Untimed by Andy Gavin
Length: Full (342 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rated: 4 Stars
Review by Rose
Untimed is an action-packed time travel novel by Andy Gavin, author of The Darkening Dream and creator of Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter.
Charlie’s the kind of boy that no one notices. Hell, his own mother can’t remember his name. So 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. Who needs school when you can learn about history first hand, like from Ben Franklin himself. And there’s this girl… Yvaine… another time traveler. All good. Except for the rules: boys only travel into the past and girls only into the future. And the baggage: Yvaine’s got a baby boy and more than her share of ex-boyfriends. Still, even if they screw up history — like accidentally let the founding father be killed — they can just time travel and fix it, right? But the future they return to is nothing like Charlie remembers. To set things right, he and his scrappy new girlfriend will have to race across the centuries, battling murderous machines from the future, jealous lovers, reluctant parents, and time itself.
This is one of the best books I’ve read in a while! Charlie is a born time-traveller, only his father never told him about it. He discovers it accidentally when he follows a “Tick-Tock” through its portal and winds up not only in the past, but on another continent!
While there, he meets a young Benjamin Franklin and gives him an idea about checking lightning for electricity. Also, oops, he gets Franklin killed. That kind of changes the future that Charlie finds once he gets back to it with the help of his new girlfriend Yvainne.
With the reluctant help of his father and aunt, Charlie does his best to get back to London to clean up the mess he makes.
Mr. Gavin has written some great characters in Charlie and Yvainne. I enjoyed the banter between them and the development of their relationship. They start off together just because they need each other (boys can only go back in time, girls have to go forward); however, they soon develop a real relationship.
The story is fast paced–I never could find a time I wanted to put it down to do something else. I don’t often find a book that I read in one sitting any more, but I did with this book. I’m looking forward to the rest of the books in the series because there are a lot more adventures ahead for Charlie and Yvainne.