The Time Travelers    book Review

Book One of the Gideon Trilogy

by Lisa Buckley-Archer


About This Book:


Gideon Seymour, thief and gentleman, hides from the villainous Tar Man. Suddenly the sky peels away like fabric and from the gaping hole fall two curious-looking children. Peter Schock and Kate Dyer have fallen straight from the twenty-first century, thanks to an experiment with an antigravity machine. Before Gideon and the children have a chance to gather their wits, the Tar Man takes off with the machine — and Peter and Kate’s only chance of getting home. Soon Gideon, Peter, and Kate are swept into a journey through eighteenth-century London and form a bond that, they hope, will stand strong in the face of unfathomable treachery

What I Liked About This Book:

  • As a writer, I greatly admired the skillful Omniscient POV of The Time Travelers. I rarely find books that manage this as well as this novel did. Here is an example:

Kate blushed, which caused Peter to smirk. He knew just what it felt like when grown-ups you scarcely remember insisted on making personal remarks and kissing you. And you weren’t supposed to wipe your cheek on your sleeve immediately afterward either. Why, Kate thought. Is that boy pulling such a stupid face at me?

The transition is very smooth between Peter’s and Kate’s thoughts.

  • I love  history and I have always wanted to write a novel about children sent back in time. I think it would be so amusing to write a scene in which a modern day person explains what life is like in the 21st century to someone from the past. In this novel, there are some funny scenes like when the children try to tell Erasmus Darwin about his grandson and the theory of evolution.
  • I know that many writers struggle with creating a good villain and I think this is something that Linda Buckley-Archer managed to do exceptionally well. There are two villains in the this novel, Lord Luxon and his henchman the Tar Man. Each has his own backstory and prove that they are willing to double-cross each other in order to achieve a goal. The Tar Man is a typical rouge; he travels around Britain performing the dirty work for Lord Luxon. On the other hand, Lord Luxon is a wealthy noble who, at first glance, seems perfectly respectable. They were both excellent antagonists and I loved how they played off each other.

What Could Have Been Better:

  • There is a lot of pressure on beginnings of novels. As a reader, I want to be drawn in to the story from the start, I want to love the characters from the few first pages, I want to lose myself in the story right away. As a writer, I want these things too but I also understand how hard it is to pull them  off. I wasn’t particularly impressed by the beginning of The Time Travelers. The story opens with Peter waking up in the morning and he talks about how  he is thrilled about his the birthday treat until he goes downstairs and learns that it has been cancelled… again. I felt like too much backstory was being introduced at once. I usually like to finish the books I start so I kept reading. It took me another twenty pages to really get into the novel but I really enjoyed the rest.

In Conclusion:
The Time Travelers is a fantastic time travel novel for middle grade readers, ideally 10-13. If  I ever get around to writing my  time travel novel, I’ll pull out The Time Travelers as my textbook example. For now though, I am going to start reading the next book in the Gideon Trilogy, The Time Thief.

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