The adventure begins with a boy named Nick McIver a young lad who wants to set sail and adventure into the unknown His sister, Katie, and him adventure into a shoal cave and find a mysterious treasure Little known by them a mysterious pirate named Billy Blood seeks to find this treasure as well and even threatens Nick by capturing his dog and killing him if Nick doesn t hand over the treasure On top of this a spy organization in which Nick s father is involved with has found signs of Nazis hiding underneath the island Just as Nick receives the threat from Blood his father must seek a new house in London due to his involvement in the spy ring He leaves the children with Gunner an old cannonier, after receiving the treasure the group sets off to Hawke Castle hoping to report the news of the treasure, pirates, and Nazis to Lord Hawke.I felt that Nick of Time was a good and fun story to read in someone s free time The beginning is quite slow due to it having to flesh out two plot lines seen towards the middle of the story The introduction of the two different plot lines kept me wanting to find out what happens next Ultimately I gave the book a four star rating because of the beginning keeps it from being a five star for me If you find this book in the store or at the library, I strongly encourage picking it up and giving it a read. I read this book because my husband bought it so I could read it to our son Yet another book that I started with him and ended by myself I heard an interview with the author and he said that he wrote this book for boys because all the books that his son read had no strong boy characters in them Well, It certainly has that Our story opens in 1939 on tiny Greybeard Island, England Our hero is young Nicholas McIver, the son of a lighthouse keeper and birdwatbcher A term meaning a secret society keeping watch on the German subs and ships near their island Because of his activities, the british government evicts him from the lighthouse Nick s parent s go to London to sort out the mess and while he and his sister Kate are staying with Gunner, a family friend, when they make an exciting discovery, a heavy trunk Not soon after they meet pirates that say that what Nick has found belongs to them There s only one problem His name is on the chest The pirate kidnaps his dog to ensure his cooperation and Nick knows his only hope is Lord Hawke the recluse living in Hawke Castle. Here At A Last Is A New Novel In The Great Tradition Of Grand Adventure Tales, The Likes Of Which Have Seldom Been Seen Since The Works Of Robert Louis Stevenson This Epic Adventure Is The Story Nick McIver, A Lad Who Sets Out To Become The Hero Of His Own LifeThe Setting Is England On The Eve Of War Nick And His Sister Kate Live In A Lighthouse On The Smallest Of The Channel Islands Nick, Kate And Their Father Are Engaged In A Desperate War Of Espionage With The German U Boat Fleets That Are Circling The Islands Prior To Invasion The Information They Provide Daily To Winston Churchill Is Vital As He Tries To Warn England Of The Imminent Nazi InvasionIn A Surprising Twist, Nick Discovers An Old Seachest Sent To Him By His Ancestor, Captain Nicholas McIver Of The Royal Navy Nick Returns To The Year Via A Time Machine And Help Save Captain McIver And, Indeed, Admiral Nelson S Entire Fleet From The Treachery Of The French And The Mutinous Captain Billy BloodIn The Climactic Sea Battle With Captain Blood, Nick S Love Of The Sea, And His Feats Of Derring Do, Indisputably Prove His Courage And HeroismHis Sister Kate, Meanwhile, Has Enlisted The Aid Of Two Of England S Most Brilliant Detectives, Lord Hawke, And Commander Hobbes, To Thwart The Nazis They Prove Themselves Than A Match For England S Underwater Enemies, When They Discover The Existence Of Germany S Super Secret Experimental SubmarineIn The End, Nick And Kate Prove Themselves Heroes In The Eyes Of Two Of England S Greatest Warriors Admiral Nelson And Winston Churchill This book is a good example of what NOT to do when writing a historical fantasy for young readers It s been quite a while since I ve read something that contained so much amateuristic and unnecessary blither and blather that perhaps that only way to describe why this book should NOT be lauded as a noteworthy piece of juvenile historical fantasy is in a list 1 It feels like a mediocre adult thriller writer s attempt to write for children, i.e it fails Excessive description, lack of character development, confusing and unappealing plot.2 The protagonist, Nick, undergoes no growth throughout the novel.3 Dialogue is overly dramatic and artificial Great for a puppet show performed for a crowd of pre schoolers As a middle grade novel Not so much.4 The plot is uneven, with things dropped into the story and never to be seen again, and too long tangents that readers will not care about The time machine element is not even introduced until halfway through the 400 page novel, and by then readers won t care any.5 Having Kate be the only semi appealing character in the book does not justify the other 99% of awfulness Six year old main characters are just not relatable, and often than not become extremely annoying, even as they are supposedly charming.6 The characters are inauthentic The villains are overly villainified, and the joker characters bumble around and speak geeky nonsense.NICK OF TIME may only appeal to those who can deal with a lot of nautical terminology, who are willing to sacrifice character and plot development for the sake of a vaguely interesting concept, and who think that one okay child protagonist makes up for all the other unappealing ones Otherwise, I d say don t waste your time There are millions of other better historical fantasy books for readers of all ages out there. Nick of Time by