First of all: I adore a good time traveller book.
There is just something SO satisfying about the thrills, conundrums, and opportunities afforded by a time travel thriller.
So when I got the opportunity to read Liesl Schurtliff's second TIME CASTAWAYS book, THE OBSIDIAN COMPASS, I jumped at it!
Mateo, Ruby, and Corey Hudson have lost their friend Jia to the villainous Captain Vincent’s clutches, and now they’re determined to bring her back to safety. But the Hudson kids don’t have a way to time-travel without the Obsidian Compass, until Mateo figures out the secret component to get his own homemade compass working.
Soon the whole family—plus their wacky neighbor, Chuck, and his rusty orange bus, Blossom—are swept up in another epic journey.
With their own time-traveling vehicle and some help from history’s most famous young markswoman, Annie Oakley, the Hudsons think they’re prepared to sneak onto the Vermillion. Unbeknownst to them, Captain Vincent already knows they’re coming. In fact, he’s counting on it…
First of all, you DON'T need to read the first book to enjoy this story, though of course it helps! Shurtliff does a wonderful job of recapping what happened in book one and making sure we understand the stakes straight away.
The story is a page-turner from the get-go, giving us some important (and thrilling!) backstory that we're going to need later in the story.
From there, we jump from time to time, place to place, person to person, in a dizzying display of an author having VERY good control over her plot. (it isn't as easy as it looks!)
All of the characters are well-developed, and we care what happens to them, in this time and in other time periods...
Better yet, the kids have real agency in this story; their problem-solving skills, creativity, and engineering abilities make this a story where kids can imagine themselves solving issues in a proactive way, too. There are lots of "What would I do?" moments, as well as "What a great idea!", both of which are critical in making this kind of book thrilling.
Best of all, there are surprises galore. And plenty of stories left to tell....
About the Author:
is the bestselling author of other books in the (Fairly) True Tales series, and the Time Castaways series, beginning with . She was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, the fifth of eight kids. She now lives in Chicago with her husband and four kids, where she writes full-time. Find her online at www.lieslshurtliff.com
Want to win a copy?
Leave a message below telling me what year you'd like to travel to and you'll be entered into a draw to win a hardcover copy! Contest starts October 14th and runs until October 18th!