NON SPOILER review. The least adventurous instalment but narratively wise a superb conclusion to a brilliant thought provoking series
This final novelNON SPOILER review. The least adventurous instalment but narratively wise a superb conclusion to a brilliant thought provoking series
This final novel in the Timeriders series is a little disappointing in terms of maintaining an exhilarating narrative that the previous 8 books delivered. Having said that, the purpose of this final instalment was to drill a definitive message on the state of our world in ecology, religion and the nature of humanity. It does so with an aggressively preaching approach and very much directed at the the fresher minded youthful generation. In fact, at the end of the book after the end of the story, the author Alex Scarrow, writes a special message to readers inviting ...no, strike that...instructing us to offer our opinions...coaxing a certain train of thought. I noticed that Alex has been touring around schools and I thought nice tactical idea to market his books but having finished the book, I realise there is more to his touring the schools than that. I realise he is spreading the messages of the books to encourage young people to think of the world's future and what religions are about...its a commendable mission. Although I ahve to say he may be brainwashing his readers and schools that he has visited! But you know what, if I had to be brainwashed then I rather be brainwashed by Alex Scarrow! Well in all honesty I am too old to be brainwashed, I already have my own opinions which I admit are not so extreme as the authors.
So know this, the author is very aggressive with his opinion on world religion and ecology in this final novel. Its very blatant and hardly subtle so keep it in mind.
Sorry, let me get back to the book itself. Its always a joy to be alongside our familiar protagonists and the author maximises the poignancies of their epic experiences and developing maturity and relationship. Unlike many other YA series fiction, the author does not dwell on romantic slush and in fact makes realistic choices for each of our protagonist's directions. The author keeps it real with our protagonists journeys and destinies as well as emphasising love, friendship, trust and loyalty.
Its all very very subdued, though. There is a somewhat lack of dynamic to the journey's conclusion. Its one long journey of contemplation and reflection. Although there is a fair amount of tension in the air, there are is no sense of adventure here as in the previous books just a few dotted around but nothing on a significant scale. Perhaps its inevitable and deliberate but I cant help feeling it could have been injected with something more in the narrative. Nevertheless, there are several moments of brilliance, some especially taking advantage of one of the major settings...ie 2000 years in Jerusalim. Perhaps the most significant setting in the whole series to advance the authors ultimate delivery of the story's morals and message. It is quite ingenious in fact. Very very clever, I loved that...as well as a little worried where the author was taking this regards to a particular historical figure of the time.
What really satisfies me is that all the secrets are revealed, no stone was left unturned. However, it feels to me that the author was so impatient to deliver these revelations and moral messages that he did not bother to give this last instalment a more visceral finale and a dynamic reveal to all these secrets. Instead, all revelations are done in conversations. In fact the whole novel is mainly filled with conversations on basic philosophy, religion and thankfully some much needed humour. That's no bad thing by any means just be prepared for a lot of talk in this one. When I think of other popular series, I realise there is a similar pattern with how final books conclude. Ie a long desolate journey of contemplation.
The concept all through the narrative is powerful and in fact deliberately depressing. The revelations are suitably satisfying for the series. They dont quite knock me for six but it pleases me that the revelations serve a purpose in moral and a means to have younger readers thinking and perhaps encourage them to make a difference in the world's troublesome direction and for that I absolutely commend and recommend this series to be enjoyed by everyone.
As I have only just finished the book a few hours ago, time will tell how much this series will leave a mark on me but I have been a fan, owning all the collector's editions. This final instalment, despite all of my criticisms, justfies my collection. Its a satisfyingly thought provoking and moral conclusion to a wonderfully exciting and heart pounding scifi series. I highly enjoyed the journey.
For the whole series, this gets a 9.5/10 from me. For this book 9 final instalment, I'll give it 7.5/10...more
The delightful novelty of the first book in which the author himself is a character of the story continues in this sequel. If you love the first bookThe delightful novelty of the first book in which the author himself is a character of the story continues in this sequel. If you love the first book and want to read more of Susan's adventures that fills In the large gap towards the end of the first novel then this should satisfy your hunger.
However, because we already know the end result from the first book, the journey is never as thrilling as it would have been if we did not know the outcome. Nevertheless the author still somehow spins an inventive journey with wonderful characters and fun time travel elements.
The time travel plotting unfortunately has a very big flaw in its execution which doesn't add up. You may or may not pick up on it but if you do, it will grate you if you think too much about it. So you just have to accept the flaw and go with the flow.
It's a very engaging sequel but doesn't quite have the impact or elegant structure of the first book. The narrative once again switches between first and third perspectives which does keep the narrative quite refreshing but this time around I found the author to be too intrusive particularly towards the end.
Also I felt there was a missed opportunity to link characters between 1880s and the 1950s given that the author character could easily find out more about their family tree.
Anyway, that's probably nitpicking, it's still a charming adventure and lovely wrap up for the characters we got know in the first standalone novel.
I got attracted to reading this book while deriving a list of Books that have been adapted into movies for our latest monthly Time Travel book club grI got attracted to reading this book while deriving a list of Books that have been adapted into movies for our latest monthly Time Travel book club group.
I love a good children's time travel tale of which my all time favourite is the utterly enchanting classic, Tom's Midnight Garden.
While this 1960 novel is not quite in the league of the aforementioned classic, it is nevertheless a deliciously charming and eloquently narrated time travel adventure filled with warmth, humour and a very engaging teenage heroine.
The narrative prose is a delightful mix between first and third person perspective as the author himself writes in first person as a witness embroiled in the mystery of the daughter of a single parent father (living in a 7 storey apartment building) who goes missing. Then the third person narratives are injected from the perspective of the missing girl herself.
Its a lovely time travel tale with well defined and engaging characters sprinkled with just enough romanticism of the late nineteenth century albeit not expansive in scope and not overly described for the story never lingers needlessly and is always moving forward in its efficient 193 page delivery.
What I most enjoyed about the book and one reason why I could almost read the book in almost one sitting is that there are no irritatingly naive characters. Although many great novels have to feature a great deal of naivety in their protagonists to serve the narrative, I find that they are too often overbearing, unrealistic and hard to read with a comfortable flow unless the author is a supreme master of engaging the reader. In this story, there is naivety in the main protagonists but it is realistic and minimal. Most enjoyable is our heroine who is a very sparkly headstrong character. Nice to see that in a 50 year old novel.
I must point out that there is no action set pieces, big thrills, significant psychological tension, or any edginess. Its a very breezy story, full of charm and innocence with thick air of time travel mystery.
Its one of those books where they just dont write 'em like this anymore, know what I mean?
There is a sequel which I will read straight away but this first book is satisfying enough as a standalone. Its seem pretty complete to me but I still look forward to reading the next one.