When the portal to ancient Egypt is destroyed, 12-year-old Horace must find another way into the network and learn more about what it means to be a Time Keeper.
Horace and his friends head to the local museum in search of answers. Instead, they find another portal disguised as an antique car. But instead of pyramids and sand dunes, the three friends find themselves in 1926 Detroit, surrounded by speak-easies and gangsters. They also find Herman, Horace’s Time Keeper mentor, who explains that the network of portals is far larger than he believed. Herman further tells him that he must return home to retrieve the Benben Stone before whoever is destroying the portals and threatening the Order finds it. Horace is an unassuming small-town hero with a heart for adventure, but his loyalty toward his friends and his open-hearted acceptance of even the school bully are what make him heroic. While the celebration of Detroit in its heyday is interesting, the time-traveling adventure falls flat. Un-kidlike, often expository dialogue, a predictable plot, and a lack of diversity (the white default prevails) are additional problems. Readers interested in the car industry and the Roaring ’20s will be intrigued, but those seeking adventure might look elsewhere.
Historically accurate but unexciting. (Adventure. 9-12)