Kirkus Reviews QR Code
NICK OF TIME by Ted Bell


by Ted Bell

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: May 13th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-312-38068-7
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

The author of several Ian Fleming–style thrillers for adults reworks his lengthy self-published 2000 debut into a windy, labored and even longer doorstopper. On the eve of World War II, 12-year-old Nick receives an appeal for help from a Napoleonic-era ancestor about to get blown out of the water while trying to get vital information to Lord Nelson. The desperate message comes with a portable time machine, so off Nick hies to 1805, leaving his six-year-old sister paired with a hypercompetent inventor/British Intelligence Officer to capture an experimental Nazi supersubmarine. Linking the twin plotlines is Billy Blood, a vicious pirate with another time machine and a penchant for holding wealthy children from various eras for ransom—aboard, conveniently, the very French warship that is attacking Nick’s ancestor. Needless to say, after extended sea battles Blood is foiled (but not killed, so look for sequels), the children rescued, the sub captured and the dispatches delivered, all amid many gaps in logic and massive contrivances. Bell should have left this one in his sea chest. (Fantasy. 11-13)