I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Review: Untimed

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
by Andy Gavin

Plot Summary:

Charlie’s the kind of boy that no one notices. Hell, even his own mother can’t remember his name. And girls? The invisible man gets more dates.

As if that weren't enough, when a mysterious clockwork man tries to kill him in modern day Philadelphia, and they tumble through a hole into 1725 London, Charlie realizes even the laws of time don’t take him seriously.

Still, this isn’t all bad. In fact, there’s this girl, another time traveler, who not only remembers his name, but might even like him! Unfortunately, Yvaine carries more than her share of baggage: like a baby boy and at least two ex-boyfriends! One’s famous, the other’s murderous, and Charlie doesn’t know who is the bigger problem.

When one kills the other — and the other is nineteen year-old Ben Franklin — things get really crazy. Can their relationship survive? Can the future? Charlie and Yvaine are time travelers, they can fix this — theoretically — but the rules are complicated and the stakes are history as we know it.

And there's one more wrinkle: he can only travel into the past, and she can only travel into the future!
What a super-engaging and exciting time travel romp!  There's fast-paced adventure, romance, clockwork villains, and Benjamin Franklin! The novel's lead character - poor, unmemorable Charlie Horologe - is thrust into adventure when he makes the split decision to jump after a clockwork man who has just disappeared into a time whirlpool.  From then on the story is tightly packed with adventure, humor, and distinctive, lively characters. There are also vivid, historical descriptions that capture the time period and enhance the story telling. Charlie's fast romance with worldly, saucy Yvaine is sweet but moves very quickly.  Their need for each other is on many layers (companionship, time traveling, survival) which makes their evolving relationship interesting.

The clockwork men who regulate time and are inexplicably after Charlie and Yvaine are delightfully sinister.  Bad guys who don't speak, who are unable to be reasoned with, and don't give up always make for compelling, creepy antagonists.  The time travel aspect of the novel is perhaps the cleverest set-up I have read yet.  There are many rules and restrictions to time travel, and even variations per person that make planning a jump forward or backward almost a logic puzzle. I loved how a new aspect of time travel is revealed slowly throughout the story, with definitely more questions and depth to be explored in later books.  A complex, intelligent, young adult, time travel, historical adventure novel, I think this is fantastic reading for just about everyone, and I can't recommend it highly enough!

a review copy was kindly provided by the author
Check back tomorrow for an interview with the author, Andy Gavin!

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  1. I hadn't heard of this book but it sounds really interesting. I'll definitely have to seek out a copy! :)

  2. Thanks for the awesome review and I'm very gratified to see you enjoyed the book so thoroughly!

    1. Thank you! I'm so happy to share my thoughts on it! :)

  3. This sounds really awesome! Totally along my lines!