TOMORROW'S GUARDIAN by Richard Denning
Publisher: Mercia Books
Released: November 2009
Review Format: Kindle Edition (with thanks to Richard Denning)
Read: February 2011
Experiencing disturbing episodes of déjà-vu, eleven year old Tom believes he is going mad. Then, he meets the adventurer Septimus Mason, who shows him that he is a “Walker” – someone who can transport himself to other times and places.
Septimus explains that these abilities could be removed leaving him, once more, an ordinary schoolboy. Given the hurt these talents have caused, the choice would seem easy enough, but it is not so simple.
In dreams, Tom has experienced life as other “Walkers” in times of mortal danger: Edward Dyson killed at the Battle of Isandlwana, 1879; Mary Brown who perished in the Great Fire of London, 1666; and finally Charlie Hawker, a sailor who was drowned on a U-boat in 1943. Reluctantly agreeing to travel back in time and rescue them, Tom has three dangerous adventures before returning to the present day.
Tom’s troubles have only just started, however, for he has now drawn the attention of powerful individuals who seek to use him to change history and to bend it to their will. This leads to a struggle wherein Tom’s family are obliterated from existence and Tom must make a choice between saving them and saving his entire world.
Synopsis from the Tomorrow's Guardian website.
My first thoughts when I was offered this book for review was Time Travel = Dr Who. I was wrong. Tom, the main character does not need a Tardis to travel in time. Hey, come on … this is ‘real’ time travel we’re talking about!
We first meet Tom Oakley on the morning of his 11th Birthday as he awakens from a nightmare. He’s a clever lad for his age, but not to the point of becoming unrealistic or obnoxious. I loved that he was quick witted and caught on to what was going on and was soon making life changing decisions, but sensibly and his reasons were sound. He’s a really great character and as the mother of a young boy myself, I have to admit that I felt my heart racing and was quite protective towards him as the book progressed and he was put in mortal danger more than once.
Not far into the book we meet Septimus Mason. I’m sure at some point early on Tom tries to pinpoint Septimus’ accent and decides he must be Welsh. Anyway, whenever I read his lines, I read them with a Welsh accent. He came across at first as a nice guy. Then suddenly I wasn’t so sure…
There are quite a few other characters in the book – Mary, Edward and Charlie to name but a few, but I don’t want to go into too much detail about them and spoil the book for you. Lets just say that they’re not all from the 21st century and it was really interesting to learn their stories and see them adapt to their new lives.
The plot in Tomorrow’s Guardian is very fast paced. There are wars, fires, sinking submarines, other realities running alongside our own, bad men, good men, some I couldn’t decide on and a wealth of history. I wasn’t bored for even a minute whilst reading it. Sometimes I felt like I could even hear the characters sigh a little and say ‘good grief man, give us a few minutes to recover!’ LOL.
I loved that Denning brought history back to life and from more than one era too. It really was a thrilling, heart stopping, but also fun and fast paced read. Tomorrow’s Guardian is aimed at middle grade/teens, 10+ years, and although it’s written more with boys in mind, I guarantee girls will love it too. I would have loved to have read this myself at that age, heck I loved it now as a female adult! Tomorrow’s Guardian is the first book in the Hourglass Institute series and book two, Yesterday’s Treasures is due out in the Spring.
Would I recommend this book? Oh yes! To adult and children alike.
My rating: 4 stars
Look out for my Guest Post tomorrow as Richard Denning talks about Time Travel, and there will be a chance for you to win your own copy of Tomorrow’s Guardian. We have 2 paperbacks and 5 e-books of Tomorrows Guardian to give way!