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Time’s Children, by D B Jackson. Book review.

November 21, 2018

Book cover of Time's Children with a red-haired man standing holding a type of fob watch.

Fifteen-year-old Tobias Doljan is a Walker, able to walk through time. This is usually only into the recent past. But when Tobias is called into the service of Mearlan IV the sovereign of the court of Daejen, he is commanded to Walk back an unprecedented fourteen years. The catch is that in doing so his body will age fourteen years while his mind remains that of a fifteen-year-old.

On arriving Tobias discovers Mearlan has been assassinated, his court destroyed and the infant princess, Sofya, is in great danger. How will Tobias, a teenage boy, deal not only with all the perils of keeping a baby safe, but also adjust to the reality that the world he now lives in perceives him as a twenty-nine-year-old man?

D B Jackson has come up with an interesting concept, in that a teenage boy must think and act with all the gravitas of an adult responsible for the future of the world he left, which in the scheme of alternate realities has effectively changed forever.

Jackson does well to put this over while keeping the plot fast-paced and filled with relentless danger round every corner. The poor boy/man is rarely given a moment’s peace from the assassins (also Walkers, but with a mechanism which provides them with an added advantage) sent back to kill both him and the princess.

We are not only concerned with Tobias’s story, but also Mara’s, Tobias’s would be girlfriend in his reality, who senses something is very wrong but can’t work out why. She is a Spanner, able to span great distances, but there is more to her talents than she at first realises. A meeting with Droë,a time demon, which feeds on the life essence of the living, and an entity who had developed feelings of attachment towards Tobias in his reality, pushes Mara to do something about her suspicions.

That some of the bad guys have a complex backstory, hinging on loyalties and ties of deep love, does add another layer to the narrative, and I am hoping that this will be explored in more depth in the next novel of The Islevale Cycle series as well as Tobias’s adjustment to adult responsibilities and his relationship with his allies.

Time’s Children is a novel which really entertains, creating gasps of horror and sharp intakes of breath in all the right places, as well as sighs of relief when our hero somehow extricates himself or is saved from dire situations.

Given Tobias’s age, the story and style of writing, Time’s Children is a novel which will appeal to the older young adult reader looking for a great story, as well as an adult audience.

Time’s Children was courtesy of Angry Robot via NetGalley.

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