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Nick of Time (Nick McIver Adventures Through Time #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,784 Ratings  ·  338 Reviews
Nick of Time is the first young reader's book written by bestselling author Ted Bell.

The setting is England, 1939, on the eve of war. Nick and his sister, Kate, begin gathering vital information for Winston Churchill as he tries to warn England of the imminent Nazi invasion. But the Nazis become the least of Nick's problems after he discovers a time machine hidden in a cov
Paperback, 464 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Square Fish (first published December 7th 2000)
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Steph Su
This book is a good example of what NOT to do when writing a historical fantasy for young readers. It’s been quite a while since I’ve read something that contained so much amateuristic and unnecessary blither and blather that perhaps that only way to describe why this book should NOT be lauded as a noteworthy piece of juvenile historical fantasy is in a list:

1. It feels like a mediocre adult thriller writer’s attempt to write for children, i.e. it fails. Excessive description, lack of character
Angie Bollard
May 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because my husband bought it so I could read it to our son. Yet another book that I started with him and ended by myself. I heard an interview with the author and he said that he wrote this book for boys because all the books that his son read had no strong boy characters in them. Well, It certainly has that. Our story opens in 1939 on tiny Greybeard Island, England. Our hero is young Nicholas McIver, the son of a lighthouse keeper and "birdwatbcher". A term meaning a secret soc ...more
Dec 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book deserves all the praise it is getting. Think Robert Louis Stevenson combined with Nazis combined with time travel--swashbuckling action adventure at it's finest! It was written recently, but the author captures a real vintage feel. Great descriptions and attention to detail. It starts a little slow, but once it gets going, Wow! Can't put it down! It's advertised as a boy's book, and my son loved it, but I did, too. Only once did the plot strain my credulity (and it wasn't the time trav ...more
Ted Bell
Jan 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Recommends it for: Families. It's a family book, meant to be shared. But aimed at YA audience, 8-13.
This was my first novel. I wrote it when I was living in London. My daughter was in the "Fourth Form"
and was reading pretty much the YA lit of the day, i.e., R. L. Stine. Nothing wrong with those, just a
tad more formulaic than, say, Treasure Island or Huckleberry Finn. So I read "TI" again, thinking I'd recommend it to the sprout. Couldn't do it. The language was too arcane, the pacing too, not too anything, just a reflection of its time. So. I decided to write a novel in that spirit, but one w
Bri  Ahearn
Sep 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bri by: Publisher
Ted Bell's Nick of Time is part of the Alex Hawke series, Bell's line of spy adventure novels. Nick of Time is the first young adult addition to the series, and serves well as a stand alone title. I found it enjoyable without being familiar to the earlier books.

Nick of Time is an enthralling read from beginning to end. The lead character, Nicholas McIver, is alive in the 1930s, but the character is so well-written, he could fit seamlessly in any time period (and soon does). Nick is plucky, adven
Sep 29, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who lives time travel books and FANTASY!!!
Recommended to Janeen-san by: No one I found it by myself at a silent auction... lol!!!
Shelves: books-i-own
Recently I finished the book "Nick of Time", in which a boy---Nick--and his little sister, Katie, find an old sea chest half-buried in the sand on one of the many beaches that surrounds the lighthouse in which they all live. Nick and his sister go visit their friend, Gunner, who used to be in the army, to see if they can find out more about the mysterious chest.
Suddenly they are all wrapped up in an adventure much more dangerous than they bargained for when two bloodthirsty pirates are after th
Sep 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adventure lovers
Another great library find. This author obviously grew up reading the books from the "blood and morality" tales shelf--from his names (many, if not all, taken from other books) to the swashbuckling, hair-raising adventurous spirit of it.

Very good message and morals.

LOVED that the kids had parents, who they loved, who weren't morons, who were somewhat part of the story. LOVED that the other "good-side" adults were also full of character and could be looked up to.

Made the point that evil is ugl
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Nick of Time" is an epic novel for readers of any age. Author Ted Bell wrote it for kids, but adults would find it a fascinating read too. This is the story that Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island) could have written if he lived in our generation.

