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