Monday, February 25, 2013

Review: Untimed


Title: Untimed
Author: Andy Gavin
Publisher: Mascherato
Publication Date: December 17, 2012


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!

My Thoughts:

Untimed is a very fun YA time-travel novel. It features a likeable main character Charlie and fun, flawed secondary characters to back him up.

Untimed gives a fresh take on the mechanics of time travel. While not everything is explained, the gist is that males can travel 'downtime' and females can travel 'uptime'. I found this to be an interesting twist on time-travel. In general, time-travelers don't have a lot of information on time-travel in general, so if you're the kind of reader who liked their time-travel technical and 'quantum-physics-y', then this isn't the book for you. But if you enjoy a fun, exciting time-travel read, definitely give Untimed a go.

I can't quite say that there's no love triangle in this one, but it's certainly not your usual YA kind. The story is written from the point of view of our hero, Charlie, who has to go up against a flashy-talking, boxing, fencing dandy in order to get the girl.

And on to the girl: Yvaine. At first I wasn't sure about her, mainly because she slept around a bit. Which is nothing against her (after all, she was a single woman in the 1700's with no family or prospects just trying to get by), but it made it a bit difficult for me to connect with her. However, once we get past that part, her kick-ass-ness shines through and I became a fan.

I also loved Charlie's Aunt Sophie. She totally strikes me as a rogue-type character you might see in a fantasy novel. Another thing that struck me about Sophie's character was the way Andy Gavin handled her sexuality. Like it was a non-issue. Ok, she's gay, sweet, move on. It doesn't try to overwhelm the story, which I really appreciated. Because when we continue to make an issue about something, it will remain an issue, whereas if we just accept it, it will be easier for the reader to accept it and get back to the action!

Charlie's dad was another thing entirely for me. For being an academic-type, he seemed super closed-minded, but towards the end he improved for me. Also, he should have spent much more time with Charlie!

Despite it's upbeat tone, Untimed is actually pretty dark. Charlie's mom can't remember his name. Ever. His dad and aunt can, but they're only around for 4 weeks of the year. What a crappy hand Charlie was dealt! Beyond that, there's some major domestic abuse (as in, unconscious for the better part of a day). Well, that and a hanging or two.

Overall, I enjoyed Untimed a lot. It was fun and fast-paced. Charlie is a likeable, but reckless, main character (not to mention a hormonal 15-year-old).

On the Cover:

I like this cover. It has a cool, steampunk-y vibe to it. However, I'm not sure how much it draws the reader in.

Rating: 4 Hearts

Source: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Find the Author: Goodreads | Web | Twitter | Facebook

Don't Just Take My Word for It: Nocturnal Book Reviews | I am, Indeed | Mother/Gamer/Writer

Be sure to stop by the Goodreads page, where there's a giveaway for an autographed copy!


  1. This sounds cool! I'm happy that you came to like the Yvaine even though you did take some issue with her in the beginning. I often struggle with time travel books, it's such a hard concept and I always find things overlapping and wondering why characters don't just change things the second time around. Ugh. Happy you loved this though! LOL Rant over!

  2. This sounds interesting! I love that he can only travel to the past and she can only travel to the future ... sounds very twisted and intriguing. I'm like Jenni, though -- time travel can be awesome and sometimes it can be really confusing. I'd be interested to read this one to see what category it falls into.

    Great review!

  3. This is certainly not a book I'd pick up on my own. I've only ever read one time travel book - Time Traveler's Wife and adored it! One of my favorite books ever. I really want to read Time Between Us, though. I'm happy you brought this book to my attention, I wasn't aware of its existance. It sounds like something really different and I'd love to have a darker read to spice things up, because recently I've found myself reading a lot of light ones. I'm happy you enjoyed this one so much:)