Good morning all! Today I have a duet of pleasures for you – a new release review and the inaugral review selection of the Maniacal Book Club (pictured!). What is this book club and from whence has it sprung, I hear you question. Well, since I am not the only being on the shelf and my opinion is but one of many, I decided that I should involve some of the other shelf-dwellers in having their say on our latest reads. You will meet the others shortly.
Let us regain our focus however, and turn back to the topic of today’s book club discussion, which is the new release middle grade historical time slip adventure Time Square: The Shift, by S. W. Lothian. This is the first in a new series by the Australian (double points!) author and I was lucky enough to receive an advance digital copy from the author for review. Thanks!
Time Square: The Shift follows the fate of Dr Rex Hudson as he attempts to uncover the ancient secrets of a …well, secret…obelisk hidden in the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru. The year is 1930 and Dr Hudson cannot resist the call of the mysterious, trekking into the mountains with his trusty guides and assistant in the hope of finding fame and fortune. After bringing the mysterious obelisk home and storing it in his basement (for research purposes, you understand), he and his two children accidentally activate the obelisk’s time portal-inducing powers and are deposited in Time Square, the centre of all time. As the family are introduced to the comings and goings and wheres and whyfors of Time Square, they are informed that they have unwittingly caused a breach that could mean the end of time itself. Cue rollicking adventure as the Hudson family attempts to put things right, before time runs out. For good.
So now I call to order this, the first meeting of the Maniacal Book Club, to share with you some thoughts on Time Square: The Shift. Introducing…..
Guru Dave (Repository of most Gargoylish Wisdom)
Flesh brothers and sisters, I have spent long hours in meditation over this tome and I pronounce it most worthy for those who enjoy becoming lost in the swirling mists of time. Without time we would all look a lot younger, but we would also be late for many pressing appointments..and for the Hudson family in this book, the importance of time weighed heavily on their minds in their decision to risk themselves to save time and its associated conveniences.
This book receives my blessing for readers who have passed eight or more years in the standard measurement of Earth time.
Toothless (Dragon, emerged from a middle grade storybook to sit on the shelf)
First of all, this book needed more dragons. No dragons at all here. Shame really. Maybe there’ll be some in the next book.
Anyway, there’s lots of action in this book and some people end up being whooshed around in the air and there’s even some bad guys. I think it’s a book that boys will like because of the action. It’s pretty funny too. There are poo-throwing monkeys in the first chapter. No dragons though.
I have composed a poem to convey my thoughts about Time Square: The Shift. It runs thusly:
If you’re a thrill seeker, take heed and take care,
should you pass by an ob’lisk, oh trekker, beware!
For some are well known to entrap and ensnare
and you could find yourself promptly dumped in Time Square.
But never you panic, young friend, don’t you fret,
There’s a chance you can make it safe out of this yet,
By working together, to aid and abet,
you can sort out that pesky old time statuette.
But in order to learn about time’s secret theories,
you’ll just have to read the rest of the series!
Bruce (The original and the best!)
I think this book will appeal greatly to kids who like the idea of time travel and solving ancient mysteries. The book is set in 1930, but the language use is definitely not accurate for the period. While this took a bit of getting used to for me as an adult reader, I don’t think it will bother young readers unduly. There’s a lot of funny one-liners and quirky characters to keep middle grade readers interested so I suspect that this will be a real hit with the age group, and the content is a refreshing chance from the currently popular crop of middle grade books set in contemporary times, and limited to the school/home setting.
Time Square: The Shift is due for release on the 9th of April.
If you’d like to find out more about the book or the author or the author’s other works, have a look at his blog here. I should probably also mention that this would fit neatly into category eight of the Small Fry Safari Kid Lit Readers Challenge – a book with wordplay in the title (Time Square/Times Square – it’s marginal but it’ll do!). Click on the pic below for more info about the challenge and to sign up!
Until next time, intrepid explorers!
Bruce (and the rest of the club)