(a.k.a. The Time Travelers) by Linda Buckley-Archer
Absolutely brilliant! Excellent, realistic and utterly likable characters. I loved Peter and Kate. And how awesome is it that the authoress is able to tell a tale of time travel, quantum physics, parallel worlds, and the logistical quandaries that would arise thereof, without sacrificing the readers’ connection to the protagonists and their predicament? She tackles a sophisticated subject with precision and plays out its consequences in the lives of Peter Schock and Kate Dyer, as well as their families and colleagues. A brilliant new talent!
Peter Schock and Kate Dyer, 12, find themselves in 1763, even though hours earlier, when they met for the first time, they were in 21st century England. Their time travel is somehow connected to the anti-gravity machine that Kate’s father has been working on, and which ended up with them in the eighteenth century English countryside. However, as it has been stolen by a hardened criminal known as The Tar Man, they really have little choice but to trust Gideon, a stranger who offers the children his help. Gideon appears to honestly desire to help them get home, even if he is a reformed cutpurse. The adventures and dilemmas that Peter and Kate encounter and the people that they meet, both friend and foe, help both of the children to mature. In particular, Peter, who was at odds with his workaholic parents, learns how much he misses his family, even as he and Kate become friends. Has a cliff-hanger ending, so you might want to have book two on hand.
Also worth noting is the wealth of research and historical detail that was painstakingly incorporated into the tale and which gives its eighteenth century scenes an air of authenticity that is lacking in so many other tales of that time period, time traveling-related or not. A brilliant talent and well worth taking the time to investigate. Age 10 +.
(No romance. Plenty of action/ adventure, including peril and possible death from rogues and highwaymen. A gallows and gaol scene.)
The Tar Man (a.k.a. The Time Thief) by Linda Buckley-Archer
Product description: An accident with an anti-gravity machine catapulted Peter Schock and Kate Dyer back to 1763. A bungled rescue attempt leaves Peter stranded in the eighteenth century while a terrifying villain, the Tar Man, takes his place and explodes onto twenty-first-century London. Concerned about the potentially catastrophic effects of time travel, the NASA scientists responsible for the situation question whether it is right to rescue Peter. Kate decides to take matters into her own hands, but things don’t go as planned. Soon the physical effects of time travel begin to have a disturbing effect on her. Meanwhile, in our century, the Tar Man wreaks havoc in a city whose police force is powerless to stop him.
An excellent sequel that has its own important tale to tell and is not simply a hold over until the denouement. Kate has to go back in time to find Peter when the NASA scientists, and even her own parents, believe that it would be too dangerous to try and rescue him, fearing the effects of further tampering with the linear progression of time. Unable to live with that decision, Kate enlists the help of Peter’s father and together they set off through time to rescue him. Due to some tampering with the machine, Kate and Mr. Schock end up in 1792, rather than 1763. Now they need to find a way back to their own time. To further complicate matters, Peter appears, now an adult, having grown up an orphan in another century. He tries to conceal his identity from Kate and his father, hoping to spare them pain as he knows he must send them on to find Peter in 1763. All the while, Kate is starting to exhibit dangerous symptoms from her continued travels through time. Her determination to rescue her friend is beginning to take a drastic toll on her health.
In modern-day London, the Tar Man is loose and wreaking havoc. I honestly found those sections of the story quite boring. Too much about the bad guys and their filthy lifestyles. The highwaymen in Gideonwere far better by comparision. This section would be for slightly older readers. Aged 13/14+, though the rest of the story is still age 11+.
(Tar Man’s excerpts contains a romantic relationship for one character, which I skipped over. Kate’s section has no romance. Action/ Adventure is pretty consistent throughout. Another cliff-hanger ending.)
Lord Luxon (a.k.a. Time Quake & The Splintering of Time) by Linda Buckley-Archer.
No known release date in US. Uk pushed back until June 2009. AUS still says Nov. 2008.
Product Description from Amazon.uk: Time itself is splintering. If the catastrophic consequences of time travel are now impossible to ignore, Lord Luxon only has eyes for its awesome possibilities. He has his sights set on no lesser prize than America. Abducted to 1763, Peter and Kate begin to understand that history has arrived at its tipping point. Adrift in time, Kate transforms into an oracle, able to see the future as easily as the past. While Gideon does all he can to help, he is tormented by the knowledge that The Tar Man, his nemesis, is also his own brother. As they pursue him through the dark streets of eighteenth-century London, and the time quakes begin, Peter realises that this monster may hold the fate of all of us in his hands.
Quote of the Day: “The secret of life lies in laughter and humility.” G.K.C.