Ted Bell is the first book in the Nick McIver series Nick McIver and his sister Kate live with their parents on a small island in the English Channel It s 1939 and a Nazi invasion of the island is a real threat Even with the danger of U boats, Nick loves sailing around the island with his dog Jip.Things change though when he spots a U boat surfacing just off the coast Then he finds a time machine and gets a deadly threat from a long dead pirate Nick has to go fight the pirate while Kate will have to handle the present day Nazis.I like World War Two historical fiction I love Robert Louis Stevenson s books I usually love time travel stories So I should have loved this book But I didn t In fact, I couldn t finish it.The first problem I had with the book was the pacing The first chapter is about nothing except Nick s love of sailing I suppose it s for building character but it also eats up precious time and bloats the book.That opening chapter is a symptom of an over all problem with the pacing Pages and pages are spent on unnecessarily long descriptions of the island, the war, Nick s love of sailing and other settings around the island Then out of nowhere, the pirate crew shows up There s no build to it, no explanation Nada Just bam evil pirates and a hint that they want whats in the box in the cave.The chest in the cave was the final straw for me They find it early on in story but don t actually use it until a hundred pages or so into the book In most time travel stories once the device is found it s activated either on purpose or accidentally and off the main character goes to have his adventure Here though time and pages are wasted on introducing in a castle and a hermit.The that the magical device is explained, the less believable it becomes I lost my patience and moved on to better books. Ted Bell s Nick of Time is part of the Alex Hawke series, Bell s line of spy adventure novels Nick of Time is the first young adult addition to the series, and serves well as a stand alone title I found it enjoyable without being familiar to the earlier books.Nick of Time is an enthralling read from beginning to end The lead character, Nicholas McIver, is alive in the 1930s, but the character is so well written, he could fit seamlessly in any time period and soon does Nick is plucky, adventurous, and is rich with boyish charm and a fervent desire for heroics of that of hero, Admiral Nelson.His sister, Kate, is just as charming and precocious She s admiring of her brother, and the moments between the two characters were some of my favorites The two live with their family in a lighthouse in the smallest of the Channel Islands, on Greybeard Island Nick spends his days sailing the waters around the island, and develops a keen sense of every rock and reef surrounding them One day, out on such an excursion, Nick discovers a mysterious chest, sent from 1805 by his ancestor, the Royal Navy s Captain Nicholas McIver Inside Nick finds a time machine, along with a letter, and learns the Captain and his entire fleet, Nelson s men, are under attack by the treacherous Billy Blood And he ll stop at nothing to get the time machine, a double to the one he possesses Meanwhile, the Nazis have their submarines in English waters and are closing in.Kate and Nick enlist the help of the Lord Alexander Hawke, and his right hand man, Commander Hobbes Hobbes and Kate stay behind in 1939 to warn Churchhill of the impending Nazi invasion, while Hawke and Nick travel back to 1805 to help defeat Billy Blood, who travels throughout time, kidnapping children and livestock, and holding them for ransom It is then that Nick discovers how he truly is a hero.Nick of Time is action packed from start to finish It s well paced, with a mixture of fantasy, sci fi, and historical fiction Although my grasp of history isn t that impressive, the details within the novel kept me riveted, from the descriptions of Nick s encounters with his ancestor to the battle scenes, which moved quickly and weren t bogged down in gratuitous detail The emotional content of the novel also kept me hooked, especially in a poginant scene between Nelson and Nick Nick of Time is a young adult book, but will capture the attention of any reader with its richly drawn characters, exciting action, and tender emotion for parents, for one s country, and for family. Recently I finished the book Nick of Time , in which a boy Nick and his little sister, Katie, find an old sea chest half buried in the sand on one of the many beaches that surrounds the lighthouse in which they all live Nick and his sister go visit their friend, Gunner, who used to be in the army, to see if they can find out about the mysterious chest Suddenly they are all wrapped up in an adventure much dangerous than they bargained for when two bloodthirsty pirates are after the chest also They manage to get the chest open with some help from Lord Hawke, who lives on Hawke Island They discover all together the wonder of the tiny golden ball that they found inside it is a Time Machine made by Leonardo Da Vinci The pirates Snake Eye and Billy Blood kidnap Nick s dog, Jipper, and hold him for ransom They want the old sea chest, but Nick is not willing to give it up Yet.Nick cannot run after them Billy Blood is hiding in another place in time, so Nick must learn to use the Time Machine there were two, and Blood stole the second one And so Nick, Katie, Gunner and Lord Hawke travel back in time to the place they assume Blood is hiding with Jipper.But once there, they all are entangled into a deadly, dangerous, and scary adventure that they never guessed was waiting for them I REALLY ENJOYED THIS BOOK It was well written, had GREAT characters, and awsome plot Long live Ted Bell I CAN T WAIT FOR THE NEXT BOOK YIPEPEPEPEPE Another great