Review – Alice Payne Rides by Kate Heartfield

Alice Payne Rides

Book Title: Alice Payne Rides

Book Description: Alice Payne returns in the thrilling sequel to Kate Heartfield’s Alice Payne Arrives. After abducting Arthur of Brittany from his own time in 1203, thereby creating the mystery that partly prompted the visit in the first place, Alice and her team discover that they have inadvertently brought the smallpox virus back to 1780 with them. Searching for a future vaccine, Prudence finds that the various factions in the future time war intend to use the crisis to their own advantage. Can the team prevent in international pandemic across time, and put history back on its tracks? At least until the next battle in the time war…

Book Author: Kate Heartfield

Book Format: Paperback

Date published: 2019-03-05

  • Writing - 9/10
  • Development - 8.5/10
  • Overall - 8.75/10
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Review – Alice Payne Rides by Kate Heartfield


Alice Payne Rides is the second novella in the Alice Payne series by Kate Heartfield. You may remember the review we did on the first novella back in December. The series continues here with the same characters and of course, the same level of time traveling chaos and shenanigans.

Everything moves forward in the second novel, the plot, the character development, and the complexity. One can only imagine what the next few novellas are going to end up being like.

Alice Payne has been an enjoyable series so far. The characters are strong, stubborn, and compassionate all rolled into one. They never waver when presented with complex or disturbing situations, and their overall attitude can be very endearing at times. For that reason alone this series is worth reading. Throw time travel into the mix, and you’ve got a great story already.


Kate Heartfield did a brilliant job of following the groundwork she laid for herself back in the first novella. She builds upon the plot introduced in Alice Payne Arrives, and better yet she takes the time to develop all the characters already introduced.

The plot moves along at a rapid pace, just as before, and it always feels like something is going on. The constant jumps in time probably don’t hurt with the pacing of course. I did appreciate that all the different points in time were clearly delineated and marked upon. It made it a bit easier to keep up with everything that was going on.

In some ways, Alice Payne Rides surpasses the original novella. We didn’t have to spend any time being introduced to the characters or the core of the plot. Instead, we were able to jump right into the antics. And trust me, there were quite a lot of them.

Kate Heartfield wove real moments of time with her fictional moments, and the end result was this fascinating science fiction novella. It’s easy to understand how time travelers could get mixed up with all the changes they can bring upon the timeline.


Alice Payne Rides progressed quickly from a casual read to an intense one with stakes. We went from watching our characters chat and hop time to events they felt to be personally important, to actively trying to prevent others from meddling in what they’ve done.

This switch helped to show us how time travelers can confuse themselves, and how different organizations of time travelers can easily mess with one another. It’s no wonder the time traveling war occurred (or should I say is occurring? Time traveling makes tenses awkward).

Thanks to the characters already having been introduced to us, a lot of time was able to be spent on further developing everyone. The three main characters got the most development, of course. But a couple of the secondary characters in the first novella got more time to shine here. Honestly, it was appreciated. I hadn’t expected to end up like one of them as much as I did, but that just goes to show the effort put into writing his character.


Alice Payne Arrives was a fun and fantastical follow up in the series. It met all of my expectations set after having read Alice Payne Arrives, and in some senses even exceeded them. It was fast-paced, witty, and fun all around.

The extra time spent developing the characters was well worth it, and I think will enhance the series as a whole going forward. Speaking of, it will be interesting to see how the time travel war plays out in the long run (no pun intended there).


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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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