TimeRiders: City of Shadows
The latest cover for the book.


Alex Scarrow




Science Fiction


Penguin Group

Publication date

5 August 2012


Paperback, Hardback



Chapter count




Book in series


Preceded by

TimeRiders: Gates of Rome (book)

Followed by

TimeRiders: The Pirate Kings (book)

TimeRiders: City of Shadows is a book written by Alex Scarrow and published in 2012. It's story revolves more on the main story arc then in previous instalments in the series.


Spoiler warning!
This article contains plot details about an upcoming episode, book or any other feature of this topic.

At the beginning of City of Shadows, Liam, Sal, Maddy, Bob, Dr Anwar, and assistant robot Spongebubba arrive back in 2001. Maddy gets Computer-Bob to force reset the time bubble back to monday morning, she then proceeds to meet Foster at his park bench in Central Park, to ask him to run away with them. He says he can't go back into the time bubble, for fear of being attacked more by the small amounts of Tachyons inside the time bubble. She says they won't need one where they going, and after small persuasion, he relents and goes back into the Archway with her, to prepare for eir expedition.

Back in 2054, Joseph Olivera is in shock after his co-worker Frasier Griggs is mysteriously killed in a suspicious car robbery by flood migrants (people that became nomads after their countries were flooded by rising waters caused by the polar ice caps dramatic melting caused by the incredulous increase in global warming) after a heated arguement with Roald Weinstein. He notices that Griggs had left his favourite memo-pen in his coffee mug, which highly contrasts with his obsessive compulsive habit of protecting it more than life itself. He picks it up and opens the unprotected last broadcast, a memo for him in which Griggs' is slurred. In it Griggs says "Weinstein's gone crazy, you are the only way of stopping him, Joseph. He'll do away with me soon!". This causes Joseph to become very cautious around Waldstein, and along with the "Sal-Unit", sends her with the memory of being saved in a fire, he also includes the little messed-up bear from the antique store they visited weeks ago. For one reason, to get her to question herself, to reach the ultimate conclusion that...(Spoiler Alert!!!) she's a meatbot, a genetically engineered robot.

In 2001, the crew prepare to run, its Monday afternoon, and after the six support-units go back in time to kill them, they know that they aren't safe in the archway anymore. They also know that it is a matter of time before the two support units; Abel and Faith, arrive back at the archway after being transported to a random location by Computer-Bob, (transported, where no time travel is involved...), they find an old RV on short notice, pack up the "time machine", and other technological goodies, and begin to drive to Boston, where Maddy believes she can get help from her 9 year old self's parents.

They go to a department store, the Abel and Faith units attack, Foster dies, a mass evacuation is ordered, Sal and Rashim are handcuffed by police, only to be shortly released. They escape, leaving Foster dead.

However, Maddy cannot remember many details of her childhood. She starts to fill in details from an old TV show, The Waltons. Finally mustering the courage to speak, she knocks on the door. To her surprise, she is confronted by a girl with a Spice Girls t-shirt and pink glitter jeans. After saying they're both called Maddy, the girl says her name's Nadine. She realises this is not her, and correctly deduces she and the rest of the TimeRiders are meatbots like Bob and Becks. (It is revealed later that she goes into a room and cries, having a mental breakdown.)

Sorry guys, I've got to go now. I'll finish the book if I've got time.


  • "The Department" from Alex Scarrow's adult fiction book A Thousand Suns is featured in this book. Wallace and the file N-27 are also mentioned. Scarrow also mentions Peak Oil, from the millenium, where the world was halfway through its oil supply. Near 2025 Saudi Arabia cuts off its oil supply,