Screwing Up Time
By C. M. Keller
Colorful YA Time Travel
EBook, 39 chapters
Released July, 2010
Mark Montgomery is minding his own business, actively doing his best to keep from studying for the SATs when a girl named Miranda appears in his room. She’s dressed like someone out of a history book, because she’s a fixture in one. She is the heir to Bodiam Castle in the middle ages. She’s got a problem named Peter – the alchemist who’s found a way to control her entire life – and Mark may be the only one who can help her. Breaking into a Mental institution, running away to present day Bodaim with his best friend, and finding all the things his committed grandfather hid away so that he too can travel through the colors of time to save her is difficult enough... and he has to do it all while keeping his parents in the dark.
This novel is very well written and engaging. As with all self published titles, I approach them with trepidation, but unlike so many others, this novel kept me involved throughout.
It takes a while to get used to Miranda’s speech patterns, but I was pleased that she sounded realistically medieval in that regard. The dialog as a whole was very realistic, and even the awkward interplay of modern day high school boy with little Lady from the dark ages worked on that inexplicable teen level.
The Plot, Characterization and Setting were well dispersed, so I was never left feeling as though I’d just read a useless paragraph of character or setting description and likewise never felt swept along by a raging torrent of the plot.
As for the downside, I was expecting for there to be more of the novel – which is entirely from Mark’s perspective – to be in the past. So my expectations led to a teensy bit of “are we there yet” syndrome.
There was only one point that didn’t truly work for me and that was that these two boys, both very well educated, didn’t seem to think about the fact that one of their plans (later in the book) to take a white powdery substance on a plane might end up with both of them in custody. It pulled me out of the book, but wasn’t so jarring that it was detrimental to the book.
Finally, a few times I felt myself slipping into memories of watching Wax Works II: Lost in time. But mostly that was just because I’d find myself thinking of Alexander Godunov whenever Peter was in the scene. The story itself was only similar in that time travel was involved and the movie went to a medieval time period. (Obviously this won’t bother you if you’re not one of the 12 people who have actually seen Waxwork II.)
What it boils down to is an amusing YA novel that was well written and enjoyable to read.
Buy, Borrow, Brush Past:
If you have an e-reader and enjoy YA with a touch of whimsy. By all means: Buy! However, if you’re like me and your only e-reader is your phone… Don’t expect to read this one quickly, without a little nausea.