Time Quake by Linda Buckley-Archer

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Time Quake by Linda Buckley-Archer

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Final and triumphant instalment of this time-travel trilogy. Wonderful historical detail and real involvement with the characters make this a classic series and not to be missed.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384 Date: January 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 1416917144

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We left Peter and Kate stuck in 1763, while Lord Luxon was busy in 21st century New York. They're all still there. The Tar Man now has the worrying ability to move between times without the aid of the anti-gravity machine, which is still in his possession. But his newly found ability lacks precision, and so he is still determined to find the code for the device. Gideon is doing his best to help Peter and Kate track down the Tar Man so that they can finally get home. There's no time to lose as Kate isn't well. She's fading, literally, by the day, and only contact with Peter prevents her from slipping into fast-forwarding.

Lord Luxon, meanwhile, with his sights firmly set on personal riches, is planning a potentially disastrous revision of history. The closer he gets, the stronger the time quakes become. Roman soldiers blur in and out of modern London and buildings spontaneously collapse...

I think this has been an absolutely triumphant trilogy, and this last instalment is the best of the three. I'm even forgiving the cliffhanger between books one and two, and that's saying something. By the end, I was as involved with the characters as I was when I came to read Narnia's Last Battle as a child, and that's saying something too. There's not a trace of anachronism in the eighteenth century sequences and the modern sequences are equally convincing - but with a little dash of Doctor Who in the way people are happy to accept the odd things that are happening.

The time quakes I thought were utterly terrifying, and the scenes of Kate's fading were heartbreaking. The horror of a life utterly alone as she fast-forwarded - always there but doomed to be an eternal spectator - will stay with me for a long time. Peter and Kate themselves continue to be sterling characters and you root for them with your heart in your mouth. But Buckley-Archer has created a whole host of fully-rounded characters and the supporting cast provide equal interest - especially in the redemption narrative between the two estranged brothers, Gideon and the Tar Man.

I'm a science duffer and so I generally suspend belief for some of the ideas this trilogy explores - I'll never hope to understand such things fully, so I tend to concentrate on the emotional landscape. But here, the ideas are fascinating and simply expressed and even I became interested enough to think about them further. It's vivid and interesting and emotionally engaging, and the series has got better with each book. I'm rather sad it's over, but Time Quake was a wonderful climax to a trilogy they shouldn't miss.

My thanks to the nice people at Simon & Schuster for sending the book.

They might also like The Witching Hour by Elizabeth Laird which has no time travel, but does have an unforgettable female protagonist in 1700s Scotland. Children interested in time travel would enjoy Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time and Jeanette Winterson's Tanglewreck.

Buy Time Quake by Linda Buckley-Archer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Time Quake by Linda Buckley-Archer at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Time Quake by Linda Buckley-Archer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Time Quake by Linda Buckley-Archer at Amazon.com.


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