Marking Time by April White. ★★★1/2
I was debating with myself what rating to give this. Maybe four for the first half, three for the second?
Before I get any farther, I should not that I read the second half in various planes and airports, which might be related to my lessened involvement with the book.
Marking Time follows Saira Elian, a seventeen-year-old tagger who knows parkour. She’s an incredibly cool lead character, and I really enjoyed spending time inside her head. In my experience, young adult fantasy and science fiction often tends to produce heroines who feel essentially the same, but luckily, Saira felt distinctive.
Saira’s in England with her grandmother, after her mother has disappeared yet again, when she suddenly discovers that she can time travel. Her discovery throws her into the hidden world of the Immortal Descendants, people who are descended from one of five anthropomorphic beings. Saira must delve into this world to find out who she is and to rescue her mother from the past.
I had a slight annoyance with the Immortal Descendant set up. It seems that they’ve been existing for all of time, but they’re all described as white Europeans… which leads to the unfortunate implication that only white people can do magic…
Plot wise, there were some really convenient coincidences, the most obvious being how Saira just happens to run into a waitress who turns out to be significant. Do you know how many waitresses there are in London?
This is also yet another book that does the “vampire love interest.” However, since Marking Time also included time travel, he’s shown both as a vampire in the present day and as a rather, well, geeky college student in Victorian times. I preferred the college student. I’ve seen enough vampire love interests to last me a lifetime.
In general, Marking Time felt like a fun, fluffy sort of read. I’d compare it to Chloe Neil’s Dark Elite’s series or Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series (with a more interesting protagonist). Problem is, Marking Time felt too long for a light read. It dragged in some sections and turned out to be over four hundred pages. I’d still recommend it, despite my grievances. It was an entertaining read, and I think fans of the above two series especially would enjoy it.