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The River of No Return

(River of No Return #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  6,169 ratings  ·  1,219 reviews
You are now a member of the Guild. There is no return.

Two hundred years after he was about to die on a Napoleonic battlefield, Nick Falcott, soldier and aristocrat, wakes up in a hospital bed in modern London. The Guild, an entity that controls time travel, showers him with life's advantages. But Nick yearns for home and for one brown-eyed girl, lost now down the centuries
Hardcover, 452 pages
Published April 23rd 2013 by Dutton
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Stephen I emailed the author and she told me the publisher killed the series. Which is tragic, because it's my favorite book. …moreI emailed the author and she told me the publisher killed the series. Which is tragic, because it's my favorite book. (less)

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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  6,169 ratings  ·  1,219 reviews

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Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: time-travel
I almost gave this a five...and then I hesitated. It was wholeheartedly a five until the last 40 or so pages, when I realized that the book would soon be over and yet so much was left unresolved, and it started feeling like someone was taking her time to craft a beautiful, lyrical novel and her editor said "Bee! Wrap it up in 40 pages and turn it in NOW!" and so she did.

Now that I have gone to her website, I have realized that a sequel is planned (but only by exploring some very veiled hints), b
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This has everything I love in a book--getting invited to join a secret cabal! Time travel! Regency romance! Characters who are actual people! Motivations that make sense!

Also, I really appreciated that keeping people ignorant 'for their own good' was something the bad guys do, NOT the good guys.
River of No Return: "He kept her entirely ignorant, inert, like a stone. [...] It is unforgivable."
Twilight, book 4: "Wasn't shielding her more important than answering her questions?"
Harry Pot
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

"We are cowards, really, we time travelers. We cheat death over and over. Jumping away from one story into another. Always pursuing the hope of another day."

In Bee Ridgway’s wonderfully imaginative debut novel, a man and a woman travel through time in a quest to bring down a secret society that controls the past and, thus, the future.
On the cover:

“You are now a member of the Guild. There is no return.” Two hundred years after he was about to die on a Napoleonic battlefield, Nick Falcott, soldie
At the point of death on a Napoleonic battlefield, Nicholas Falcott finds himself jumping forward in time nearly 200 years and in the care of an organisation called The Guild. He doesn’t know how he got there, just that he can never go back. However after 10 years in the modern world he is told that he must do just that – and that the future of the world depends on it.

The cover blurb of The River of No Return compares it to The Time Traveller’s Wife, but as I’m the only person in the Western hem
I must confess my initial interest in Bee Ridgway's debut, The River of No Return, was superficial: I fell in love with the gorgeous cover. The more I read about the premise - a time-travelling historical romance, with an emphasis on the romance - the more dubious I became. Then there's the fact that it has been widely compared to The Time Traveler's Wife, a book I tried three times to read without any success, and A Discovery of Witches, a book I finished but in many ways disliked. All in all, ...more
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
4 stars - It was great. I loved it.

A wonderful story about time travel, secret elite organizations and an enjoyable love story (because don’t all great time travel novels have romance in them?). I don’t often say this, but I am pleased to discover the author is working on a sequel – one I would pick up without hesitation.
Favorite Quote: No man is a man until he is made weak by a woman.

First Sentence: Julia sat beside her grandfather’s bed, holding hi
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It’s always fun to be surprised by a book you never expected to land on your lap. THE RIVER OF NO RETURN was not a book on my radar until one day I received an email that brightened my eyes and made me determined to read this debut by author Bee Ridgway. It’s a book that blends genres to the point where the word genre no longer makes sense – it’s science fiction, historical, romance, action-adventure, mystery, and so much more. And trust me, it might be close to 500 pages, but it gripped me and ...more
He caught her delicious bottom in his hands and brought her gasping against his thighs.

Yes, that is an actual line. Racy, huh?

(I actually read other specimens aloud to my housemates and we all pissed ourselves laughing; but there isn’t room in this wordcount – nor enough sanity left in my body – to list them here in full.)

I am disgusted that I just spent £2.99 on this. (And on a bloody student budget as well!) It’s best to mention that The River of No Return was a book club pick – it’s not s
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The French have a spectacular dessert known as "croquembouche" -- a neatly stacked pile of cream-filled pastry puffs, wrapped with caramelized sugar. Creating it takes a master's skill with pastry dough, egg custards and confectionerie, and a generous dose of patience and attention to detail. "The River of No Return" is a literary croquembouche. Just reading the first page filled me with delight, hunger and a rapacious desire to consume the entire thing, and then two or three more just like it. ...more
Nov 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: gorgeous-covers
There are some genres that I just don't go near. Not because they are bad, necessarily, but because every time I try and read anything set in that time/place/style I end up bored to tears. For example, There's just something about the 1800's that I can't stand being immersed in - somehow I just do. not. care.

