Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Book Review Club ~ September

Last month I was on vacation during Barrie Summie's Book Review Club, smack dab in the middle of the book I'm reviewing this month: The Nick of Time by Ted Bell. And let me tell you, I was completely caught up!

Nick McIver is the adventurous son of a lighthouse keeper, growing up on Greybeard Island off the coast of Britain in 1939. At twelve, he has free run of the island, a sailboat of his own, and the skill to get him out of some seriously tight spots.

Nick's greatest aspiration is to be a hero like is father, a pilot flying during WWI, or his friend Gunner, who served in His Majesty's navy during The Great War. When Nick discovers that his father has been using his location on Greybeard Island to keep track of Nazi movements in the waters of the English Channel--and that he hopes to conscript Nick into service as well, he's ecstatic...until his father is summoned away to face some grim news.

Consequently...as so often happens in the great children's stories...Nick and his young sister are parent-free...left to the care of family friend and pub keeper Gunner.

Left to their own devices, Nick and his sister, with Gunner along as chaperone, discover a treasure chest in a cave along the coast, then witness a monstrous Nazi U-boat surfacing just beside their sailboat. Nick, urgently wishing to gather information for his father's contact, Winston Churchill, lassos the boat's periscope, resulting in a ferociously fast tow around the island, to the castle of the mysterious Lord Hawke.

And that's just the beginning! I haven't even mentioned Billy Blood, the pirate from the past trying to get ahold of the treasure, which is, in fact, a time machine built by Leonardo da Vinci. Believe it.

Seriously, there is a LOT going on in this book! And beyond the fact that I don't want to give too much away, I simply can't do it justice. I haven't even touched on the naval battle, the kidnappings, the run-in with the Nazis, and all manner of adventures and thrills galore. If I let it, this little summary could go on and on and on. Your time would be better spent reading the book.

Beyond the truly excellent plot, Nick himself is a truly likeable hero: resourceful, compassionate, brave, and loyal. This book made me wish I lived on Greybeard Island in 1939, just so I could have known him and tried to tag along. I can't wait to read the second book in the series: The Time Pirate--you can just tell by the cover that it's gonna be good. Bravo, Mr. Bell! If I could, I'd give you a 21 gun salute!




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12 comments:

David Cranmer said...

Ok, I'm buying this today. The title and cover art jumped out at our local bookstore. I'm in the mood for a little YA adventure.

Gracias, amiga.

Teenage Bride said...

Great review Alyssa!

Ellen Booraem said...

Oh, a good old-fashioned adventure! I can't wait to read this one--thanks for bringing it to my attention. Great review.

Sarah Laurence said...

Lighthouses and Nazis – that is new. Nice review.

Alyssa Goodnight said...

David, I eyed this book in the bookstore for a couple weeks before finally giving in. I think you'll really enjoy it.

Thank you, Jill, Ellen, and Sarah!

Keri Mikulski said...

Fantastic, in depth review. I'm fascinated by lighthouse keepers. Going to check this one out. :) Thanks!

Barrie said...

Perfect timing! A mother on the pool deck was just asking me about an MG for a boy. And I think this would fit the bill. I'll send her the link to her review. And CONGRATS AGAIN ON YOUR TWO-BOOK DEAL!!

Stacy said...

Oh, great review! And it sounds like a great book!

There's something old fashioned sounding about it (and I don't just mean the time period it's set in). Like the adventure books from decades ago before fantasy adventure became all the rage for kids.

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Thanks, you guys! It truly is a great book!

kaye said...

Love your review, I got a good sense of what this book was about, it sounds like a very fun read. It sounds like a perfect recommendation for my grandson. Thanks so much for stopping by today.

Mimi said...

I'm totally checking these out. Totally my style (Pirates, and all)! Alyssa, I just found your blog and would like to congratulate you on your getting published. SIGH. I hope to someday follow in your footsteps!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Thanks Mimi, and thanks for stopping by!
Hang in there--it'll happen! :)