The first chapters light upon twelve-year-old Nick McIver, the son of the lighthouse keeper on a little English island. The year is 1939. Trouble is stirring from Germany, and someone needs to spy on what the Nazis are doing. As young Nick begins
Ted Bell's first YA novel is chockablock* with adventurous ideas. So chockablock, in fact, that I'm afraid he put every idea he's ever had into this one story and didn't save anything for his next book. In Nick of Time, we have lighthouses, castles, underground caves, pirates, treasure chests, bilingual talking parrots, Nazis, spies, reclusive millionaires, several types of boats, experimental submarines, aeroplanes, dognapping, and a time travel device invented by Leonardo da Vinci. And that's ...more
Sarah Sammis
May 11, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Nick of Time by Ted Bell is the first book in the Nick McIver series. Nick McIver and his sister Kate live with their parents on a small island in the English Channel. It's 1939 and a Nazi invasion of the island is a real threat. Even with the danger of U-boats, Nick loves sailing around the island with his dog Jip.

Things change though when he spots a U-boat surfacing just off the coast. Then he finds a time machine and gets a deadly threat from a long dead pirate. Nick has to go fight the pirat
Aug 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book a lot. It was a mixture of some of my favorite kinds of books. The characters were well done and the plot was exciting. There were a lot of twists and turns and holding my breath.

It was a bit bloodier than I thought it would be. I wouldn't read it to young children, probably 12 on up. It deals with the reality of war - it's not pleasant but the author doesn't dwell on it and make it disgusting. There is also a really bad guy and he does mean things and causes pain to many peopl
Amy Brown
Mostly historical fiction but there is time travel. It has pirates, two wars (WWII and Napoleonic Wars), time travel, and lots of adventure. It's not my favorite style of book but I can definitely think of kids I would give it to. Nick lives on an island and his father is spying, looking for Nazis action and relaying that to Winston Churchill before the British entered the war. Nick discovers a time machine and one of his ancestors who wants him to travel back in time to help them navigate the r ...more
Jun 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are a lot of mixed reviews on this one, so here's another to add. I bought this book for my 13 year old son. It has been a lot harder to find good books for him than it is for my girls. There are tons of books out there with strong heroines, but not nearly enough with strong adolescent boy characters. My son read this and loved it! It was action-packed and the main character, Nick, was brave, determined and honorable. I decided to read it as well. The first chapter was slow for me and I al ...more
This was a great adventure...pirates, time travel, naval battles, and Nazis. And even though those may sound ridiculous together, they totally fit. While 12-year-old Nick has to go back in time to help an ancestor escape a pirate, his 6-year-old sister is on a U-Boat trying to help a British spy outwit some Nazis. (And these Nazis are a combination of the Nazis in the Indiana Jones movies and the hawks from the film Valiant. Absolutely nuts.) The characters are all great fun, and the battles and ...more
Jul 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A grand sea adventure taking place around an Island in the English Channel in two different times. The 12 year old protagonist must depend on his sailing knowledge and courage as he and others are called upon to protect England from Nazis pre WWII and from an evil kidnapping pirate set on destroying the Royal Navy in 1803. Colorfully written with vocabulary approprite for the time(s)with alot of nautical terms it is suspenseful albeit graphically violent in some scenes. For this reason I feel it ...more
Jul 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone over 9
I really like this one a lot!! Everyone says it's for boys, but I care to differ! My dad bought it for my little brother, but he refused to read it, so I decided to. I really think this book is gender-nuatral, but is more focused to boys. Maybe it's just because I like action, but I really really liked this one a lot. I finished it Monday morning at about 1:30 a.m. and would suggest it to anybody who likes adventure! Who would have thought pirates, sailors, Nazis, and time travel would mix this ...more
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listen to most of the books I read and I believe that some books just come alive with a talented reader, who can add the appropriate accents and more suspense to the story with their well-timed verbage!
When I think of some of the books my son had to trudge thru when he was much younger, say 8-10, this book would have been a delight! Nick is a solid character right from the start, to say he shows no growth is a sad comment, it would make one wonder if that person actually read the whole story.
Apr 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't decide between 3 or 4 stars on this one. A very clever story involving a 12 year old boy, Nick, and his younger sister that live on an English channel island in 1939. While exploring the shore around their home, Nick finds a chest containing a note to him from his great great grandpa and a strange golden ball. This all leads to an time travel, an encounter with pirates in the 1800's as well as dealing with a new top secret nazi U-boat. A great read for boys (or girls) who can handle s ...more
Aug 20, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youth, historical
The basic idea of this story is awesome. 1939, small English island near France, family on the look out for Nazis. This quest leads to Nick going back in time to 1805 to help Admiral Nelson, his hero, fight pirates, while his little sister Kate battles Nazis in their present.

