish I could read it for the first time again. So, in a nutshell, it was a full 5 stars read for me

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