Posts Tagged ‘Time travel’

Para Pukeko and the Stupid Time Thingy by Book Ruffell. Pub. Penguin Random House 2023.

May 23, 2023 Comments off

While scrounging around in a fresh load of rubbish at the dump, Para Pukeko finds a box with a red button which he presses and it takes him back 200M years New Zealand in geological history. He then uses the time machine to go back and forward in New Zealand

He meets a tuatara called Heahea whom he drags with him on a time travel journey through NZ and some important incidents from the past. The most interesting is the arrival of Abel Tasman in what is now called Golden Bay but Tasman called Murderers Bay. Read it and see why.

On the journey we meet extinct species like the Moa and even travel to the future where a very desirable situation in New Zealand exists. I wonder what it is?

A graphic novel which is essentially madcap humour that will appeal to reluctant readers especially boys.

The illustrations are comical with Abel Tasman looking like Capt Hook from Peter Pan. Heahea the tuatara is a grumpy green thing and para is a comical version of the long striding and screeching swamp hen that is a pukeko.

Very entertaining nonetheless and worthy of a place in every school library.

Part one of a new series.

Mallory, Mallory Bk2. Trick or Treat by James Norcliffe. Pub. Puffin 2021

November 13, 2021 Comments off

Mallory and her loyal but scaredy cat friend Arthur. go trick or treating on halloweem and something amazing happens.

When they knock on the door of an old man’s house and say Trick or Treat, the old man, Mr Mugwort, reverses it on them and says instead of giving them a treat he will give them a trick. Mallory of course, as is her nature, poo poos Mr Mugwort’s interpretation and as a result the old man with the shake of a magic hand, throws them back to the same house but at least 100 years earlier.

The house is new but surrounded by farmland and Mugwort says if you want to return to your own time you will have to catch my black cat before sundown, otherwise you stay here.

At this point the writing gets challenging as Mallory and Arthur take more than a 100 pages to capture the cat and then only with the help of some local children. Wringing a 100 pages out of cat chasing is very classy indeed and when the children do capture the cat in the manner of a by gone age, something totally weird happens. read it and find out what it is.

Apart from the 100 pages of cat chasing the other part I liked about this novel is the comparison of lifestyles of old New Zealand and attitudes of children with todays modern children Mallory and Arthur. Mallory is a rude and unpleasant girl and Arthur is a follower and lacks confidence but is loyal. The children they meet are helpful, enthusiastic, confident and able to problem solve.

The description of the butcher shop and the butcher will amaze modern children.

If you read Book one of this series then this second one is better. Get in there and read it over Xmas you won’t regret it.

A Doubtful Detour by Anya Forest. Pub.

March 1, 2021 Comments off

This historical time travel novel took me a while to read because of the amazing detail it gives about life in the Fiordland National park during the 1920,s and 1960’s. Fiordland is the major character in this novel with it’s mountains, fiords, rivers, waterfalls, dense bush, rain and unique animal life.

This is a sequel to the novel Home from the Homer also reviewed on this blog, and features 13 year old twins Seth and Zoe and their parents who travel south of the Homer to Doubtful Sound and Deep Cove. As with the earlier novel they slip into different time zones and experience life in the raw in the early days.

Seth slips into the 1920’s when tourism was starting to develop in Fiordland as is hunting. He meets several famous characters particularly Leslie Murrell a hunter and tourist developer of the 1920’s and Vivian Donald who had a company that developed the first woolpress in NZ. Seth accompanies them on a hunting and sailing trip that takes him down Doubtful sound to the ocean and trips to Dusky sound and the Puysegur Point lighthouse which was built in 1879 and burnt to the ground in 1942. He travels on a famous boat the Constance and takes part on the first licensed hunting for wapiti trip in 1923. he also comes across a whale and the rareTawaki or Firodland crested penguin.

Zoe has a totally different trip in Doubtful Sound and West Arm where the Manapouri Power Station was being built. Her main companion there was Sister Josie a nurse on board the Wanganella passenger ship that was home to over 400 men who built the Manapouri complex. The Wanganella had a gymnasium and a cinema for over 400 men when spitting on the deck meant you were fired. She travels inside Machine Hall a huge place carved into the rock that house all the turbines that made the power from the Manapouri scheme.

There are many tales like this in this novel and all are accompanied by superb photographs and documents of the times. The characters, the transport, the wildlife and the landscape and seascape of the wonder that is fiordland.

I can say no more find out the rest for yourself you will not be disappointed. Of course there is the mystery of the time travel and whether or not the family will find each other again.

Harsu & the Werestoat by Barbara Else.

April 5, 2019 Comments off

HarsuHarsu & the Werestoat by Barbara Else. Pub. Gecko press, 2019.

This is one of the weirdest novels I have ever read, yet I was compelled to finish it, in order to understand it. I am not sure that I did but here is what I think.

Daama is the mother of 12 year old Harsu. Daama is the daughter of the Wind God, changes into a werestoat, wields power through charms, signs and magic and feels she should be praised for being a good mother and goddess. She is not. She is narcissistic and shallow in her beliefs and deserves to be curbed.