library find This author obviously grew up reading the books from the blood and morality tales shelf from his names many, if not all, taken from other books to the swashbuckling, hair raising adventurous spirit of it Very good message and morals LOVED that the kids had parents, who they loved, who weren t morons, who were somewhat part of the story LOVED that the other good side adults were also full of character and could be looked up to Made the point that evil is ugly, but I gave it four stars only because it got just a little too ugly for me there at the end NOT over the top, but the bad guy slicing off the tip of his tongue and swallowing it just to show Nick his knife was sharp was pretty sick ANYWAY, so it wouldn t be good for little girls, but my 10yo boy ate it up, and I was fine with him reading it What could a boy want pirates, kidnappers, Nazi s, lighthouses, dogs, naval battles, spies, submarines, Lord Nelson It had it all and I thorougly enjoyed it It is worthy of being put with the greats on the boy s bookshelf Well written and except for the violence in the end, nothing objectionable at all one D word , no romance, etc SUPER Nice line A hero is merely a man never afraid of being called to heaven because he is certain he has done his duty Attributed to Lord Horatio Nelson in the book, but don t know if he really said it Good anyway I swear elsewhere in the book it says A hero is only a man who is brave for 5 minutes longer than the other men Something like that. This book deserves all the praise it is getting Think Robert Louis Stevenson combined with Nazis combined with time travel swashbuckling action adventure at it s finest It was written recently, but the author captures a real vintage feel Great descriptions and attention to detail It starts a little slow, but once it gets going, Wow Can t put it down It s advertised as a boy s book, and my son loved it, but I did, too Only once did the plot strain my credulity and it wasn t the time travel that s all part of the fun I give it a five because all the excitement is combined seamlessly with real, bedrock values like loyalty, courage, and duty I love what it says about heroes Read it, and let your kids read it for approx ages 10 Nazis and Pirates and Time Travel oh my This was one crazy book, but crazy in all the best of ways It was really a rather fun ride My younger self would have probably been delighted with it as it was, I still enjoyed it hence the four stars It starts out simply enough, about a sea loving lighthouse keeper s son on an English island in 1939 but then one thing adds to another, and soon there s a mysterious chest, pirates, an eviction notice, and a dog held for ransom As if that isn t enough, a time machine is thrown into the mix, and soon they ve traveled back to 1803 to help one of Nick s ancestors win a naval battle against a fearsome pirate named Billy Blood.Sounds interesting, yes And let s not forget the part of the book that involves being trapped on a German submarine That part had me on the edge of my seat, because a little girl and one of my favorite characters was involved 0oThe cast of characters was wide and varied Nick himself had a wonderful arc, traveling from a little boy ashamed of being afraid and longing to be a hero, to being that hero, against all odds.Also, I enjoyed how vivid the world was, and how all the senses were used to bring me into it That s the mark of a master, let me tell you I had a clear mental image of just about every character there, and they all had their unique roles to play I could tell the author did a lot of research on the time period, and it paid off The fact that all the little details and subplots were important and wrapped up nicely by the end was a plus, too.My only critiques, really, come in the form that almost everyone in the book had spent a lot of time on the water, and therefore most everything was filtered through a nautical lens Which is very insightful on the author s part, but could be a little difficult if you didn t know anything about sailing or ships And the cast of characters was large, as I mentioned before I came away feeling as if I barely had a handle on all of them, kind of like the first time I read a Harry Potter book If they hadn t all been so different, I would have gotten lost Finally, my last gripe is due to the fact that sometimes the pacing felt a little off, and the first chapter really wasn t that great Just keep reading though, it s worth it The stuff comes in the form of a pretty good smattering of d n, British b y, and bleeding God was referenced frequently, but I could never get a feel for where the author stood on the matter, since He was mentioned in a lukewarm way most of the time Not disrespectful, per se just lukewarm Which can be aggravating to both believers and nonbelievers And Nick prays frequently to his historical hero, Nelson, Lord of the Sea, which I found odd Several people are shot in cold blood Also, I don t really view this as a negative, since I actually enjoyed them due to them being well written, but there were a couple pretty intense naval battle scenes that were mostly gore free, but I thought I should mention anyway Someone is executed in a submarine torpedo tube minus the torpedo, but we don t actually see it, so it s the thought of it than anything, and someone tests a blade s sharpness by cutting off the tip of their own tongue and then eating it Dude, I know you re a pirate, but still gags Altogether, it has its issues, but I thought this was a very fun adventure through time It might be enjoyed by an audience a little younger than myself, but it was still a unique adventure that I m glad I was able to take part in.
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- 05 January 2018 Theodore Bell