Review: Nomad by J.L. Bryan

Title: NOMAD
Author: J.L. Bryan
Publication: July 26, 2013 by J.L. Bryan Books
Reviewed by:
Reason for Reading:
Ebook provided by author in exchange for an honest review.
They took everything: her family, her home, her childhood.

By the age of nineteen, Raven has spent most of her life in the sprawling slums of America, fighting as a rebel against the dictatorship. When the rebellion steals an experimental time-travel device, she travels back five decades to the year 2013. Her plan: assassinate the future dictator when he is still young and vulnerable, long before he comes to power. She must move fast to reshape history, because agents from her own time are on her trail, ready to execute her on sight.
**WARNING: Minor spoiler alert!** 

How's this for an opening line?
"Her hands were red with blood, but the cold rain washed it away. Whose blood? She couldn't remember."
 The year is 2064 and life sucks!  It's a cruel world where people are imprisoned, beaten and murdered.  A world where most live in fear because of one man, an evil dictator known as Secretary-General of the United States.  Technology and weaponry is advanced.  In fact, it's so advanced that the government is on the verge of completing the first working time-travel machine.

Meet Raven.  A 19-year old revolutionary rebel.  Orphaned at a young age, she grew to loathe the government and its sadistic, tyrannical leader.  She helps organize a group of fighters who will steal the time-travel device before the government can use it for its own nefarious purposes, and she succeeds.  She travels to the past where she intends to assassinate the future leader before he comes into power.  One problem, though.  She awakens in the year 2013 with no memory of the future or her mission.  She must now put together the few clues she has to change the course of history!

I love time travel stories, mainly because I desperately wish I could do it, but even I know that time travel is nothing to sneeze at. It's complicated with its loops and paradoxes and many what-ifs.  I am wholly impressed with J.L. Bryan's take on it.  He explained it in such a way where it made sense, as much as it could anyway, without getting overly scientific or tedious.  It was original and plausible.

Raven is the kind of girl that makes a lasting impression.  She's brave, smart, logical, loyal, and not altogether unrealistic.  She knows what she has to do and isn't afraid to get her hands dirty.  Yet she understands that her actions, no matter how seemingly inconsequential, hold the potential to change the future.  I loved being in her mind as she studied the various situations she found herself in and tried to figure out the best course of action.  I also enjoyed getting to know the year 2013 through her eyes and how simplistic it was compared to her own time.  Makes you think that maybe we don't have it so bad, after all?

Logan, our young future dictator is your quintessential rich, preppy college boy.  He's handsome, charming, and all around good at everything.  He's the very antithesis of what he's to become so upon meeting him, Raven has a difficult time of consolidating this innocent, fun-loving guy with the tyrant that he's to become.  She comes up with a plan to ingratiate herself into his life in an attempt to "change" him and in doing so, learns who the real villain is.

There is so much more to this story than I can put into this review, but suffice it to say that J.L. Bryan has done it again!  Taken a fascinating concept, two in the case of Nomad, and melded them to create a complex, thought-provoking, engaging story that will make your head spin (but in a good way!).

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