Blog Archives

Before the Storm – Review

Title: Before the Storm
Author: Sean McMullen

Publisher: Ford Street Publishing
Edition: Kindle
Pages: 262
Originally published: 2007

Genre: Science fiction, Time travel
The dice landed on: 5
Did I finish?: Yes.
Do I like the cover?: It’s OK

Fox and BC travel through time from the distant future to 1901. Elite cadets in the Imperial Army, they are young, handsome, well-mannered … and now, mutineers. They have journeyed into the past to save the opening ceremony of Australia s first parliament from being bombed. If the cadets fail, thousands will die, sparking a century of total war. However, to change the destiny of the world, the young warriors will need the help of three ordinary teenagers …

Well, this was fun!

The three ordinary teenagers are: Emily, bright, very proper, and quite bossy. Daniel, her younger brother, bossed by his sister and very easily distracted by both real girls and those in “French postcards”…..sold by Barry the Bag, street-wise, enterprising and Daniel’s good friend. Meeting Fox, and the injured BC, changes their lives in many ways. They must all do things they’ve never done before, and Emily must challenge all the restraints on a girl from a proper family in 1901. The soldiers from the future also turn out to have some unexpected sides to their personalities.

Even though the situation they all find themselves in is quite serious, this is a fun book. I love the way you get to know what goes on in Emily’s and David’s heads, and sometimes the things going on in there are very funny. Barry the Bag is also a very entertaining figure, and turns out to be much more important to the outcome than one might expect.

So, if you want an easily read book with great characters, funny dialogue, and some unexpected twists…. This is it.

Advertisements

In time and space – about books

The Hungry Ghosts by Anne Berry
Time: around 1960 to 2006
Place: Hong Kong, England and Paris
Very good book about Hong Kong, ghosts and a very dysfunctional family. I really liked it.

Other people liked it too: Ghosts of colonies past – The Globe and Mail, Reader’s Corner, The Daily Mail Online, The Independent Weekly, The Bookbag

Stolen av Lucy Christopher
Time: a few months in 200? with glimpses back in time, up to about 25 years.
Place: Bangkok airport, Great Sandy Desert in Australia and London
Gemma writes a letter to her captor Ty who kidnapped her from Bangkok Airport and brought her to The Great Sandy Desert. Good and exciting YA-book about kidnapping, obsession and confusing emotions.

This is what other people think : Wondrous Reads, So many books, so little time, Pure Imagination, Today’s Adventure, The Book Whisperer

Blackout by Connie Willis
Time: 1940-45 and 2060
Place: London, Dunkirk, Oxford and a few other places in England.

It has been 8 years since Connie Willis last published a novel, but when she finally does it’s with volume 1 of a two part story. (It was a relief to be told that volume 2, All Clear, will be published in October, so I guess I can manage a 6 month wait for the book when I could manage the whole year between every Lord of the Rings movie).

Haven’t we all sometimes wished that we could go back in time to see how some event really unfolded? I know that I have. The historians in Connie Willis’ time travel books can do precisely that. But sometimes things don’t turn out exactly as planned, the historians don’t end up precisely where and when they are supposed to, they struggle to get to the drop when they are to report home, and when they manage to get to the drop it’s either not possible to access or just doesn’t open to let them through. When you are a young historian in the middle om wartime England, this is cause to worry. Why haven’t the recovery team come to get me? What’s happening at home in 2060-Oxford? Did I do something that changed the history of the world?

I adore Connie Willis’ books. It was wonderful to meet again Colin and professor Dunworthy from Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog, and the historians in Blackout are as likeable as Kivrin in Doomsday Book and Ned & Verity in To Say Nothing of the Dog. I think I’ll have to reread those two books while I wait for the October release of  All Clear.

I’m not the only one writing about Blackout:

%d bloggers like this: