Author: Amy Herrick
Length: 320 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series or Stand-Alone: Stand-alone
Content Appropriate For: Grades 6-9
Format: ARC from Algonquin Books via Netgalley.com
The Time Fetch is a delightful adventure if you can get past a few things dragging the story down. Let's start with the great things -
In a world brimming with middle grades and young adult fantasy novels, this one manages to be different - a truly impressive feat. The focus of this book is on a world-ending crisis brought about by magical creatures who eat time. When time no longer exists the entire world begins to vanish, ceasing to exist altogether. I've never read a book that looked at time in this way and as someone who loves time travel paradoxes and the physics of the multiverse, I was hooked.
Edward and his accidental group of heroes are well developed with distinct personalities and histories. These characters are complete and are clearly affected by the events of the story. While Danton and Feenix are rather stereotypical characters - the popular, friendly guy and the loud, mean girl - Edward and Brigit are more interesting.
The action of the story takes a while to get going, and this is one of the troublesome aspects of The Time Fetch. If you can wade through lots of explicit world development that takes place at school, the mystical adventuring is quite fun. I especially loved the creative ways they managed to escape imminent death on several occasions.
Now for the elements of the tale that dragged this book down a bit. As mentioned, there's just too much explicit world development for me. Among other things, we have to read pages and pages of a middle school science teacher explaining how time works. Just show me!
The other issue, for me, is that the opening pages were incredibly confusing. I read lots of books, but this description of the Time Fetch's creation really confused me. I found myself rereading several sections. For this reason, and the fact that time is a difficult concept to begin with, I'd place it as more of a YA text than MG.
If you can make it through the first 100 pages or so, The Time Fetch is a fun ride.
I read this book for both the Stand Alone Reading Challenge and the Eclectic Reader Challenge.