Sunday, February 03, 2008
The Time Travelers by Linda Buckley-Archer
For a while now, I have been meaning to pick up The Time Travelers, The First Book of The Gideon Trilogy by Linda Buckely-Archer. It has been touted as the new series to fill the gap for Harry Pottter fans, and I wondered how well it would hold up to the comparison. After having read the first in the series, I must admit to being perplexed. Yes, The Time Travelers is a fantasy, and yes it's an adventure story where good and evil are pitted against one another, but that's where the similarities end. The Time Travelers has a strong historical base, and a much less edgy feel to it. It's well written, engaging, and the historical aspect adds an interesting layer of richness to the story that the Harry Potter books lack.
The premise is that Kate, the daughter of an English scientist, and Peter, a visiting acquaintance of her family's, are whisked back in time after an accident with an antigravity machine at her father's lab. The children land (none too gently either) back in the year 1763 where the villainous Tar Man takes off with the machine and their only hope of returning home to their own time. The children are fortunate enough to meet Gideon Seymour, a gentleman who is hiding a dark past. He agrees to help them try to get the machine back. Along the way they meet, highwayman, nobility, famous characters, and even King George III and his queen. They also learn of their ability to "blur" or disappear and rematerialize ghost-like in their own time.
This may not be a Harry Potter substitute, but it is a well-written adventure with colourful characters, surprise twists, and an ending that will leave you wanting more. So, be smart and pick up The Time Thief, Buckley-Archers's second book of The Gideon Trilogy. And if you're lucky, by the time you finish it, she'll have published the third.