Top 5 Time Travel Thrillers
Guest Post by A.G. Riddle,
author of Lost in Time
What is it about time travel? Why do we love it so much? Is it the twists? The nostalgia? The instant escape from the issues and conflict of the present day?
For me, it’s all of the above. And here are five time travel novels with those ingredients and much more. I hope you enjoy them.
#1: Replay by Ken Grimwood
Main character Jeff Winston dies of a heart attack at age 43. To his surprise, he wakes up in his 18-year-old body, on the campus of Emory University. Thus begins Jeff’s first replay of his adult life.
Written in 1986, this novel may well have been the inspiration for the movie Groundhog Day. At the heart of this brilliant story is a fundamental question I think we’ve all asked ourselves at one point or another: if we could redo our adult life, what would we change?
#2: Recursion by Blake Crouch
Recursion begins as a sort of science fiction mystery: Detective Barry Sutton is investigating a phenomenon called False Memory Syndrome, a disorder in which people remember entire lives that aren’t theirs. While the memories seem to be fake, the consequences for those who suffer from the syndrome are real – madness and death.
As Barry peels back the layers of this intricate mystery, he discovers that perhaps there’s more to these memories than he believed.
Crouch is an amazing author – across his entire catalog – but I especially liked this new take on time travel.
#3: Hyperion by Dan Simmons
I remember reading Hyperion for the first time as a teen and being blown away. It’s an epic story that deftly blurs genre boundaries and expertly weaves the narratives of multiple characters across several time periods (told as a frame story).
As a reader, it sometimes requires more work than your average novel, but the payoff is far greater as well.
I don’t think I can summarize the book any better than the official description:
On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope—and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands.
#4: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
This entry is for those eight individuals who haven’t yet read Matt Haig’s wonderful time travel novel, The Midnight Library.
After a suicide attempt, Nora Seed finds herself in a place called The Midnight Library. A librarian reveals that there are two books she must choose from: one with the life she lived and one with a new life, with all new choices.
So begins an epic adventure of lives not lived, roads not taken—and the unpredictable consequences along the way. The journey is great fun (and good for the soul).
#5: Timeline by Michael Crichton
Timeline does three things that I absolutely love.
First, it blends archaeology, historical fiction, and advanced technology. This confluence sets the novel apart from others in the genre and adds depth.
Second, it features parallel timelines and reveals along the way in each time that keeps you guessing.
Lastly, it’s grounded in accurate history and scientific speculation that makes the story feel more real.
The novel follows a group of graduate students on an archaeological dig in France. The mystery kicks off when they begin finding items that seem to belong to them—but these artifacts are hundreds of years old.
They soon discover that their sponsor–a high-tech company–has been hiding a secret and that they are at the center of it.
Some of the answers are buried in the present. But the ultimate reveal lies in the past.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A.G. Riddle spent ten years starting and running internet companies before retiring to focus on his true passion: writing fiction. His novels have sold over four million copies worldwide and have been translated in 24 languages. Several of A.G.'s works are in development for feature films. He lives in North Carolina. Visit A.G. at agriddle.com.