So that knocks out the possibility of me enjoying anything vaguely Regency or Victorian (I had to look up those terms to double-check I'm on the right track). I wish I knew why, I really do
Nov 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
A copy of The River of No Return was provided to me by Dutton Adult for review purposes.

Time travel is a tricky subject. It has to make at least a modicum of sense no matter how outlandish you wish the concept to be. River of No Return handled this aspect of the story quite well and managed to create a different form of time travel that I had not personally encountered in novels before. While I believe it to of been managed well it was still one of the more unbelievable
Robbins Library
May 07, 2013 rated it liked it
A lukewarm three stars for this. Though the underlying ideas and the plot itself are truly creative, thought-provoking, and unique, the writing throughout seemed effortful; I never forgot that there was an author writing the story, whereas the best authors make you forget they exist. (I think it was Stephen King whose advice to writers was to use the first word that comes to mind; Ridgway apparently used a thesaurus. From 1815.) However, Nick and Julia were at least somewhat well-rounded (defini ...more
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
The River of No Return was an ARC published by Dutton.

Book Description: “You are now a member of the Guild. There is no return.” Two hundred years after he was about to die on a Napoleonic battlefield, Nick Falcott, soldier and aristocrat, wakes up in a hospital bed in modern London. The Guild, an entity that controls time travel, showers him with life's advantages. But Nick yearns for home and for one brown-eyed girl, lost now down the centuries. Then the Guild asks him to break its own rule. I
Jul 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
Life's too short. It's not that this was a bad book - inventive premise, intriguing world set up - but once things got rolling it just didn't grab me. The level of of spoon-feeding was a little much and as a veteran of plenty of hard time-travel scifi I found it all a bit unengaging, particularly once the romance kicked in. I feel like this book would appeal to people who like light, easy romance, but those seeking a fulfilling time-travel story will likely be disappointed. Not bad, but there ar ...more
May 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
This will be a very blunt and harsh review so be warned.

I got to page 254 and had enough. Much too much sex and references to sex and every word under the sun related to sex. Plus too many f-words and other bad language. The whole concept with the river of time and the time travel was fascinating and I wanted to read on; it's the only reason I got as far as I did. That being said, however, I felt that the author sucked the quality of the story and writing away by miring it all in smut. I am frus
Tim Weed
May 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a fun book. A light-hearted genre mashing romp at bottom, but with such wonderful ingredients, and so ingeniously mixed together!

The ingredients: a mind-bending speculative story of time travel, with all the weird paradoxes, surprising contrasts, and aching separations you could ask for. A robust narrative drive that keeps the pages turning. Well-researched historical detail, judiciously chosen and deftly interwoven to bring the past vividly alive. Beautifully written sentences throughout.
Apr 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It's been several decades since I've read a romance--am really glad I waited for this one. The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway is a really wonderful read. Lots of reviews here give the contours of this glorious mashup historical romance, fantastical time/space traveling. I loved the historical detail that kept on making me ask, really? Yes, really. From the quilling of letters, to the marital practices of early 19th century Britons, to Norwich shawls, to the consumer choices of the contemporary Guild members--all the details s ...more
Angela M (On a little break)
I love time travel stories but this one missed the mark a bit for me . I was hooked in the beginning with Nick's travel from 1812 England to 2013 America and then intrigued with his return to England in 1815. Some where along the way things got a bit convoluted for me . All of a sudden there were too many time travelers, too many questions about who were the good guys - the Guild or the Ofans. I enjoy a twist in the story just as much as the next person but the twists just kept coming .
The best
May 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Book Lovers Inc.

Too many reviewers start by saying that The River of No Return reminds them of Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife. I may be the last lover of time-travel stories that has not read that book.

Instead, The River of No Return reminded me inexorably of the late, lamented Kage Baker’s awesome novels of The Company. Especially the early ones when it was clear that she was still having fun and before Mendoza became such a tragic figure in her own life.

Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard
From a review originally published on The Bookwyrm's Hoard blog.

The River of No Return catches you up within the first chapter and sweeps you along inexorably – into the present, into the past, into a world of truth and lies, trusted friends and double agents, secrets and intrigue. Ridgway seamlessly blends historical fiction, time-travel fantasy, romance, and suspense. The resulting novel is at once broad and personal.

I found Nick an intriguing main character, with his blend of modern and ninet
Lisa Wolf
I'll skip the plot recap and get right to the point: The River of No Return is one terrific read.

