Unlike most teenagers who seem, at one time or another, to think they're having a bad decade, Elizabeth, the heroine in the History of the Timelaws, takes most of normal life in stride. She probably has to, since in 1981, at 15, she's already been orphaned and has her mind on bigger things, like jumping ahead in time to 2184 and wielding her considerable magical powers to save the world from evil wizards. When the future Timelaws are broken, disastrous changes put Liz and everyone she loves at risk, and she can't even be sure what changes the breaks have created, and how much she can trust her memory.
That paradoxes and alternate timelines as history is changed are a good part of the fun of this time-tampering story, although they can necessitate some convoluted plotting when the characters are in the middle of it. For the most part History of the Timelaws keeps it comprehensible, but it's not easy when the action is fierce and changes are happening at a rapid pace.
Liz' story, which Liz herself narrates, is further complicated by her relationships with her two (nonmagical, 20th century) brothers and her boyfriend who happens to be her subordinate in the chain of command of the magical Darks. A few aliens are thrown in as her allies, since the Dark/Wizard conflict is universal.
I enjoyed almost all of this imaginative wild ride back and forth through time. Liz is a thoroughly believable and likeable character with a highly developed sense of responsibility, a trait I especially value. The action scenes are credible once the reader accepts the premise of magical powers. And the relationships between Liz and her brothers rang true.
There are a few editing issues that I'm sure will be resolved with time.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes YA fantasy and time-travel fiction.
I received a gift copy of this book in exchange for an honest, non-reciprocal review.