Seventeen-year-old tagger Saira Elian can handle anything … a mother who mysteriously disappears, a stranger who stalks her around London, and even the noble English grandmother who kicked Saira and her mother out of the family. But when an old graffiti tag in a Tube station transports Saira to the nineteenth century and she comes face-to-face with Jack the Ripper, she realizes she needs help after all.
Saira meets Archer, a charming student who helps her blend in as much as a tall, modern American teen can in Victorian England. He reveals the existence of the Immortals: Time, Nature, Fate, War, and Death, and explains to Saira that it is possible to move between centuries – if you are a Descendant of Time.
Saira finds unexpected friendships at a boarding school for Immortal Descendants and a complicated love with a young man from the past. But time is running out for her mother, and to save her, Saira must embrace her new identity as she hides from Archer a devastating secret about his future that may cost him his life.
I read this book back in 2014. I remember it still. It was just before the sequel came out and I lost track of the series. That's an oversight I'll be correcting. Here's your invitation to the world of Clockers and the other Immortal Descendants. Time isn't what - or who - you think. – Nathan Lowell
"The thick pretzel of a plot involving Immortal lineages—Time, Nature, War, Fate, and Death—and their super-powered Descendants is fabulously unique ... A rich, satisfying mix of romance, horror, and time travel."– Kirkus Reviews
"With a solid premise and a fully fleshed-out lead, this fast-paced fantasy thriller will keep readers on the edge of their seats."– Library Journal
"The writing here is excellent. This well-plotted book starts with a bang and doesn't slow down until the very end."– The BookLife Prize
"Wonderful and fresh. White's innovative take on historical events will reel readers into this ever-evolving world of intrigue."– RT Reviews
"An enthralling mystery, wrapped in a thriller, tied with a romantic bow."– LitBuzz Reviews
"April White's expert world-building, addictive action, and compelling characterization made Marking Time impossible to put down."– Elizabeth Hunter, best-selling author of the Elemental Mysteries
"From the moment I started reading Saira's story I was hooked. The characters, the places, the villains, the history, the adventure, the dialogue, the romance, the drama... I've truly loved it all."– Urban Fantasy Investigations
"Consider this. You are a child of Time. Others are children of Nature, War, Fate, and even Death."
I stared at him, barely comprehending his words. "You mean like Time and Death are people?"
I scoffed. "I know who my mother is, and she's definitely not immortal."
"When I say child of Time, I actually mean Descendent. As I understand it, the Immortals have created Family lines that stretch thousands of years. Within those Families exist the traits of the Immortals themselves. You can travel across time. That ability came from either your mother or your father." Archer was watching me carefully.
I shook my head. "My parents are just regular people."
"From whom did you get the name Elian?"
"It's my mother's maiden name. My dad died before I was born."
He nodded. "Then it's most likely your mother who travels. Elian is one of the old families of Time."
I glared at Archer. "How do you know any of this?"
He sighed. "I don't think I can tell you that."
"Right! You can tell me I'm a time traveler and you claim there's such a thing as Immortals, but you can't tell me how you know any of it?"
"Everything I've said is true." He sounded frustrated. Well, too bad. I was way worse than frustrated.
"I need to get back home." It was a statement with so many possible meanings; I wasn't totally sure which home I meant. I started to walk away, but Archer's voice stopped me.
I spun angrily. "What."
"I'd like to help you."
That simple sentence rocked me back like a blast of wind. Other people didn't do things for me. I took care of myself. Even my mother hadn't been able to do more than make sure we had a roof and food since I got old enough to realize no one else we knew moved every two years. And then it was easier to just stop knowing people. My eyes filled with tears and it appalled me. I bent to re-tie my boot laces until I could get myself back under control.
"Where did you come through?"
"Come through?" I stalled with the laces until my traitorous emotions were in check.
"As I understand it, Clockers come through portals. I'm not entirely sure how it works, as the families are very close-mouthed about their particular gifts, but apparently there are physical places that Clockers can open in order to move through time."
"Open? How?" Since when was I not completely denying the possibility of time travel?
Archer shrugged. "I don't know. I've never seen it done."
My brain was going a mile a minute about everything that had gone down in the last four days. I felt like the answers were there, I just needed to sift through the madness to find them. I sat on a low wall and Archer dropped down next to me.
"Saira?" His eyes were full of concern.
"I'm fine. I just need to think."