Now, before I start this review, I'm going to say something I think you should hear more often. If you find a book I show intriguing, don't read the whole review. Maybe just the first paragraph, look at the cover and the grade, see if you're interested, and go to another website, or preferably another review, cause I sometimes accidentally spoil too much, especially when it's a book this good.
There's this gene called Factor X which identifies you as one of the Circle of Twelve, a big herd of relatives in different families but near the family tree and in different times, which must have a little portion of blood. The similarities. They're always female and born on a special part of the year. Once all twelve are put into the chronograph, the...well, it's a time travel machine of some sort, one that's powered by Factor X blood. Confusing and weird, right? Also, this is actually the SECOND chronograph in existence. The other was stolen by these children. But that's not all. The gene was always supposed to be Charlotte's, and now all of a sudden...it's not her. It's her relative Gwendolyn Shepherd! It's actually Gwenyth who's the gene carrier! Charlotte and her partner Gideon are very, very unhappy at this sudden change; so is Gwen's mom who may've had something strange to do with this,
Kerstin Gier must have been a big student of history and science, because she seems thoroughly accurate in the lovely descriptions of these dates, as well as the prospect of having firearms, cellphones or even pepper spray (that part was actually funny) invented in a later century. Not only that, she has singlehandedly taken the time travel fiction genre to an all new height. There's also a side story with the philosopher's stone, but it's not clear what part of the story that's for...yet. Infact, this movie doesn't really tell you much on the chronograph or the mystery, but it gives you hints and makes you captivated to find out. Also, this is something rather new in books for me; there is more than one time where Gwyneth is asked to remember something, like a password for a certain year or a certain detail on an explanation, and whether or not we are completely immersed in her world, whether we're thorough or fast readers, we all forget things we read. And Kerstin Gier shows us that's okay. Several times Gwyneth forgets the password and says "Thingy" or something instead. And it is quite hilarious.
Really, if Back to the Future teamed up with Monster by Mistake and added a sprinkle of the Airhead book series, this is what would be brought out of the oven. And quite the nice characters. There's a ghost that's over two centuries old that has a last name that sounds like PimpleBottom and has a personality that seems to be stern but helpful, and there may be a lot of different side characters but the more the story went on, the more I could picture them fine enough without them being distracting. Something that's also not distracting is the time travel element. Whenever the science behind it got a little complicated, it was fun to get straight and I liked how Gier made sure what the characters said represented the right timeline.
If I had to say something I moderately disliked, I may have to say that sometimes, people think so little of Gwenyth and it can be a little annoying, but it reminded me sort of the training from the first Cherub book only right because it shows that sometimes you don't need seven months or years of training to be good at a job. The ending left me panting and in great excitement for the next book, Sapphire Blue.