Disclaimer: I received a free ebook of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
A Time to Reap (The Legend of Carter Gabel #1) by Jonas Lee is a young adult science fiction novel that follows teenager Carter Gabel on the most difficult and exciting adventure of his life (thus far). Carter has the ability to travel through time, an inherited trait and one which the government monitors closely in individuals. Like Carter, Mo is a teenager with powers, only hers are telekinetic. As Carter’s and Mo’s abilities develop, the government becomes more interested in them, and they must go to great lengths to protect themselves and those they love.
A Time to Reap is one of the funniest novels that I have read in a long time. Lee’s narration reads like the authentic thoughts of a teenage boy, and it moves smoothly between moments of awkwardness, tenderness, and hilarity. Carter balances moments of tension and danger with funny thoughts and snappy dialogue that lighten the mood and contrast cleverly with the novel’s dark antagonists. Because the novel takes place in the future, it is also filled with modern day (1980s to present) movie and music references that will make any culture buff smile.
Perhaps the best part of the novel is the relationships between the three main characters. Carter and Mo have a natural chemistry that simultaneously encapsulates the light-hearted puppy love of puberty and the mature understanding of life partners. Likewise, Carter and his mother have a wonderful dynamic, and they feel both like mother and son and like friends. To complete the triangle, Mo and Carter’s mother develop a touching friendship as the novel progresses.
As is the case with many science fiction novels, A Time to Reap is very high concept. There are several different types of “supernatural” powers, complex rules for how these powers operate, and multi-tiered governmental systems. At times, all of these elements can be a bit confusing. Whenever these were explained, I found myself having to slow down to really focus on the text. However, despite my best efforts to find plot holes or contradictions, all of the rules and systems are solid.
Without giving away the plot of the novel, I can say that it is fast-paced and full of twists. As new characters and information emerge, the plot grows more complex and will keep readers engaged and guessing. There is rarely (I would argue never) a dull moment. The ending of the novel wraps up the main plot points; however, it also introduces enough of a cliffhanger to make readers anxious to read book two.
A Time to Reap by Jonas Lee is authentic, charming, heartfelt, and fun. It evenly balances the self-discovery of being a teenager with the complexity of science fiction and the danger of life-or-death struggles. If you love science fiction, appreciate a little romance, and have a good sense of humor, you will adore this novel.
If you are interested in reading A Time to Reap and would like to help sponsor my writing and research, you can purchase it at my Amazon Associates Store. By doing this, you will not pay a cent extra, nor will the author receive a cent less, but I will receive a small commission on the sale. Simply click the book’s title or the book’s image.