Ahoy, mates, there’s adventure to be had! And suspense, intrigue and villainy to boot. if that piques your interest Ted Bell’s Nick of Time won’t let you down. It’s a wild mix, a new genre, an historical adventure fantasy.
Bell has devised two plots braided together into one rip snorter of a story. Both are steeped in hair-raising sea battles, with the vilest of villains, be they bloodthirsty, rampaging pirates or scheming, soulless Nazis. And then there are the heroes– whether children or adults– as noble as they are brave.
The excitement begins with a raging gale which threatens to smash our young hero, Nick, into the rugged rock outcroppings that surround the small island he calls home before we even get to know him. But wait a moment; I’m getting ahead of myself.
I was first drawn to this book because I had recently finished reading an adult novel that takes place, just like this one, on the Channel Islands off Britain’s southern coast. That one was set right after World War II and this one begins just before the war. That’s where the similarity ends. Rather than a sweet story of letter writing, quirky farmers and a bit of romance, Nick of Time is a wild romp. It’s a mix of piratical child snatching, Nazi villainy, time travel and British/naval history. Even Dan Brown would be pleased with the way Bell has woven in a marvelous subplot about a heretofore unknown invention of none other than Leonardo DaVinci.
Without revealing too much of the plot, it’s safe to say that, in this book, nothing is quite what it seems. The plot unfolds in the same locale but in two different centuries. In 1939, Nick McIver’s father is a mild mannered lighthouse keeper who has recently taken up “bird watching.” However, the “birds” he’s spying on are actually German naval vessels—a new type of submarine to be specific. The Nazis are on to his “hobby,” scouring the Channel waters and trying to stop him from reporting what he’s seen. Meanwhile, back in the 19th century, the dastardly pirate, Billy Bones is roaming the same area of the Channel with kidnapped hostages, trying to influence, for the worse, the outcome of the Napoleonic war.
When his parent’s travel to London trying to get an audience with Winston Churchill, Nick and his younger sister Katy, become embroiled in an outrageous attempt to save both their family name and British way of life. They’re caught up in seafaring intrigues in two different centuries forcing them to rely on their wits, grit and skill. The pace—in both centuries– is breathtaking, racing and zigzagging like a rudderless ship tossed in a tempest. Even the most ardent landlubber will be pulled along by the suspense and peril as good battles evil.
Posted by: Eileen
Don’t let this ship sail without you.