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 book...moreThe 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 gr...moreI 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.
Well we're drawing near to the end. Just one more book to go in this nine book epic time travel journey in which the concluding final instalment will...moreWell we're drawing near to the end. Just one more book to go in this nine book epic time travel journey in which the concluding final instalment will be released in June 2014.
So how does this penultimate instalment measure up to the previous books? Well, its as enthralling, playful and exciting as the previous instalments but it also packs in more gut wrenching, heartbreaking moments and finally plummets into a very frightening dark place teased on by earlier books.
As one would expect in a chronicle fantasy/scifi series, the penultimate instalments would take a a more darker turn. No exception here. So embrace yourself but dont fear it, as Scarrow's narrative still sparkles with plenty of humour, thought provocation on world, political and current issues, splendid character developments and a supreme flair for storytelling. He keeps the narrative fresh by switching between a plethora of different perspectives keeping the story rolling with a sweeping kinetic flow. I know there will be some who would have liked a little more expansion on certain elements but I think perhaps they are sacrificed for the sake of keeping the novel within a YA criteria (which surely is borderline already given the gory content and some adult themes of this series).
There is a surprise historical character that will knock some scifi geeks for six and as usual with Scarrow's historical characters, spins a new twisty layer on the character, while maintaining the known legacy.
Again, its a tremendous page turner. Where this book differs from previous books is that this is no longer an "adventure of the week" instalment. We are now firmly seated on the main story arc train and towards the end of the book, is at full throttle heading towards, what promises to be a colossal finale with grand revelations.
So shall I sum up now? Ok.
Brilliant. Thats it. Not much more than that. Just flaming brilliant.
Roll on the conclusion in 297 days, 8 hours, 16 minutes and 51 seconds