I love books, movies and TV series about time travel. The Back to the Future trilogy are some of my all-time favourite movies and I love Doctor Who. I love a good wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey story, especially when it’s fresh and unique. Thalia Kalkipsakis’ new book, Lifespan of Starlight, is exactly that and it’s incredibly exciting!
It already lies dormant within you: the ability to move within time. In 2084, three teenagers discover the secret to time travel. At first their jumps cover only a few seconds, but soon they master the technique and combat their fear of jumping into the unknown. It’s dangerous. It’s illegal. And it’s utterly worth it for the full-body bliss of each return. As their ability to time jump grows into days and weeks, the group begins to push beyond their limits, with terrifying consequences. Could they travel as far as ten years, to escape the authorities? They are desperate enough to find out. But before they jump they must be sure, because it only works in one direction. Once you trip forwards, there’s no coming back.
Lifespan of Starlight is an amazing book that had me hooked from start to finish. Thalia’s vision of time travel is unlike anything I’ve come across before, which is what hooked me in. Thalia builds the suspense and tension throughout and I had to keep reading to find out how it would end.
Scout is an illegal. She has lived her life sharing her mother’s food and water rations and living ‘off the grid.’ If anyone found out that she was illegal she’d be in serious trouble. Her life changes forever when she finds a strange woman in her sanctuary (a secret cave in a park), a woman who takes her last breath just minutes after Scout meets her. This woman has the chip of a citizen and Scout takes it, hoping it will give her opportunities she’s never had before. However, when Scout trawls back through the woman’s history, there are gaps where she seems to disappear for large chunks of time. Scout’s search for the truth of the woman’s identity leads her to Mason and Boc, two teenage guys who believe she holds the key to time jumping. Scout sets up a new life for herself using her newly acquired chip and life starts to look up. As Scout and her friends start to understand time jumping they become able to time jump for longer and longer, from minutes to hours to days. The more they test the limits though, the more dangerous things become, until they have to make a huge decision.
Unlike so many sci-fi books for teens there is no romance in Lifespan of Starlight. This means there is no complicated relationship to get in the way of the story. The difficult decisions that Scout has to make mainly relate to her mum. Her mum has helped protect her and made sure that she has everything she needs to survive, so Scout has to think about how her time jumps affect her mum. When Scout gets the chip her main thoughts are how she can repay her mum for all the food she has shared with her.
Thalia leaves you on the edge of your seat with a cliff-hanger ending. I certainly can’t wait to read the second book in the trilogy!