After defeating a supervillain from the future in the first book of the Time Shift trilogy, The Year of Lightning (2016), the time travelers from Emmett’s Bluff feel they’ve just barely recovered when they now encounter a new threat from the Time continuum.
The action starts when white teenage twins Malcolm and Valentine, along with their diverse, intergenerational team of friends, discover fair-complexioned Asha and her olive-skinned brother, Tyrathorn, time-traveling warriors who emerge suddenly from another time. The unexpected visitors are children of royalty from the ancient kingdom of Everwatch who have suffered an ambush at the hands of evil Chronauri forces. It appears that a war playing out in Everwatch will come to Emmett’s Bluff, and chaos will spread in the universe if Time is not protected from the evil forces of the Black Tempest. It is at this fateful meeting that Malcolm and Valentine discover the root of their powers, as Asha informs them that they are also Chronauri, and they must learn how to control them in order to save the universe. Dalton orients readers quickly to the back story from Book 1 before plunging into this chapter of the trilogy. He struggles with his depictions of diversity, utilizing a stereotyped version of African-American vernacular for his black characters’ dialogue.
This flaw aside, the book’s down-to-earth teenagers, bonded by adventure, will have readers rooting for the allies to prevail. (Science fiction. 14-18)