Series: The Clay Lion #1
Published by Amazon Digital Services on 3/13
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Source: The Author
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing, Death and Dying)
What if you could go back in time to save the person you love the most?
The rules are simple. If you want to travel back in time, you need to be at least eighteen years old. You can only travel within your own lifespan for a maximum of six months. And above all else, you must never, ever, change the past.
But that's exactly what Brooke Wallace plans to do.
As Brooke faces existence without her beloved brother, his life cut short by a rare disease, she can think of only one solution - travel back in time to prevent his death. However, her attempts at fixing the past challenge her to confront everything she believes to be true about herself. And ultimately, she is forced to discover whether or not we can ever truly be in charge of our own destiny.
The Clay Lion is a time travel story that focuses on the emotional repercussions. When Brooke’s beloved brother dies of a disease that could have been prevented if he’d avoided an unknown trigger, she vows to go back in time and save him. Though the government monitors time travel and doesn’t allow travelers to make changes to their timelines, Brooke is sure that she can outsmart them. She researches her brother’s disease and finds two likely causes – and then she sets off to prevent him from encountering them. However, neither her first attempt or her second attempt at saving her brother are successful (you find this out right at the very beginning of the book, so it’s not a spoiler) and Brooke finds that her actions are causing harm to herself and others around her. She has to decide if she’s willing to risk inflicting more pain or if she can learn to accept the things she cannot change.
What Fed My Addiction:
- Brooke and Branson. I loved the closeness of Brooke and Branson’s sibling bond. These two were typical teenagers but they had a deep, abiding love for each other that ran deeper than we often see in YA books. I could completely understand why Brooke felt like her life was crumbling around her when Branson died and why she would go to such lengths to save him!
- Charlie. Once Brooke (mistakenly) believes she’s saved Branson in her second repeat timeline, she lets go of the tension she’s been holding onto and allows herself to fall for Charlie. Of course, at first she’s a bit nervous at first since she knows she’s changing more than just her brother’s future, but she can’t help herself – and once she’s with Charlie she falls fast. Charlie is extremely sweet, and I loved his relationship with his little sister. Unfortunately, things get complicated between Brooke and Charlie, but I was rooting for them right till the very end. I loved that Brooke kept her promises to Charlie in the end, even when it caused her pain.
- The final repeat timeline. This one was definitely my favorite and shows how much Brooke has grown throughout her experiences – good and bad. I loved the messages in the final section of the book and I thought that Brooke made incredibly mature decisions that brought her to a better place in the end.
- Touch of faith. I loved that Brooke’s religious faith was touched on in this book (but wasn’t a major focus at all). In a story about life and death and fate, the questions that Brooke asks herself about faith fit in seamlessly.
What Left Me Wanting More:
- Some time travel related plot holes that nagged at me.
- One aspect of the plot that I just couldn’t get past was why Brooke didn’t just tell Branson why she didn’t want him to do certain things. After all, everyone knew about time travel, so it’s not like he wouldn’t have believed her if she’d confided in him. She spent so much time trying to get Branson to avoid the things that she suspected may have caused his disease when she could have just told him that she had traveled back through time to help him avoid a terrible fate. Considering how close they were, it seemed like the logical way to do things. But she never considered this avenue, even for a moment – and I didn’t understand why (besides the fact that it would have taken away half the plot of the book). This really bugged me through parts of the book because it was so illogical.
- I also had trouble believing that most people who went back in time supposedly went back without changing anything. First of all, it seems to me that many people would be way too tempted to “fix” something that had gone wrong in their lives, even with numerous warnings about how dangerous it was. It would be really hard to resist, and I can’t imagine that most people would completely manage it. Plus, these people went back and re-lived up to six months of their lives. How could someone possibly re-live six months of their life and keep everything the same, even if they tried to? You couldn’t possibly remember every action you’d taken, all the little things you’d said and done (especially if you went back in time quite a bit). Inevitably, things would change – and tiny changes could have huge repercussions. Unfortunately, I spent much of Brooke’s first trip back in time pondering these things and it took me longer to connect with the book because of it.
Overall, I really enjoyed this bittersweet story about love in all its forms. Though there were a few logistics with the time traveling that gave me pause, I thought this story had a beautiful message, and I definitely plan to read the next book in the series. I went back and forth on my rating for this one, but finally settled on 4/5 stars.
***Disclosure: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
Amalie Jahn has graciously offered to sponsor a giveaway for an ebook copy of The Clay Lion. Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter to enter!
About the Author:
Amalie Jahn is the recipient of the Literary Classics Seal of Approval and the Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal for her debut novel, The Clay Lion. She is a contributing author to Southern Writers Magazine as well as a finalist in the 2015 Kindle Book Awards. A TED speaker, human rights advocate, and active promoter of kindness, she lives in the United States with her husband, two children, and three extremely overfed cats.
When she’s not at the computer coaxing characters into submission, you can find Amalie swimming laps, cycling, or running on the treadmill, probably training for her next triathlon. She hates pairing socks and loves avocados. She is also very happy time travel does not yet exist. Stalk her right here in the present day at these social media sites: