Jena Henry's Reviews > A Shape on the Air

A Shape on the Air by Julia Ibbotson
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really liked it

A Shape on the Air is a time travel romance with a fascinating plot and intriguing use of characters. In the book blurb, the author posits that “this is a novel that asks: is there still ‘magic’ in the world?”

I am not sure of the answer to the question of magic, as the book presents a plausible scientific explanation for the time travel. But there is plenty of magic between the characters, and certainly an other-worldly aspect.

Dr. Viv DuLac is a professor of medieval times, studying Beowulf when the book begins. She has a lovely life at school, and at her pleasant apartment in a peaceful village in England. When her partner inexplicably turns hateful and dumps her, Viv’s life is ruptured.

Perhaps the shock of her loss triggers what happens to her next- she slips through time to 499 A.D. In what I thought was a really nifty approach to the story, Viv becomes Lady Vivienne and people from her modern life also appear in her 499 A.D. life. Some are friends and some are enemies, “but something is calling across the centuries and times.”

The author does a stunning job of setting up the time travel so that it makes sense. As the handsome Vicar/Knight explains- it appears that they are able to pass from one dimension to another. “There is a tear in the fabric of the universe where two worlds can touch.”

All of the characters are memorable, whether modern or medieval. A key, crucifix and chest are important elements. Much action and adventure make for a consuming and exciting read. (Although at time I felt rather sorry for Viv/Lady Vivienne because both her lives because so dangerous and exhausting!) The romance is satisfying. The time period and lifestyles of 499 A.D. were fascinating. If you like Time Travel and Romance, this book is a great way to make the time pass!

Thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for a digital review copy. This is my honest review.


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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
December 22, 2019 – Shelved

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