It's very much written in the style of old fashioned boy adventure books - tons of action, lots of tension, overly dramatic. Even the illustrations fit that perfectly. I thought it was too overwrought most of the time, but
Jul 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: boys probably 11 - 15
Recommended to Jill by: Glenn Beck
I heard about this book on the radio. As a mother of 13 and 11 year old boys I thought it sounded like a good one for them to read. I decided to check it out for myself. The 1st chapter was a little hard with a lot of sailing gargon but once the story got going I really enjoyed it. It was nice to see a boy be brave and do the right thing and end up being repected and admired by his heros as he becomes one himself.
Oct 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am reading this....

It is interesting....great boys book!!!
Teaches history and makes it fun.
I finished it..and it is very well written and all I could think about it how much a young boy or a family would love reading this book every night!! So much adventure and sailing!!
I highly recommend this to families with children...6 - 12 yrs old..
Oct 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-2
Channel Islands again!! The next time you need a swashbuckling adventure this is your book. Set in 1939 on the smallest of the Channel Islands a brother and sister team take on pirates and Nazis with the help of a time travel device. Do battle with Lord Nelson's Navy and Spy against the Nazis in the same book! What a treat!
Fast pace, very satisfying.
Sep 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very cool retro/old school book set pre-WWII but with time travel, pirates, and the early 1800s. Reminded me a lot of Treasure Island meets Hardy Boys with a good message. Shined the light of great values and morals on a well wrought, fantastic, and heart-pumping story. Young boys would get a kick out of it...maybe even as a chapter-a-night bedtime tale.
Sep 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It was fun and exciting, but more because I am looking forward to reading this with my boys when they're older--some parts were still a little intense for a 5 year old. The story is centered around a young boy with great strength and moral character-a great example to the youth reading it.
Aug 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book entertaining, but not so much as others have pushed it up to be. I think it would be a great juvenile title, especially for someone who is interested in WWII era stories. There's a lot to learn from this book in relation to sailing and the sea. It did keep my attention, though... I found myself staying up far too late to finish the book!
Aug 23, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has gotten a lot of hype and I was hoping it would be a great addition to the book list for boys that I'm making, but it fell short of my expectations. Time travel, pirates, Nazis, submarines, sword-fighting--it sounds like the perfect recipe for boy-loving fun. But I couldn't "buy" it (and I'm an easy sell) and I just didn't care enough about the characters or the story as I wanted to.
Aug 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
great book with a mix of action mystery and adventure. A boy named Nick lives on an Island near England before WW2. His father is part of a Network of spies that work for Winston Churchill. Nick discovers a tin=me machine that was made by LeoNardo Davinchi. Along with his trusty friends Nick must go back time to save an english fleet from an ambush. Amazingly done book
Margie McMahon
Aug 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book!!!! Nick discovers an old sea chest abandoned on the island near the light house. Little does he know that this discovery will change his life and his sister’s for ever! Admiral Nelson and Winston Churchill need them!!! Pirates, German U-Boats and espionage make this a real page turner!
Misty Lynne
It's so hard to rate books. Entertainment wise this was a five star. But, I try to reserve 5 stars for books that change me -- make me better somehow. This one was just pure fun. I read it aloud to my kids and they loved it. My only complaint with this book is that there were two areas that got somewhat graphic in the violence department.
Stacie Lindsey
Aug 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heard Glenn Beck say that this is a must-read for any young man. In fact, he was so impressed with it that he bought it for every 12-18 year old boy in his ward. My boys loved it. Great read! Took me 4 months to get it at the library - apparently others agree.
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Ted Bell, formerly Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University and Writer-In-Residence at Sidney-Sussex College, is a full-time writer. He is the author of 9 consecutive New York Times Bestsellers. His novels include the Alex Hawke series of spy thrillers published by Harper & Collins. And the Nick McIver Time Travel Adventures published by St. Martins. His books are international bestsellers, pu ...more
More about Ted Bell...

Other Books in the Series

Nick McIver Adventures Through Time (2 books)
  • The Time Pirate (Nick McIver, #2)

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“A hero is merely a man never afraid of being called to heaven because he is certain he has done his duty, Nicholas."
-Admiral Lord Nelson (fictional)”
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