This book has so many elements that appeal to me as a reader. It’s part historical fiction, part time travel fantasy, with heaping doses of mystery and romance as well. I was reminded in tone, though not really in content, of Deborah Harkness’s books, A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night — not that The River of No Return has supernatural characters, but rather because of the well-researched his
Jaclyn Day
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I don’t remember the last time I read such a fun book. There is something great about reading a book that’s the perfect blend of mindless romance, historical fiction and adventure—a combination that’s far too rare. I think about early Philippa Gregory (her latest stuff is shit, don’t bother) or Jennifer Donnelly’s Tea Rose series. They’re so fun to read. They’re right on the cusp of being just a TAD stupid but they toe that line for all they’ve got. That’s what makes them such a good time. The R ...more
Jacqueline J
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this very different book. I have to say however that I really hope there will be a sequel. They story ended sort of but the major problem was not resolved. Well anyway I liked the tone of the book. The writing was well done and the feel for the regency era was pretty spot on. In fact it was more in depth than many historicals. While this took place in the regency era it was not a regency. It was a time travel/arcane powers sort of book. So the nitty gritty of 1815 London was mor ...more
Jess The Bookworm
Oct 07, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nicholas is the Marquess of an estate in 19th century England. While fighting in a war he accidently jumps 200 years into the future when he avoids being killed on the battlefield. He is taken in by the Guild, a secretive society who picks up wayward time jumpers and settles them in to their new time period.

He now becomes Nick Davenant, and lives in New York, where he lives the perfect bachelor life with money given to him by the Guild.

One day, the Guild tells him that they need his help and th
May 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
Most time travel books are, in part, historical novels, which means they need to have a degree of verisimilitude to be credible, despite the incredible conceit which drives the story. This book is mostly historical novel, set in Regency England, so the need is even more pressing. Here, unfortunately, the main character, Nicholas Davenant, is meant to be an English aristocrat born in the 18th century, but, even in his portrayal before he becomes acquainted with the 21st Century, has all of the at ...more
Lance Greenfield
Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: time-travel
This book will appeal to most aficionados of the time travel genre. There is quite a lot of originality in the thinking behind the plot and sub-plots. There are conflicts which span time and space; the latter constrained to the surface of planet Earth, of course, but that leaves plenty of scope.

When I was a young lad, reading many books and watching plenty of films, I never had much difficulty in distinguishing the "goodies" from the "baddies." I confess that, having finished this book, I am st
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a whopper of a read 586 pages, but worth the read.
The book is a cross between the stories of Barbra Erskine and Kate Mosse with the 60s cult TV series The Prisoner thrown in for good measure.
At first I thought another historical novel with a parallel to someone in the present day, but this is so different. The cover suggests this book is a “story of love and travel” this is a romantic literary fantasy story and as a fan of the Time Travellers Wife I was intrigued to see if I would enjoy
Maxine Wetherall
Feb 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
“You are now a member of the Guild. There is no return.” Two hundred years after he was about to die on a Napoleonic battlefield, Nick Falcott, soldier and aristocrat, wakes up in a hospital bed in modern London. The Guild, an entity that controls time travel, showers him with life's advantages. But Nick yearns for home and for one brown-eyed girl, lost now down the centuries. Then the Guild asks him to break its own rule. It needs Nick to go back to 1815 to fight the Guild’s enemies and to find ...more
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What I found amazing, particularly for a debut novel, was how well the author captured the early 19th century vernacular. She obviously did her research but was able to express it without "showing it off". I've read some books where the author goes out of his/her way to demonstrate their knowledge of a particular field but ended up making it a distraction to the main story. Not the case here.

As the summary goes, Nick Falcott is transported forward 200 years from an 1815 battlefield. There he lea
Angela Smith
It's a hefty tome. my copy was almost 600 pages long. I love time travel stories so this is what drew me to the book. It does run slow in places, but it still made interesting reading.

Lord Nicholas Falcott is about to die in battle in the 1800's but wakes up in 2013. He finds himself with others from different times and is educated and given a large allowance to live on, but told there are no strings, only to find out that is far from the truth. A shadowy organisation called "The Guild" is at t
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I was raised in Massachusetts, then drifted around from here to there until I finally came to rest in Philadelphia. I teach American literature at Bryn Mawr College, and for fun I read, write, read, cook, read, walk all over my beautiful and dirty city, read . . . THE RIVER OF NO RETURN is my first novel, and the experience of writing it was so overwhelmingly fun that I'm roaring ahead on the sequ ...more

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Science fiction and fantasy have spawned some of the most imaginative plots and settings in existence. Makes sense, given that these genres are...
266 likes · 102 comments
“You know the funny thing about the end of the world, my old friend? We always talk about it as if it hasn’t happened already. Because of course the world has ended many times. And when it ends for some people, other people report it in the papers or on TV as a new beginning.” 6 likes
“No man is a man until he is made weak by a woman.” 5 likes
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