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Friday, March 8, 2013

Book Review - Untimed by Andy Gavin

Book Review
Untimed by Andy Gavin

About Andy Gavin
Andy Gavin is an unstoppable storyteller who studied for his Ph.D. at M.I.T. and founded video game developer Naughty Dog, Inc. at the age of fifteen, serving as co-president for two decades. There he created, produced, and directed over a dozen video games, including the award winning and best selling Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter franchises, selling over 40 million units worldwide. He sleeps little, reads novels and histories, watches media obsessively, travels, and of course, writes.

Book Description
Untimed is an action-packed time travel novel by Andy Gavin, author of The Darkening Dream and creator of Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter.

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 the bigger problem is.

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!

A lavish production with a cover by acclaimed fantasy artist Cliff Nielsen and twenty one full page interior illustrations by Dave Phillips.
Yvaine arguing with Ben Franklin at the St Barts printhouse
Can this be Philadelphia?
Our Book Review
I know that your not supposed to judge a book by it's cover but how could you not, it's absolutely gorgeous and draws you in instantly to want to read on.  I couldn't wait to start reading the book as soon as it arrived and with the added addition of twenty-one black and white illustrations throughout the book, I think this would be a great book for any young adult or older reader to enjoy. 

The author has wrote a highly creative, fast paced and at times humorous time travel fantasy that has so many twists and turns it literally keeps you on the edge of your seat wanting to read on and on.  I even found myself going back a few pages a couple of times just to catch up.  As you follow the main characters of Charlie and Yvaine traveling through time on their many close to the edge adventures with their time war enemies, the clockwork tocks, the story cleverly wraps itself around history such as Ben Franklin, clockmaker/inventor Bréguet, Napoleonic war as well as 18th - 21st century living.   The story comes alive and you are simply hooked, especially the second half of the book.

Charlie is an overlooked teenage boy who has absolutely no idea that he is a time traveller and is on the brink of learning why his dad and aunt disappear for months on.  On a school trip Charlie spots the policeman who was searching for his dad and decides to follow him.  Even when he realises that the policeman is a ivory faced clockwork man that disappears into the ground, Charlie can't stop himself and jumps into the ground after him. This is when 2011 Philadelphia becomes 1725 London Dickens times and Charlie meets the love of his life, fellow time traveller Yvaine.

Yvaine is a independant, very blunt and sassy pickpocketer who has her own unique use of the english language.  She is owned, used and abused by a Fagan like character called Donnie.  Not only that, Yvaine has a son by Ben Franklin but Donnie takes him away from her as blackmail until she helps in destroying the future.

Being a time traveller isn't easy, girls from the past go into the future and boys from the future go into the past, changing history can have repercussions and timequakes happen when history is changed, downtime is needed after every trip and not only all that tocks don't like time travellers and kill on sight so listen out for the CHIME!  Luckily the original time traveller, the regulator, engraved brass pages that can't be deleted by time to help future travellers but will they find what they need and just when you think everything is back to how it originally was, think again !!

My favourite part of the book was when they traveled uptime into the ticktock future, everything had changed with a familiar large metal clock tower shadowing over the town, horse and carts, pedalled clockwork bikes, clockwork bugs and more, I really enjoyed it and wanted to read more.

I would recommend this to any time travel fan from the age of 15/16 and above due to some 'romantic' (let's say) and other small parts of the storyline.

Our Rating

Buy the book from ....

Sharon x

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  1. What a unique twist - he can only go back in time, she can only go forward. Hmmm... I'd love to read this one.

  2. I read Andy Gavin's book The Darkening Dream back in January and loved it he's such a good author! Great review.
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

  3. I will add this to my list of must reads. I have been trying to catch up on my fun reading but with all these great books, it is hard.

  4. This looks like a good book! I love the pictures! I am a big reader so am always looking for new books to read. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Very cool! I think my younger cousin would really enjoy this book.

  6. My Grandson would love this. Thanks for the heads up!

  7. Sounds like a good read, thanks for sharing :)

  8. Great review!!! And smart thinking on the Twitter thing!! =)

  9. Time travel sounds like it would be fun, Especially if you are a history lover. But with a twist like this even more interesting. Thanks for sharing.


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