Sunder by Kristin McTiernan

Sunder by Kristin McTiernan © 2015

Isabella Jaramillo is her world’s Paris Hilton, the celebrity daughter of a famous industrialist, Alfredo, who invented the time travel system to which the masses flock for entertainment. Isabella lives in an alternative U.S. where the Spanish, rather than the English, were the colonizing influence. How did this happen? Alfredo knows, and Isabella will find out, but only after her rejected husband, Etienne, sabotages her most recent time travel experience to strand her in medieval England with no way back!

The story alternates between Isabella’s struggle to survive in the brutal Dark Ages and Alfredo struggling to locate his beloved, time-lost daughter. A glimmer of hope for Alfredo and Isabella is the appearance of a time front-jumper, Shannan, who met Isabella in the Dark Ages and who also knew Aflredo in more recent times. But Shannan may know too much about Alfredo’s time traveling manipulations to be allowed to live.

Sunder worked best when focused on Isabella’s exciting Dark Ages plight, which the book was mostly devoted to. I would have liked a clearer picture of the world Isabella left behind, and why she was willing to leave it behind, but she was an engrossing character who kept me turning pages long into sleep-deprived nights. It’s a good story with crisp, clear writing, and an ending ripe for a just-as-enjoyable sequel, which I understand is forthcoming.

McTiernan presents sci-fi with heart and layers of intrigue. A definite keeper!

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