And today’s (quicker than usual) review is for The Time Hunters by Carl Ashmore, available through Amazon for Kindle, and as a paperback. Usual links at the bottom.
Brief synopsis - Becky and Joe are the kids who lost their dad years ago. Their kindly, though rarely-seen, uncle offers them a holiday at his estate. There, they find their uncle to be one of a regulated fraternity of time travellers, and they set out on a venture through time to find the legendary Golden Fleece. Pursued, of course, by the obligatory bad guys.
I try, wherever possible, to deliver a balanced review. I make sure that if there is good, no matter how deeply it is buried, I bring it into the review. Likewise, if there is something which doesn’t sit right, I try to include it in a positive way so that you can be assured you are getting my genuine and honest review.
And so it is with this one. I’d like to kick off with the bad. There’s a line of dialogue I didn’t particularly like (it wasn’t offensive, I just didn’t like it). I found a ” where there should have been a ‘. And… that’s about it.
Well, there is maybe a glaring plot hole (which I’ve put right at the bottom to avoid spoilers), but that’s it.
This is an absolutely charming children’s book. The characters are delightful and believable. The dialogue rings true. There’s a sense of whimsy which carries through the whole piece, and things which shouldn’t work are carried off delightfully.
Even the cheeky playing with established mythology (Greek primarily, although there’s a fantastic play with the Robin Hood mythos) works. And I’ve long enjoyed the classics.
Hell, the time travel is done nicely, especially so with the introduction of the Omega Effect (which works largely like an enforced “set moments in time” from Doctor Who, but more strongly). And includes a (possibly accidental) tip of the hat to Bill and Ted. Or, at least, that’s how I read it!
The book is 240 pages, yet never once drags or outstays its welcome. For an old cynic like me, who enjoys horror, fantasy, and the occasional action-adventure, this hearkened back to the movies and books I enjoyed as a kid, without making me feel bored as an adult.
Bravo, Mr Ashmore. I look forward to reading this with my little ‘un in a couple of years.
The Time Hunters is available at:
The plot hole which annoyed me is that having journeyed through time, and fought through their adventures, the intrepid band get the Golden Fleece from the dread Hydra (which cannot be killed by mortal weapons) and then… go and bury it underneath a dinosaur’s stomping ground which will later become Buckingham Palace. For rival timetravellers, it would be far, far easier to dig up from there, surely… And why get the fleece, only to move it somewhere else? Hmph.