- Star Rating: 4 out of 5
- Kids: Yes! This is a kids book, anyway.
- Do I recommend it? Yes! I love this story! But, like Eragon (the Inheritance cycle), I don’t know if the series continues well. I’ll update when I get there.
Part I: For y’all who have yet to read it
This is another book Ana was hooked on first. My curiosity got the better of me, and once I picked it up, I could not put it down. The author has an intriguing story and she presents it very well. There’s enough mystery to pull the reader in, but not too much that it leaves the reader in the dust (which is what happened when I accidentally started with the wrong book of The 39 Clues).
The one major problem for me is that Mrs. Buckley-Archer cannot pick a POV (Point Of View)! Oh my goodness, the POV changed so randomly. First we’re inside Peter’s head, then Kate’s, then back to Peter for half a chapter, and then we’re with Gideon for a paragraph!
Peter, the main character who’s 12, is a bit of a brat, but it makes for a fun unfolding of a friendship. Kate comes from a more traditional family, which is nice for a change in young people’s literature. I love Gideon’s character (more on that in Part II). We see parts of the villains’ backstories. They are dreadful; they broke my heart. Consider yourself warned.
The majority of the book takes place in 18th-century London. It’s not too violent, but it is historically accurate (think crowds gathering for hanging, guns, and a fist or several).
Last warning: You will want to read the next book! Go ahead and buy the next one so it’s ready!
Part II: Some random analyses, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!
The characters were all well-developed. There isn’t much of an arc with most of them yet, but there are two more books coming. I really like how the book mainly focused on what Peter and Kate were experiencing, but how we know that the story is really going to be about Gideon. For the record, Gideon is officially added to my mental book heart throb list. He also had a dreadful backstory. It’s interesting how both Gideon and the Tar Man both had such terrible childhoods, and how each came out of it. Gideon, though he got into some trouble, has a great heart. The Tar Man doesn’t know mercy.
The scene that Gideon, Peter, and Kate rescue the others from the highwaymen was interesting, especially regarding how Gideon presented his plan. Gideon spoke so matter-of-factly, like there was no doubt the God of ancient Gideon really delivered the Midianites into his hands. Then, the Parson used a scare-you-out-of-hell sermon on his captors. Both I’d bet are historically accurate. Add onto this how the Parson responds to one of them as he’s escaping. The Parson did not show the love of Jesus at all, also accurate in the religious setting of the 1700s.
I could do a much better job of explaining how a phone works to Gideon than Peter did! Just leaving that out there.
I wish that there was some more explanation to how this touching the king worked. We got the information we needed but I don’t know how this king’s evil will go away. Next book?
I did not see the ending coming! I knew that the Tar Man made it to modern day, but I didn’t know that Peter would not make it. It was annoying that he didn’t make it because of a sentimental hug, but I’m glad he’s flying with Gideon. I can’t wait until I can get my hands on The Time Thief!