Monday, August 15, 2016

Book Review: The Time Key by Melanie Bateman


Melanie Bateman


SHADOWS THAT MOVE ON THEIR own, a mysterious device that looks like a pocket watch, a man on the run from monsters that exist in dreams—all are connected to Stanley because he interrupted a mugging. Now Stanley holds the Time Key, an object that allows him to travel through time. With the extraordinary gift of being able to see both the past and the future, he may be the only one who can save his family.


I have to say this book was partially a cover buy. I love historical fiction, but the cover sealed the deal. In a way, I thought this story set in late 1800s London would fill my "Downton Abbey" void, but The Time Key was so surprising and took me in so many directions I did not expect. Not only is it historical fiction, but also a time traveling fantasy enriched with a wide spectrum of characters and emotional depth.

I don't like books that pull out all the stops to try to make me cry. But The Time Key didn't. The author simply presented the characters as they are and the hardships they deal with and I ended up crying on my own. I really felt connected to Stanley and his desperation to try anything to just get his family back. I felt all of his emotions right along with him and was determined to see him through to the end.

I also really appreciate the aspect of fantasy in this book. The Time Key is based in old London, but suggests the universe is much bigger than we imagine with different realms and races. I'm not sure what the author has planned for her next book but I hope she writes another book centered around Lena, a tiny tree dwelling, human like creature trapped far away from her enchanted home. I want to explore more of the world that Bateman only gives us glimpses of.

 Probably the only problem I had with this book, was a personal pet-peeve of mine. The book is written in third person, however, instead of staying silent and letting the reader soak in the story, the flow is periodically interrupted by the unidentified narrator directly addressing the reader. You don't know anything about the narrator until the very end of the story so it's very difficult to connect to "them". This drove me bonkers, as it always does. It's probably not a problem for most people, but its just a "no no" for me.

For those of you craving a certain level of romance in books, you won't find much of that here. Except for Stanley's enduring devotion for his wife even so many years after her death. Falling in love isn't what this book is about. Instead, it focuses more on regaining that love once it is lost forever. Definitely a recommended read from me.

4.5 Stars
* * * * * 


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