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I know that your not supposed to judge a book by it's cover but how could you not, it's absolutely gorgeous and draws you in instantly to want to read on. I couldn't wait to start reading the book as soon as it arrived and with the added addition of twenty-one black and white illustrations throughout the book, I think this would be a great book for any young adult or older reader to enjoy.
The author has wrote a highly creative, fast paced and at times humorous time travel fantasy that has so many twists and turns it literally keeps you on the edge of your seat wanting to read on and on. I even found myself going back a few pages a couple of times just to catch up. As you follow the main characters of Charlie and Yvaine traveling through time on their many close to the edge adventures with their time war enemies, the clockwork tocks, the story cleverly wraps itself around history such as Ben Franklin, clockmaker/inventor Bréguet, Napoleonic war as well as 18th - 21st century living. The story comes alive and you are simply hooked, especially the second half of the book.
Charlie is an overlooked teenage boy who has absolutely no idea that he is a time traveller and is on the brink of learning why his dad and aunt disappear for months on. On a school trip Charlie spots the policeman who was searching for his dad and decides to follow him. Even when he realises that the policeman is a ivory faced clockwork man that disappears into the ground, Charlie can't stop himself and jumps into the ground after him. This is when 2011 Philadelphia becomes 1725 London Dickens times and Charlie meets the love of his life, fellow time traveller Yvaine.
Yvaine is a independant, very blunt and sassy pickpocketer who has her own unique use of the english language. She is owned, used and abused by a Fagan like character called Donnie. Not only that, Yvaine has a son by Ben Franklin but Donnie takes him away from her as blackmail until she helps in destroying the future.
Being a time traveller isn't easy, girls from the past go into the future and boys from the future go into the past, changing history can have repercussions and timequakes happen when history is changed, downtime is needed after every tripand not only all that tocks don't like time travellers and kill on sight so listen out for the CHIME! Luckily the original time traveller, the regulator, engraved brass pages that can't be deleted by time to help future travellers but will they find what they need and just when you think everything is back to how it originally was, think again !!
My favourite part of the book was when they traveled uptime into the ticktock future, everything had changed with a familiar large metal clock tower shadowing over the town, horse and carts, pedalled clockwork bikes, clockwork bugs and more, I really enjoyed it and wanted to read more.
I would recommend this to any time travel fan from the age of 15/16 and above due to some 'romantic' (let's say) and other small parts of the storyline.