Time travel intrigues me. It’s one of those devices that can either be done well or doesn’t work at all. In this book, it doesn’t work. There’s no explanation for why there’s a time waro that exists in the basement of James’s house nor how he’s supposed to know that once he crosses into the past that he’ll return to the same moment in the future. It also leads me to question how random animals like cats, rats, etc. don’t wander into the time warp either.
James is spending the summer in London with his workaholic parents when he discovers a time warp to Tudor London. He tries several times to go through the warp for increasingly longer periods of time. He discovers that the longer he spends in the past, the more time has changed when he returns to the present. He soon realizes that there are two of him that are existing the “present” and he doesn’t know how to fix the anomaly. Finally, after several weeks in the past, he’s able to rectify the duplication.
While it was intriguing to wonder how someone from today’s world could handle surviving in the Tudor-era, there wasn’t a point to the time travel. By the end of the book I couldn’t tell what the point of the novel was. There wasn’t a critique on how we live our current lives nor how people lived in the past. James doesn’t work things out with his parents. Instead, we are left with a final scene in which James is mourning the London of the past and his friends he made there.
It’s a quick read, but not one I’d recommend to anyone.