The Time Thief
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Audience: Ages 12+
How I Got It: Personal Purchase
About This Book:
At the end of the first book in the Gideon Trilogy, an accident with an antigravity machine catapulted Peter Schock and Kate Dyer back to 1763. A bungled rescue attempt leaves Peter stranded in the eighteenth century while a terrifying villain, the Tar Man, takes his place and explodes onto twenty-first-century London.
Concerned about the potentially catastrophic effects of time travel, the NASA scientists responsible for the situation question whether it is right to rescue Peter. Kate decides to take matters into her own hands, but things don’t go as planned. Soon the physical effects of time travel begin to have a disturbing effect on her. Meanwhile, in our century, the Tar Man continues his criminal life in a city whose police force is powerless to stop him.
Set against a backdrop of contemporary London and revolutionary France, The Time Thief is the sequel to The Time Travelers.
The Time Thief is just as interesting as the first book in this trilogy. In The Time Travelers, the two young protagonists Peter and Kate spend an equal amount of time (*pun intended*) with the reader. This changes in The Time Thief because 12-year-old Peter is stuck back in 1763. This story really belongs to Kate. I was okay with that. Kate is a great character.
This novel breaks a so-called rule for writing childrens’ fiction by including adult POVs. The reason Ms. Buckley-Archer pulled this off so successfully is because the adults are wrestling with ageless problems and feelings like how Mr. Schock is feeling lonely and anxious after being separated from his 12-year old son by decades (literally).
On the front cover, there is a quote from a School Library Journal review that compares this book to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. I read that and thought, “well, that sounds great!” Then I read the book and thought, “well, that was nothing like Harry Potter!” The writing style, the characters and the premise were fantastic but they were hardly like Harry Potter.
I loved how the Tar Man tried to use the skills he learned in the 18th century to get around in modern times. He was a lot more likeable and kind in the 21st century. I thought it was really funny how he interacted with 21st century characters and I realized that the only reason I wanted him to be apprehended by the modern-day police was because I wanted to see how he would get out of it.
I really enjoy the idea of time travel but in most childrens’ time travel novels I’ve read, the author either didn’t well-explain how time travel works or the author included way too much detail and I was lost in a sea of facts. The Time Thief successfully managed to explain how time travel works while not sacrificing a good story.
This book has everything that I enjoy in a sequel, which means more adventure, conflict and sticky situations. Overall, 5/5 Stars.
About Linda Buckley-Archer
Linda Buckley-Archer is the author of the critically acclaimed Gideon trilogy. Originally trained as a linguist, she is now a full-time novelist and scriptwriter. She has written a television drama for the BBC and several radio dramas, as well as various journalistic pieces for papers like the Independent. The Gideon Trilogy was inspired by the criminal underworld of eighteenth-century London.
What’s Up Next?
Yay! The next book I will review is The Second Life of Abigail Walker. My review will be up next week. Until then, however, I have a different type of post planned for the weekend. Stay tuned for that!
What are you reading this week? Have you read The Time Thief or any book in the Gideon Trilogy? What did you think?