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You are now entering the world of my thoughts.

This blog is my diary of works in progress. The only way a writer can improve upon her skill is to practice, practice and practice some more. Here, in this place of quiet peace, I pen to paper my thoughts and creativity. Welcome to my world.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Blog Tour: Book Review: Untimed by Andy Gavin

This post will include a review and a giveaway, so be sure to go all the way to the bottom to enter the giveaway provided by the author :)

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 is the bigger problem.

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!

Link to excerpts from Untimed:
Andy Gavin's Bio:
Andy Gavin is a serial creative, polymath, novelist, entrepreneur, computer programmer, author, foodie, and video game creator. He co-founded video game developer Naughty Dog and co-created Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter. He started numerous companies, has been lead programmer on video games that have sold more than forty million copies, and has written two novels.

His first book, The Darkening Dream, has been well-received by fans and critics alike. Publisher’s Weekly called it “gorgeously creepy, strangely humorous, and sincerely terrifying.” Untimed is an even more ambitious follow-up. It is a lavish production with a cover by acclaimed fantasy artist Cliff Nielsen and twenty-one full page interior illustrations by Dave Phillips.

Prices/Formats: $5.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $24.00 hardcover
Publisher: Mascherato Publishing
ISBN: 9781937945053 ebook, 9781937945046 paperback, 9781937945039 hardcover
Pages: 325
Release: December 19, 2012

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – YA / Time Travel & Romance
Rating – PG
Connect with Andy Gavin on Facebook & Twitter

My review of Untimed by Andy Gavin

This review was a little hard to write as I had mixed feelings about the book. After reading the blurb, I thought, "Wow, this sounds like a cool and adventurous book," with the time travel and historical elements. While it was definitely action packed with a tight plot and all too real characters, the story was not quite what I expected. There were a great many things I loved about Untimed and a few things I did not like. I will begin with a short summary of the book then delve into my likes and dislikes.

Quick Summary:

Charlie is forgettable. Really! No one seems to remember his name, not even his own mother. Charlie has always felt like an outcast, never really belonging, always out of focus to the real world, or at least the world seemed out of focus to him. The only people who seem to relate to him are his dad and Aunt Sophie who are hardly ever around. His journey begins when his father and aunt abruptly leaves before telling him a really important secret. When Charlie chases down a strange and suspicious clockwork man, he finds himself jumping down a hole into London 1725. Charlie meets a Scottish teenage girl, Yvaine, and little does he know his life will change forever; as will history as he knows it. Good thing his dad made him learn and memorize all those history books. Charlie's adventure begins when he learns that he is a time traveler and the only way to get back to his time is with the help of Yvaine. You see, girls can only travel up the time stream while boys can only travel down. But things go drastically and horribly wrong when the two inadvertently allow a young Ben Franklin get killed screwing up the time-line. Not to mention, that time traveler hating tick-tock is out to kill Charlie and Yvaine. The time traveling duo must jump through time surviving time quakes, dodging the murderous clockwork men and alternate historical events as they try to find Charlie's father if they are to set history back on course and get Charlie back to his right timeline alive. 

What I liked:

Strong plot, strong characters, action packed, attention to details, balance of action and dialogue, unique time travel story, illustrations included, exciting jumps through time, especially with Charlie's aunt.
I love the thought of time travel. Like Charlie said, "Why study history when you can see it first hand?!?" But it is so much more complex than simply being an observer. Charlie learns really fast, as does the reader, just what happens when you mess with time. This really made me think of all the things that could have happened to our own history if certain events did not take place or if the outcome of the events had been different. Scary. In the story, the death of Ben Franklin caused catastrophic changes in the timeline and a creepy and dangerous alternate history was born. Andy Gavin wrote for the layperson. As much as I like this genre, science fiction/fantasy, I am not as up to par with the big science vocabulary. His word choices gave the story the right feel without being too technical or too dumbed down.  

What I didn’t like:

There was very little that I did not like. However, the one thing that really bothered me was the character Charlie. A lot of his behavior seemed very inappropriate for a boy his age, especially his relationship with Yvaine. I also did not care for how crude and loose Yvaine was. I get she lived a hard life in a really hard time/era, but it was just too much for me and my reading taste. There were too many "scenes" and references 

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Tribute Books said...

Saba, I'm glad that overall you found 'Untimed' to be an enjoyable read. Thanks for the review :)

Kerri Cuev said...

Sounds like an exciting story!

Fear Street said...

This one sounds really good. Can't wait to read it!

-Amber Terry-

Alison Lan said...

The book sounds great!

Anonymous said...

I finished the book earlier but had mixed feelings about it. Somehow the book felt very distant to me that I didn't really connect to the characters. But I'm glad to hear it worked for you :)

Member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators