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Author: Andy Gavin
A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Charlie’s the kind of boy that no one notices. Hell, even his own mother can’t remember his name. And girls? The invisible man gets more dates.
As if that weren’t enough, when a mysterious clockwork man tries to kill him in modern day Philadelphia, and they tumble through a hole into 1725 London, Charlie realizes even the laws of time don’t take him seriously.
Still, this isn’t all bad. In fact, there’s this girl, another time traveler, who not only remembers his name, but might even like him! Unfortunately, Yvaine carries more than her share of baggage: like a baby boy and at least two ex-boyfriends! One’s famous, the other’s murderous, and Charlie doesn’t know who is the bigger problem.
When one kills the other — and the other is nineteen year-old Ben Franklin — things get really crazy. Can their relationship survive? Can the future? Charlie and Yvaine are time travelers, they can fix this — theoretically — but the rules are complicated and the stakes are history as we know it.
And there's one more wrinkle: he can only travel into the past, and she can only travel into the future!
Untimed is a novel by Andy Gavin (which those of you in the video game world will know as a popular programmer for games like Jack and Dexter, Crash Bandicoot, and more)! I was really intrigued to read Untimed because both the synopsis and the time travel element were intriguing to me. Time travel seems to be popping up more and more in YA so I knew I just had to accept this book!
Untimed is about a teenager named Charlie who's grown up with an absent father his whole life. On top of that, Charlie has never understood why no one can remember his name, that is, until one day he is attacked by a clockwork man, falls into a hole and finds himself in the past....286 years in the past! Charlie soon discovers that like his father, he to is a time traveler and he needs to find a way to get back home. The problem? Charlie meets a girl he's interested in and the clockwork man is looking for him...getting back to the future will be harder than he thought.
Untimed is packed full of action, making the pages literally fly by. There were tons of plot twists and dramatic encounters with the clockwork man that added high dosages of suspense and thrill to each and every word I read! In addition, bringing in real history and historic figures like Ben Franklin into the story made everything even more interesting. These kinds of connections makes you think even harder about the risks of time traveling and how simple things can greatly alter history.
In Untimed, time traveling works like this-- boys can travel into the past, and girls can travel into the future. These guidelines for time travel make it so Charlie has to rely on Yvaine (the time traveler he meets in the past) to get him back home. Although this sounds easy, there are many factors that make this situation a lot more complicated. Now, the relationship between Charlie and Yvaine was definitely a nice addition to the plot, but it is not at all the reason you should be reading this novel. Their relationship is very sudden, making it hard to really invest yourself in them, but it does become a little more complex later on in the novel. I will say though that the only time I cringed in this book was when Charlie was describing Yvaine, or more specifically, what he and Yvaine were doing *wink wink*. Although Charlie's mind was sometimes disturbing, I did like the fact that you could tell he was a teenage boy.
If you're completely unfamiliar with this book then I must also point out that throughout the novel, there are beautiful illustrations to accompany the written plot. Not only do the illustrations help you visualize certain scenes much more clearly, but the actual illustrations are beautifully done! Sometimes adding illustrations can lighten up a story, but I think in Untimed, they make the plot darker and I really loved that!
"We make of it what we will."
"What's that mean?"
She shrugs. "Something me Da used to say. No one can help. I brought this on meself, now I be mired here."
"Man is not God."
Overall, Untimed was an action and time traveling packed novel that leaves you interested to see what's next for these characters! I was surprised by how much I ended up liking this book and I recommend it to any of you looking for a different kind of YA read that has elements of a middle school novel. Have you read Untimed? Is time-travelling an element you'd like to see in more novels? Be sure to let me know in the comments below! Keep Reading!
Your Y.A. Bookworm,