I've mentioned before that although I continue to read time-travel books, I usually find them disappointing. One reason is that many authors try too hard to explain all the ins and outs of the process, and the more explanations, rules, and criteria that are given, the more impossible it is not to nitpick--and the harder it is (for me) to just sink into the novel and enjoy it.
The first few pages had me wondering if I would really like the book, but quickly I found myself drawn in by fifteen-year-old Miles McTavish and his mission to 1928 and the small English village of Tipton, England.
Miles has quite a bit of cultural navigating to do. A teenager from a wealthy family in 2012 would have a difficult time adjusting to the sensibilities of an England between wars: the living conditions, customs, manners, etc., frequently bring Miles to a state of uncertainty and confusion. Originally, a shy, unassuming boy lacking in confidence, Miles is forced to confront some strange situations in his search for a girl "born out of her time," and each situation, concerning friend or foe, strengthens Miles' confidence and his ability to adapt.
Characters are well-rounded and believable. The plot kept me entertained, and I had a great time reading this novel and enjoying the story without being snarky about the time-travel.
Up, Back, and Away uses a portal that connects the U.S. and Great Britain in space and time. No lengthy explanations, no attempts to make it logical, and very few rules; the portal has more of magic than science. I could "suspend my disbelief" and simply enjoy the ride.
I would certainly recommend this as a YA novel, but as with all good novels, it appeals to all ages whether the protagonist is fifteen or older. An entertaining novel with lots of good social and cultural history thrown in with the adventure.
An Amazon ebook (and free, thanks to Nan).
Time-travel, Adventure. 2013. 344 pages.
- ISBN-10: 1481873474