By Sasha Alsberg
On Sale: June 14, 2022
YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Fantasy/ Epic/Romance
About the Book
Romance, Celtic mythology, and adventure swirl together in this time travel fantasy by #1 New York Times bestselling author, booktuber, and popular Outlander social media influencer Sasha Alsberg.
Fate brought them together. Time will tear them apart.
When a mysterious Scotsman suddenly appears in the middle of the road, Klara thinks the biggest problem is whether she hit him with her car. But, as impossible as it sounds, Callum has stepped out of another time, and his arrival marks the beginning of a deadly adventure.
Klara soon learns she is the last Pillar of Time—an anchor point in the timeline of the world. After being unable to protect the previous Pillar, Callum believes he’s fated to protect her. But now a dark force is hunting the Pillars—and Klara and Callum are the only two standing in the way. They’ll have to learn to trust each other and work together…but they’ll need to protect their hearts from one another if they’re going to survive
I had no idea who Sasha Alsberg was when I had the chance to join the blog tour for Breaking Time. I didn’t know she was a Booktuber/Instagrammer/content creator. The book just sounded like a dandy read. I do enjoy a good time travel story, after all, and my goodness, that gorgeous cover would draw anyone in. So my thoughts on the book aren’t affected by Ms. Alsberg’s internet presence or reputation.
It reminds me of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. The name similarity – Claire and Klara – caught my attention right off the bat. But thankfully, Breaking Time is not an Outlander clone. Clearly very heavily inspired by Outlander, but not a carbon copy.
Klara has returned to Scotland following her mother’s death, where she is helping her father run an inn. When a man appears unexpectedly in the road ahead of her, her immediate concern is whether she hit him. But it soon turns out she’s got bigger worries. The man, Callum, has traveled forward in time from the 1580s, and Klara is in danger.
Callum feels like he failed his friend Thomas in his own time when he couldn’t save Thomas from a killer. Now he thinks it’s his job to protect Klara, who is being pursued by the same dark entity. Klara is the last remaining Pillar of Time, and if her pursuer is able to take her out, it means a whole lot of bad things for life as we know it.
Things I enjoyed about the book: Time travel is always fun to play with. It’s interesting to see how Alsberg set hers up as compared to how other authors design it. Here, “thin places” in the world allow for time travel. Not stones, as in the Outlander series, but historical points of interest. Klara is a likeable young woman, and I appreciated the way that Alsberg presented and dealt with her neurodiversity in the form of dyslexia. And I really liked her grandmother! I wish we’d seen more of her character in the book.
Things I didn’t like: Having Callum’s Scottish accent written out was distracting. Knowing where he was from, I could have imagined it for myself just fine. The fact that he sometimes fell out of his accent didn’t help. He also seemed to generally accept his sudden time shift fairly easily, without a tremendous amount of confusion or suspicion about modern conveniences.
I don’t entirely understand WHY it was that he came to be transported into Klara’s time. Was it just happenstance, in the wrong place at the right time, and he just happens to have knowledge of events with Thomas that give him some insight into Klara’s situation? If that’s the case, that’s a lot of coincidence, that he’d end up in proximity to not one but two Pillars of Time (which I reckon aren’t all that common). And for the love of goodness, would a major library not have some security for its special collection books?! Pretty sure it would, but this one, apparently, did not.
And unless I’m missing something, Arianrhod is from Welsh mythology. The story takes place in Scotland. Scotland is not Wales. I’m not an avid student of Celtic mythology, and I get that country boundaries are not always firmly fixed. But it seems odd to use a goddess from the Welsh pantheon to give Klara, in Scotland, her special powers. Likewise, it seems odd that another Welsh figure, Llaw, would be made the Big Bad in Scotland. Maybe the Pillars of Time are worldwide, and so the forces involved don’t all have to be associated with the same location. I just wasn’t really expecting Welsh names in a book with a Scottish setting.
Klara’s maturity level is about what you’d expect from someone of an age to be considering college. It’s billed as YA, so that makes sense. The writing style was easy to read, and I didn’t have to focus deeply to follow the story.
Best book I’ve ever read? No, but it also isn’t the worst. It’s fair to middling, three stars. There’s clearly a setup for a sequel, but I haven’t decided yet if I’m interested enough in the outcome to keep reading. It’s a fun bit of brain candy, if you’re looking for a light, easy read for the summer.
Disclaimer: I received an advance review copy from Inkyard Press and NetGalley. All opinions here are mine and I don’t say nice things about books I don’t actually like.
About the Author
Sasha Alsberg is the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Zenith, the first book in The Androma Saga. When Sasha is not writing or obsessing over Scotland, she is galavanting across social media with her two dogs, Fraser & Fiona. Sasha lives in London, England.
Author website: https://www.sashaalsberg.com/