Timecatcher by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

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Timecatcher by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sophie Hickman
Reviewed by Sophie Hickman
Summary: The story of a twelve year old girl who gets sucked into defending the mysterious Timecatcher, this book is fun and jaw-droppingly clever, although it drags slightly in the middle and a bit too easy to put down. However, it makes up for this with the brilliant twists and great ending.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 256 Date: May 2010
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
ISBN: 978-1842556771

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Jessie Minahan is a pretty average fictional twelve year old girl: she has a dog side-kick named Duff and she craves adventure. One day, when her scatty mother has an urgent need for buttons Jessie discovers the abandoned Dublin Button Factory in an old mill, now inhabited by two detectives, who have a big, big secret. She also meets G who is not your average fictional twelve year old boy - for one, he's dead. His worst enemy is Greenwood – a large ghost who lives in the mill and is full of rules. Greenwood is also involved in this big secret which Jessie and G soon discover is the Timecatcher. It opens every seven years for three days and reveals the past - 'shadow days' and 'shadow people'. It is about to open again and there is a ghostly villain named Sullivan Ellz'mede who would do anything to have the power source at its heart...

I absolutely loved this book! I wish I had read it when I was about eleven, because I can guarantee I would have enjoyed it twice as much then. Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick's writing is brilliant – succinct and humorous with just the right amount of description – ideal for that eleven year old me. Her characters felt 'real', especially G although I don't think Jessie was unique enough – like I've said, she was very average, and I don't think she was meant to be.

The characterisation is one of the best things about 'Timecatcher' - I cared more about the characters than I did about the Timecatcher and Sullivan Ellz'mede meddling with time. That's probably one of my only negatives – which I think comes from personal experience with this sort of book. I didn't care about the events because I knew there was going to be a happy ending. You could say that about a lot of stories, I suppose, but here it felt particularly prominent.

This book is like the Timecatcher in its own right! It's twisty and turny and generally bamboozling. Some of the twists really winded me, and I stared at the page for a few seconds, just marvelling. This is another thing that makes it stand above others in its genre – its jaw-dropping cleverness.

The middle was slightly disappointing. It was like a Yorkshire pudding – hard to get into, deflated in the middle, but overall, scrumptious! More please!

I would recommend this for anyone aged nine and up. If you're a parent you may get asked questions like 'What's the Richter Scale?', but let's just say it's stretching.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

If you liked 'Timecatcher' and are looking for more time-based adventures I would recommend Gideon the Cutpurse by Linda Buckley-Archer. For something with the same 'Yorkshire pudding' feel try the Jane Blonde series by Jill Marshall.

Buy Timecatcher by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Timecatcher by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Timecatcher by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Timecatcher by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick at Amazon.com.


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