Friday, September 30, 2011

Review: Tomorrow's Guardian by Richard Denning

ISBN #: 978-0956483560
Page Count: 368
Copyright: 2010

Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

When schoolboy Tom Oakley discovers he can transport himself through time, he draws the attention of evil men who seek to bend history at their will.

Tom's family are obliterated and he soon faces an impossible choice:

To save the world he must sacrifice his family.

Character List:

Tom Oakley - Main Character - He can "walk" through time; transport himself to any point in history

Septimus - Mysterious man who also possesses powers.  He is Tom's escort as he "walks" through time.

Professor Neoptolemas - The guardian of history as we know it

Charlie - A former English soldier who fought against the Zulus in the 1800's who possesses the power to locate other Walkers

Edward - An English soldier from WWII who can move faster than the eye can see

Mary - "Died" in the Great Fire of London; has the ability to stop time and put up time barriers

Redfield - From another timeline; wants to use Tom's powers for evil

Kathy's Review:

The first in a series, Tomorrow's Guardian is a story of a young English boy who discovers he has incredible power.  Tom is your average 12 year old, dealing with bullies in school and living a normal life when his powers manifest in the form of extremely vivid dreams (of Charlie, Mary and Edward, in their respective time periods).  At once, he is found by Septimus, who shows him what he's capable of.  From there, Tom is brought into the Professor's tutelage and rescues other Walkers from various eras in history.  Just as Septimus finds Tom, so does Redfield, who can alter the course of history for his own evil gain, if Tom will agree to help him.  To up the ante, Redfield goes back in time to before Tom was born and burn Tom's parent's house down, killing them and ensuring Tom is never born.  Obviously, it doesn't work.  To restore everything back to normal, Redfield wants Tom to join him.

This is a fast-paced story and is perfect for a young boy or girl in the 10-12 year old age range, although I enjoyed it, too, and I'm (much) older than that.  The story takes place in London, and as such, it is peppered with a lot of British references and slang that an American child might not understand.  Also, the historical events are those that affected England, and so might not be familiar to the American reader.  That being said, the concept of time travel is pretty universally understood - although some of the loose ends get tied up a bit too neatly in some cases.  Some suspension of disbelief is required.

As I mentioned, this is part of a series - I'm not sure how many books there are, but I could easily see this continuing into several books as Tom goes through his teens.  If you know a tween who is interested in the topic of time travel, or in history (albeit British), pick up a copy of Tomorrow's Guardian.

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