Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Time Fetch by Amy Herrick

 The Time Fetch by Amy Herrick

Synopsis (from book) "Edward picks up what he thinks is a rock. He doesn’t know it is a sleeping Time Fetch—and touching it will release its foragers too soon and alter the entire fabric of time and space. Soon the bell rings to end class just as it has begun. Buses race down streets, too far behind schedule to stop for passengers. Buildings and sidewalks begin to disappear as the whole fabric of the universe starts to unravel. To try to stop the foragers, Edward must depend on the help of his classmates Feenix, Danton, and Brigit—whether he likes it or not. They all have touched the Fetch, and it has drawn them together in a strange and thrilling adventure. The boundaries between worlds and dimensions are blurred, and places and creatures on the other side are much like the ones they’ve always known—but slightly twisted, a little darker, and much more dangerous.

A fast-paced tale filled with mythology, danger, friendship, and a shocking centuries-old secret, The Time Fetch is sure to delight fans of fantasy adventure with its tale of ordinary kids who tumble into a magical situation.

For ages 10 and up, grades 5 and up.

Review: The story itself was fairly good with some really interesting concepts that were well written. The big problem I had with this book was the characters.

They were all one-dimensional, lacking any depth or interesting characteristics. They were also almost all unlikeable.

Firstly there was Edward, he is lazy, uncaring, sometimes mean and a loner. He had no qualities to draw me to him and plenty to push me away.

Then there was his friend Danton. He wasn’t too bad; he was a nice guy and encouraging to the others to get stuff done and tried to get them to get along. He was a contrast to Edward and although he wasn’t unlikeable he lacked the exciting personality to make me drawn to him.

Next there was Brigit, who is a selective mute. She was probably the most interesting character and the most sympathetic. I did like her, but I would like to have seen her fleshed out a little more. We are told early on that she is mute because of the death of her infant brother, but other than being told that fact once it never really comes up again or is prominent in her thoughts.

Finally there was Feenix, a girl at Edward’s school who he didn’t get along with. She was mean and a bully. At first I really didn’t like her. Then she was captured by the witches and has a hard time. During this period I did feel a little sorry for her because it was so unpleasant. Then she escapes (with a little help from the other children). My problem then was she was still pretty much the same mean bully she was before (although she is a little nicer.)

All of this made it hard to empathize with the characters or get excited about what they were doing. It also made the situation less tense because I didn’t care what happened to them. And it really hurt the story.

There was very little character development in the book. For the most part they stay the same throughout the story. When they do change it’s normally sudden and doesn’t feel genuine.

Another problem I had was with the lessons the characters have. They go to a class where the teacher gives them some crazy lesson about some obscure fact. The things that they are taught then become relevant to the story a short time late. It felt unnatural and every time it happened it felt like there was a flashing red light and an announcer saying “Pay attention this will be coming up in the story shortly”

There were several plot points that are never really explained, they just happen without giving any satisfactory reason why.

The language the characters sometimes pulled me out of the story, it didn’t seem natural. For example the characters would sometimes literally use the word ‘bleeping’ in place of swearing or other language than you might hear on a children’s TV show but doesn’t seem real enough for a book.

I really wanted to like this book, the concept was fantastic and the plot was good. It was just the awful, one-dimensional, unrealistic, unlikeable characters that made it a chore to get through.

In full disclosure I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

Rating ** 

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