Harsu is part human, devoted to his mother but can’t forgive her for eliminating his father. Fortunately Harsu’s father left him enough clues to curb the power of his mother through charms and signs written on a clay tablet that he carries around with him.

Daama wants perfection in her children and sees the pock marked Harsu as not good enough to praise her. She is wrong. Daama kidnaps two seemingly perfect boys and a girl and locks them in jars letting them go periodically so they can praise her.

Together they all pass through the gate of Time and Place and travel through the mystical world arriving finally in New Zealand, while Daama pursues admiration and power.

Harsu is the key to her downfall and must learn that through reading and writing he can quell his mothers powers. But he has to box clever. The ending is tense with many lives at stake.

See if you can do better than me in explaining this novel. It has been written for middle readers, somewhat like a legend or myth or fairy tale but it baffled me.

Inheritance by Carole Wilkinson.

November 19, 2018 Comments off

inheritanceInheritance by Carole Wilkinson. Pub. black dog books, imprint Walker books, 2018.

Imagine you are able to travel back in time and on one of those journeys you meet your mother who you thought was dead. That fate befalls Nic, a 14 year old girl who goes to stay with her grandfather on the family estate of Yaratgil in the Australian countryside.

Nic is not aware of her family history but senses hostility to her family when she goes to the local school. People hate the Mitchells and Yaratgil but why?

While staying at the great house on Yaratgil, Nic discovers a locked room. While reading an old copy of Pride and Prejudice she finds a letter directing the reader to a dresser inside the locked room in which there is a secret draw. She finds 5 stones which when fitted together and tainted by blood allow the holder to travel back in time. Unbeknown to Nic, generations of women in her family have used the stones to time travel.

Nic is to discover a great tragedy about her family and the local Aborigines. A secret that should be told and which all Australians should be concerned about. Read it and find out what it is. The question that’s asked if given a chance would you or should you try to alter history? I would give it a shot.

Well written by Carole Wilkinson. She handles the time travel very well and prevents confusion with short chapters and hooks that carry the reader on. All high school and young adult readers in Australia in particular should confront themselves with this novel. An enjoyable but harrowing read.

I should mention the cover. It is superb. Read this novel and find out why.

Conductoid by M.B. Lehane

March 9, 2016 Comments off

ConductoidConductoid by M.B. Lehane. Pub.     2016.

Eleven year old Jack is a Conductoid but he doesn’t know it. He is about to enter a fantasy world governed by a Universal Rule – no, adults are not always right – but that there exists an infinite number of parallel universes and no being can use their powers outside the confines of their dimension.

Complicated? Not really. Fantasy is for good readers with a large imagination, this novel requires that. It is also true that for a novel to be credible characters must move from one position and set of behaviours to another, hopefully for the better. Jack does this.

At the beginning of the novel Jack is selfish, lazy and impertinent. He has a slack attitude to learning and school and his behaviour towards his twin sister Phoebe and his mother is not good. He also daydreams but this is to be his gateway to the world of Conductoids.

While Jack daydreams  a hooded stranger emerges from the darkness of his mind and gets Jack to accomplish a number of tasks that involve saving people from precarious positions. Not only does he save them but he turns into a number of superhuman characters to do so. First episode he saves a girl from drowning and Jack in real life cannot swim.

The hooded stranger is a Master Veriator or Azan and he tells Jack he must learn from his transformations. But will Jack learn? Basically he has to and through this he changes for the better.

At the same time as all this goes on, Jack has to live his school and family life with his friend Ty, his sister Phoebe, his mother and an array of characters that add a lot of fun to the story. He deals with bullies Damon and Hartley and the Russian shop owners, the Dibbles, who import astonishing sweets with tastes to satisfy your inner cravings.

I can tell you no more you will have to read the novel to find out. I will tell you that the novel is told with some panache and is very funny and serious at the same time. M.B. Lehane has really analysed his upbringing and his school life and brought it to life. He has an impressive control of language that will delight you for example, it is rare to see the words Kerfuffle and Skeddaddle used within a page of each other.

For intermediate and junior high school students. I dare you to read it.

WARP. The Forever Man by Eoin Colfer.

June 29, 2015 Comments off

forever manWARP. The Forever Man by Eoin Colfer. Pub. Puffin, 2015.

This is part 3 in this bizarre series by Eoin Colfer. The crux of the novel is a wormhole invented by quantum physicist Professor Charles Smart and used by the FBI to transport witnesses of big trials into the past to protect them. The wormhole has evolved in a sinister way.

Psychopathic killer Albert Garrick and his apprentice Riley are accidentally transported from Victorian England into the present and separate. Riley meets teenage FBI agent Chevie Savano and the two try to keep out of the way of Garrick and the prowling monsters that the wormhole carries.

This novel is set mainly in the small English village of Mandrake in the year 1647 when the Puritans ruled and witch hunting was the national sport. The wormhole has become a real danger to the continued existence of planet Earth with most who have traveled in the wormhole  becoming mutated in some way but none more so than the evil Albert Garrick. He has become the forever man and cannot be destroyed and in 1647 he is the witchfinder and still seeks Riley and Chevie to reap his revenge in the most horrifying of ways.

Garrick relishes his power and seeks to destroy the wormhole and Riley and Chevie at the same time. Only Colfer can get away with changing an FBI Agent into a talking dog and having Garrick fight a giant squid in the middle of an English bog. And that is not the half of it.

Colfer tells the story with some relish. His imagery and language are the real star of the show. He combines images in a way that captivates the reader. He merges the world of quantum physics and dark material with a wild imagination and adventure to create a believable story that is funny, witty, tense, sinister and adventurous.

Fans of Artemis Fowl and adventure/ fantasy readers from intermediate to high school will love this novel.

W.A.R.P Book 1: The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer

May 3, 2013 Comments off

reluctant assassinW.A.R.P. Book 1: The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer. Pub. Puffin, 2013.

Eoin Colfer hasn’t strayed too far from the formula that made the Artemis Fowl books so popular. Why would you?

This is a time travel series about an agency called W.A.R.P that uses a timepod to hide witnesses to serious crimes in the past. In this case in Victorian London. But it comes unstuck as a psychopath called Alfred Garrick – a bit of a Fagan – tumbles to what is going on.

In a gruesome murder in the first chapter Garrick forces his young assistant, Riley, to murder an old man while he sleeps in his bed. The old man has travelled back in time and with his death Riley is transported to the London of today.

In todays world Chevie is an American agent working for W.A.R.P in London. She is young, sassy, and smart. When Riley turns up from the past a W.A.R.P team go back to see what has happened and are murdered by Garrick except for one man. On the way back through the time wormhole Garrick and the W.A.R.P agent merge into one turning the murderous Garrick into a super psychopath.

Garrick sees enormous possibilities in his new format and Chevie and his former assistant Riley – a sort of Artful Dodger- are in his sights. Can Garrick utilise his power to change the world? Can Riley and Chevie stop him? and who is Marlarkey? or is it all Marlarkey?

Brilliantly told with a quick ascerbic wit that characterises Colfer’s novels. He can make you smile as gruesome action takes place.

Certain to be a winner for Artemis Fowl fans and for new readers who love science fiction/fantasy action.

For Intermediate and High school readers.

Infinity Ring Bk 1 A Mutiny in Time by James Dasher

July 27, 2012 Comments off

A Mutiny in Time by James Dasher. Pub. Scholastic, 2012. 

The history of the world is out of sync and needs to be corrected. Dak Smyth’s parents have been working on a time travel device but haven’t made it work yet.

Dak’s friend Sera is super intelligent and she works on the device and it works and is called the Infinity Ring. While testing the device Dak’s parents get lost in time somewhere and need to be found.

Sera and Dak get contacted by a group called the Hystorians who tell them of breaks in history that need to be corrected but what are they? Well one is that Alexander the Great was killed before he set off to conquer the known world.

The ruling power is a group called SQ who know about the breaks in history but want them to remain as it suits their purpose. They attack the Hystorians to try to steal the Infinity Ring but Dak, Sera and language expert Riq escape with an SQuare which gives them clues as to what historical events need to be changed. Riveting stuff.

Complex plot but simply told and the reader can try to work out the clues as Dak, Sera and Riq try to change history and find Dak’s parents as well.

Intermediate and junior high school students will read this and the books that follow. Short and easy to read.

The Time Pirate by Ted Bell. A Nick McIver Time Adventure

The Time Pirate by Ted Bell. Pub. St Martin’s Griffin, New York, 2010.

Boy’s Own fantasy/adventure at it’s old fashioned best. A combination of Biggles and and Pirates of the Carribbean and a delight to read. In fact thrilling to read.

This is the second part of the Nick McIver Time Adventure Series the first being Nick of Time. Both books are based around the discovery of two time machines invented by Leonardo do Vinci called Tempus Machina.

One time machine is in the hands of our hero Nick McIver, the other is in the hands of a bloodthirsty megalomaniac pirate called Capt William Blood. In the last book Capt Blood had his right hand cut off in a fight with Lord Hawke one of Nick’s compatriots, and Blood is seeking revenge.

The story opens in 1940 as the Nazis are about to attack the Channel Islands of which Nick’s home island of Greybeard Island is part. The invasion takes place and Nick is sprung into action in his fathers World War 0ne aircraft a Sopwith Camel.

At the same time Capt William Blood is plotting revenge on Nick and his friends Gunner, Lord Hawke and Commander Hobbes. He plans to lure Nick into a trap so he can obtain the second Tempus Machina, and then set about ruling the world. Wonderful stuff.

Capt Blood has assembled a mighty fleet of pirate ships with which to defeat the British and French in the year 1781. This forms the second part of this book and Nick gets involved in the American War of Independence. The Battle of Yorktown is well described.

A fast moving adventure story that will lure the reader in and hook them for the length of the book. I was and so will you. This book and Nick of Time are absolutely fantastic, you will be rivetted to the book till the end.

Aimed at Intermediate students but good younger readers will also enjoy this series.