Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Time Travelers by Linda Buckley-Archer

I'm starting to like snow days. It's too cold to do anything but sit indoors and read, so I manage to finish The Time Travelers (it feels weird reading an ebook somehow). I previously talked about in Teaser Tuesday (link), and it was as good as I expected!

The book revolves around Peter Schock, Kate Dyer and Gideon Seymour. There are a few other main characters, but I think these three are the most important. So when Peter's dad breaks his promise (a birthday promise to Peter no less), Peter ends up at Kate's farm. And due to something about an anti-gravity machine, the two are thrown into the year 1763, where they meet Gideon (cutpurse and gentlemen), and go after the Tar Man, who has stolen their machine.

I read on Wikipedia that this book is so accurate in its depictions of eighteenth century England that some schools use it as a textbook. Those lucky students.

The book is interesting, both in terms of plot and character. I enjoyed learning about all the characters and seeing them develop. I think my favourite characters were Peter and Gideon. Peter was just this sad little boy, who felt neglected by his parents. Gideon was a flawed hero, and the connection between the two of them was touching.

What I also liked was how there was a double narrative, the second narrative following the children's parents back in the modern days. Of course something like this would cause a fuss, and I'm glad the author included it, and managed to weave the two threads together. I think the most touching scenes came from the Schock family; Peter's mom sounds like a nice lady. I think his parents really did try, but just forgot that they had a choice - son or career.

The only character I didn't like was Kate. I hope I don't become someone like her if this ever happens to me. Perhaps it's because as a reader I know more than her, but she seems like a complainer, and that was a little annoying. Plus, for someone supposed to be brave, she seemed to faint an awful lot. Why can't she be like George from the Famous Five or something?

And what's with the sudden love story between Peter and Kate in the end? It felt too sudden and unrealistic, especially since they were at loggerheads for so long. Plus, I'm pretty sure they're only in the their early teens.  Why not just let them be friends first?

But really, this is an awesome book overall. If you like historical fiction, you should definitely read this.

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