In the Nick of Time by J. Lee Graham
Publisher: Create Space
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary, Historical, Action/Adventure
Length: Full Length (158 pages)
Age Recommendation: 10+
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review by: Astilbe
When 13 year old Andy Mackpeace lights a mysterious incense stick, he is unexpectedly whisked off to 18th Century Boston to experience an event no history channel could ever replicate! With his grandmother’s supernatural guidance, he returns safely home.Later, when he and his best friend Roger tempt fate and secretly meet to go on their own time travel adventure, they are interrupted by their nosy friend Miranda Roberts. Andy accidentally drops the stick, and all three are carried back to an antebellum plantation where they remain hopelessly trapped. Andy experiences first hand the true horror of hatred and prejudice when he must make a decision that will change his life. Friendships are tested, broken, and ultimately transformed as these three travelers use their 21st Century wits to battle a 19th Century world.
Some inheritances are easy to figure out what to do with, but others are much trickier.
Andy’s relationship with his grandmother was the first thing I really enjoyed about this story. There’s a difference between loving a relative and genuinely liking him or her as a fellow human being. Luckily, Andy and Geri both love and like one another, possibly in part because their personalities are so similar. I enjoyed watching them interact. They’ve had a lot of fun together over the years, and it shows.
There was quite a bit of telling instead of showing. The main characters experience some pretty scary and bewildering circumstances, so I was surprised by how quickly the focus of the plot moved on from their reactions to the next scene. Complex emotions were often discussed in just a few sentences. While condensing these reactions worked well in some sections, many other parts of the plot would have benefited from a deeper look into what was happening with Andy and Miranda in particular.
With that being said, Roger’s reactions were much more realistic. There’s nothing fun about being a slave. His predicament made me feel a great deal of empathy for all of the difficult, dangerous things he was facing. I don’t know if the author has any interest in writing a spinoff series, but I’d be interested in hearing more about this character’s life if Mr. Graham ever decides to expand this universe. Roger was my favorite person by far in this tale.
In the Nick of Time is a good choice for anyone who likes time travel adventures.