Word Spelunking


Nomad - J.L. Bryan If you've read my reviews in the past you've probably noticed that I generally stick to middle-grade and young-adult books. I don't read much New Adult. Honestly, I'm not really a fan of most New Adult...but, when I heard that J.L. Bryan wrote a new New Adult book AND it was a cool mix of dystopian and time-travel, I knew it was one New Adultish book that I wasn't going to pass up. And I'm so glad I didn't because Nomad is just as awesome as I hoped it would be.I'm a huge fan of J.L. Bryan's Song of Magic series (which is for younger readers), so I was excited to delve into one of his books for older readers (and Nomad is definitely meant for the older YA and NA crowd), and he continues to impress and enthrall me with his fantastic storytelling and ability to weave entertaining, intriguing stories.Nomad is a gripping, richly complex, and fresh story with a thrilling mix of dystopian and sci-fi and captivating doses of action and romance. I'm always fascinated by time-travel and love when authors aren't afraid to take this concept to some complex and thought-provoking places. So many time-travel premises are severely lacking simply because they aren't well thought-out or their authors create too many plot-holes. In Nomad J.L. Bryan has thought of everything and boldly takes on the concept of time-loops and paradoxes. Bryan's time-traveling premise is so smartly crafted, multifaceted, and anything but simple. For the most part I found the complexity and intricacy of the story to be easy to follow, and certainly intriguing, but at times it could be a bit overwhelming.One of the things I love best about Bryan's writing, is his vivid and layered world-building abilities. Nomad takes place mostly in our present day (Yale University to be exact), with flashbacks (flashforwards?) to Raven's dystopian future. Normally, I'd be frustrated with a book that didn't spend the majority of time in its more intriguing dystopian future, but the way Bryan sets his story mainly in present day and sprinkles brief glimpses into Raven's future throughout, works really well for the story being told; and the world-building of Raven's dystopian future doesn't suffer at all. Bryan is deftly able to create and explore this dystopian future, with more showing than telling, without creating a disjointed flow between the “then” and the “now”. I'd love to read more about Raven's dystopian future though...perhaps in a new book set there... hint hint wink wink Mr. Bryan ;)Raven is a great heroine and I really liked her. She's smart and capable, with an engaging mix of strength and vulnerability, compassion and logic, relatability and badassary. Raven finds herself in an unfamiliar time and place, caught between desire and duty, and has the balls to do what she has to to get shit done. She also finds herself caught up in an unexpected romantic entanglement and I really like what Bryan does with this storyline and where he take its. The interaction between Raven and her guy is amusing and addicting, and the sexytimes are hot and fun.Nomad has a clever and really satisfying ending that brings the story full circle.MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Nomad is an awesomely original and well-written dystopian, with a complex time-travel premise, entertaining story, and J.L. Bryan's signature world-building and witty dialogue. New Adult fans looking for something a bit different, but still craving great characters and sexytimes, will definitely enjoy Nomad.

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