July 29, 2013

Untimed by Andy Gavin

Untimed was an interesting book.  It had a lot of unique elements to its concept of time travel.  But unfortunately it also had a couple flaws I couldn't get past.

Charlie has gone about life quite unnoticed.  Even his mother can't remember his name, although she still loves him.  His dad is gone on business quite often, so he spends most of his days in solitude.  So when a strange man opens some weird kind of portal, he can't help but let curiosity overcome him and jump through as well.  Which takes him back in time where he discovers he is a time traveler.  But Charlie isn't prepared for the responsibility and accidentally alters time, which has drastic consequences for the world.

Charlie is your average kid personality wise.  He doesn't think with his brain too often and lets his hormones guide him.  So he's pretty realistic in that sense.  Although I do think he's a little too accepting of the situation he's thrust into.  Yvaine is another weird one.  She grew up in a different time but isn't quite as proper as you'd imagine her to be.  She's definitely more of a gutter rat.  And Charlie's dad; well let's just say I don't care for him at all.  He has little redeeming qualities.  The bad guys were clockwork men and so they didn't have any personality at all.  Nor were they really that menacing in my opinion.

I like Gavin's concept of time and travelers through time.  He gives a unique spin on it with the difference between the sexes.  He also writes a good pace through the book and you're never bored with it.  That being said, this book isn't sure what age group it wants to cater to.  The chapter size, text size and pictures all point to this being a young adult to middle school chapter book.  But the content is actually much more mature with sexual themes, cussing, and other heavy topics.  I'd worry that someone would flip through the book, look at the pictures, and give it to their sixth grader without really knowing the content of the book.  Some kind of hint in the description wouldn't go amiss.  I also found it hard to figure out how the logic of one of the time changes worked.  This may be a spoiler but Charlie visits a future in which his mother is barren and has no children.  Shouldn't the immediate consequence of this be that he doesn't exist?  At the very least time could have altered it so that she had a one night stand and gave a baby up for adoption just to give plausibility to Charlie existing in that time loop.  Maybe I'm just not understanding it right, but it bothered me.

An interesting book and beginning to a series.  I can't say I'd seek the next books out with voracious appetite, but I'd read them if I stumbled upon them.

**This book was received as a free advanced reader's copy**

Copyright 2012
326 pages

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