Monday, June 16, 2008

The Time Thief

book two of the Gideon Trilogy

published as The Tar Man in the UK

by Linda Buckley-Archer

Earlier this year, I reviewed The Time Travelers, which I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend. It's taken until now for me to get my hands on the sequel (thank heavens for larger libraries!), but it only took about a day for me to finish it.

There are a few spoilers from the first book in this review. Again, I just can't talk about the second without mentioning the first...

The Time Thief starts off immediately where The Time Travelers ends. Dr. Dyer, Kate, and Dr. Pirretti are driving back to the Dyer farm and trying to come up with a story to tell the police. The most obvious solution, and the on they choose, is to simply say that Kate can't remember anything that had happened since before she disappeared. Kate sleeps through most of the journey back, so she misses most of the conversation her father and Dr. Pirretti are having on whether they should attempt to back in time, again, to save Peter. Or, as Dr. P would prefer, simply destroy the machines and try to prevent anyone from discovering that time travel had been invented. Once Kate discovers that they are not planning on rescuing Peter, she sets of with Peter's father to try and rescue him.

In the mean time, the Tar Man is roaming free in a London that he both recognizes yet cannot figure out. Soon he has stolen a horse and attempts to flee through London by jumping on top of cabs (hence the cover art), and quickly determines that he will need some sort of guide to the 21st Century. While the 21st Century is very different from 1763, the Tar Man sees it's potential and looks forward to finding a guide to help him fit in with the 21st century. He also sees the potential of "fading," and begins tormenting Lord Luxon back in 1763 until he eventually needs some help.

I really enjoyed reading about the Tar Man in the 21st Century. It was fun watching him learn the system and attempt to become a crime lord in modern London. There are a few scenes near the beginning where he is trying to figure out this new London where he talks about streets and where they go that got a bit tedious. Possibly if you know and love London it would have been fun to picture, but to me it was just a bunch of street names that meant nothing. I also had a hard time believing his renewed relationship with Lord Luxon. It seems like someone as shrewd and cunning as the Tar Man should have seen what Lord Luxon was doing a mile away.

It was nice getting a glimpse of Peter's dad and seeing more of Kate. I also really liked the view we got of Peter. It wasn't what I had expected, but I enjoyed it a lot. I really think that Peter is such an interesting character. I can't wait to see what happens to him in the next book. I wish that Gideon had been a more prominent character; he was my favorite from the first book. You hear about him, but you only really see Gideon for a few chapters near the end. It does look like he will be a more prominent feature in the final book though.

When I started reading The Time Travelers, I was a bit nervous because I don't really like sci-fi type books, and time traveling is pretty sci-fi. However, other than that actual time-travel device, there is very little sci-fi weirdness in it. That is not the case for the last half (or so) of this book. It started getting weirder and weirder with parallel worlds, someone from a parallel world speaking through her counterpart on the original world, time quakes, Kate beginning to fade away, etc. For people that read a lot of sci-fi/time travel it may not be too big of a deal, but for me, it just felt weird and I didn't really enjoy it. I will still probably read the final book in the trilogy - just to finish it off - but it has lost a lot of the pure enjoyment that the first book had.

3 out of 5 stars


Laura H said...

It was fate that you wrote this review. Last night I was ordering books from the Library online and I wrote Time travelers on my TBR list. But they only had The time thief. I couldnt remember who had recommended it. Why the library has #2 and not #1 I dont know??? I hate reading books out of order. I'm going to request Time travlers to be purchased. Thanks for the review.

KT said...

You will definately want to read Time Travelers first. Did you check to see if your library had Gideon the Cutpurse? That's what the hardback version was called - my library only had that version...

And, I hate when a library has #2, but not #1. Or all the books in a 5 book series except #3 or something. Oh well.

Laura H said...

Yes!!! It was there. Thanks for the tip.

Chain Reader said...

I didn't read your whole review to avoid to spoilers, but I am anxious to read these books--they sound like something I would love!

KT said...

Laura -
Yay! I'm glad they have it.

Chain -
I really loved the first one. The second one not quite as much, but I will definately finish the trilogy off (hopefully by the end of the year?). I hope you'll like 'em.