Book Review: Paris Adrift by E.J Swift


Paris Adrift 1

Synopsis: The Time Machine meets Midnight In Paris

Determined to escape her old life, misfit and student geologist Hallie packs up her life in England and heads to Paris. She falls in with the eclectic expat community as a bartender at the notorious Millie’s, located next to the Moulin Rouge.

Here she meets Gabriela, a bartender who guides her through this strange nocturnal world, and begins to find a new family. But Millie’s is not all that it seems: a bird warns Hallie to get her feathers in order, a mysterious woman shows up claiming to be a chronometrist, and Gabriela is inexplicably unable to leave Paris.

Then Hallie discovers a time portal located in the keg room. Over the next nine months, irate customers will be the least of her concerns, as she navigates time-faring through the city’s turbulent past and future, falling in love, and coming to terms with her own precarious sense of self. 

Author: E.J Swift

Title: Paris Adrift

Publisher: Solaris

Date: 2018

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Paris Adrift sounded an interesting premise, so when I was given the chance to review the book, I took it.

I’m glad I did.

Time-travel. Romance. End of the world.

This book has it all!

Hallie is a 21st Century girl on the run, determined not to go back and live up to the expectations she believes her family have placed on her. But Paris isn’t all it seems: Hallie isn’t all she seems. Hallie is an incumbent, one able to travel through time because of an anomaly that only answers to her in the keg room of the bar she now works at. As the lure of time-travel starts to take over Hallie’s life, she is given the chance to right a few wrongs and stop the future human race from destroying itself.

But I cannot bring myself to make the repairs necessary to avoid it. There is another in my life and it takes all of my energy. The anomaly is a part of me now. It’s in my flesh.

Hallie is a likeable character from the start. She is clearly trying to find herself – a plight that a lot of us can empathise with – and is determined to do the right thing, even when she is terrified and has no idea what is going on. Her reactions to the time-travel are plausible, although she does seem to take it in her stride quite easily.

The secondary characters are all distinct and likeable as well. Leon with his charming grin and Gabriella with her infectious enthusiasm and strange problem where she cannot physically leave the city are Hallie’s two nearest and dearest. There are several others who work at the infamous Millie’s with Hallie, but they are not given as much depth as these two.

I thoroughly enjoyed Paris Adrift and didn’t want to put it down when I got to the final part; I was desperate to see if they were able to save the future, despite the cost to themselves. I knew I was invested in both the characters and the story when I nearly cried at the ending!

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There were a few reasons why I didn’t give it the full five stars though. The opening of the book was really confusing! Starting with the perspective of the anomaly meant I had no idea what was going on. The way time-travel is discussed in the opening also left the reader confused; I didn’t know what they were talking about or how it linked to certain characters. Once the story gets going, however, and Hallie arrives on the scene, everything becomes clear. But it delayed my initial connection to the book.

There is also a lot of French being spoken. While I was proud of myself for remembering/recognising some of it, there were other moments where I was uncertain what was being said and it was never expanded upon. This often occurs with the secondary characters, so it added an additional barrier to understanding them.

I’ve not read a time-travel book like Paris Adrift! I thought the idea was a good one and I really liked the fact they are deliberately trying to change time rather than it being the normal forbidden. An enjoyable read!

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