This fast-paced novel incorporates a variety of tropes and modes—time travel and dream walking, adventure and suspense—to produce a rewarding, page-turning read.
For about a year—ever since his father died—14-year-old English schoolboy David Utherwise has been dreaming about a boy named Eddie, who has become something of a “dream friend.” One night, he has nightmares in which Eddie is trapped in a burning house during the Blitz, and the next day is really tough, to put it mildly. He is bullied in class, a set of total strangers attempts to abduct him, and a different set succeeds in kidnapping him. Scruffy Professor Feldrake explains David’s importance to a benign group of time travelers determined to keep Eddie, who is a very real boy living in an earlier time, alive. The story is told in chapters that switch from World War II–era London to a modern-day citadel inside a Swiss mountain, a technique that produces a series of breathtaking cliffhangers and ramps up suspense considerably. A variety of characters, many of them ill-intentioned, add oomph to the propulsive plot but not much depth. This solid adventure with its many teen characters will appeal to a wide audience; the epilogue leaves many threads hanging, giving promise of at least one more outing.
Reluctant readers and adventure/suspense junkies will gallop through this volume and haunt the shelves for the sequel. (Adventure. 10-14)