Author: Andy Gavin
Publication: 19 December, 2012
Rating: O for Outstanding
Copy: ARC received by Andy Gavin
Review: I have always enjoyed the subject of History in school. I loved reading about the wars and the people and how different the times were. I could not wait until I was about to write a paper or an essay on an interesting topic. It was one of the easiest subjects in High School and a breeze in College. Reading a History book, though? Now that’s something I have never done. I was able to read passages but I could not exactly go to bed with a novel about History. It was than exciting news when I found out that Andy Gavin was writing a book about time-traveling because not only could I read and go back in History, I could do it with out of this world elements like clockwork humanoids.
Yes, you read that right. Clockwork. Humanoids. Untimed by Andy Gavin revolves around a boy named Charlie who is able to travel through time. The problem is, because he is a male, he can only travel back in time. It is pure luck that, when he finally travels to 1725 London, he meets Yvaine, a fellow time-traveler, a girl who can only travel forward. Now to make sure you understand this, males can only travel to the past while females can only travel to the future. Together though, they can move back and forth however they want. By the end of the novel, Untimed shows us the perils of changing history and how it could affect our future, making it one hell of a novel.
I enjoyed Andy Gavin’s first novel so I was really excited for this one. I have never read about time-traveling and thought that it would be an amazing experience to be introduced to it by this author. Andy Gavin did things that made me jump with joy and squeal like a fan boy. One of those things was how he brought our very own historical people into his world and made them have a this secret life that ties in with his story. An example of this is Benjamin Franklin and his son William Franklin. We’re introduced to these characters and see how William is part of the novels world and how he‘s connected to our main characters. I don’t want to ruin it but it’s pretty amazing and genius.
Another amazing thing is not only the way they travel and what they need to travel but the connection that they have between the past and the present. In one instance, when Charlie and Yvaine are in trouble in 1725 in London, fellow time-travelers who are even more in the past, do stuff that affects their future and help our main characters. It sounds a bit confusing but once you read the book you’ll just be jumping with amazement.
It was interesting meeting characters we know in our world and seeing them interact in this novel. I enjoyed the way the characters were written and how they had such life to them. Each character matched perfectly to their time period and some even had this theatrical air about them. It’s all thanks to Andy Gavin’s writing style of course. While it differed from his other novel, it had that quality and that signature touch that let us know it was his. I loved the world it was set in, loved seeing the different time periods and how Charlie and Yvaine were dressed to fit with the times and how even the dialogue was corresponding with the year. I especially loved how the writing reflected off of these time periods and if you left the book off in one part, you’d know where they were right away when picking it up. The writing style in general was different and I found it interesting. It did not linger with many details but it gave us enough to give us satisfaction. Andy Gavin’s writing flows with the consistency of action the novel presents us with.
Now the novel is geared towards the younger crowd and considered a Young Adult novel. In my opinion I think it’s a bit over the YA genre but not yet close to Adult, and if this is what YA is becoming I’m all for it. Gavin didn't belittle us or try to minimize the general writing style. He presented the writing and emotions of these characters as if we were able to handle it and made sure to incorporate explicit scenes in an appropriate manner. He didn't take it over to the adult side but then again, he wrote it knowing that many teenagers and young adult know damn well what’s going on. The feelings between the two main characters were real and not lovey-dovey. Not only was love being involved but there were hints of teenage lust which is something that is fresh and hardly tackled and admitted in YA.
In general, I think that the novel was brilliantly played out and allowed us to see the effects of how a simple change in the past can make such a big difference in the future. It was interesting seeing the what-ifs of the modern time and made me think a lot of what-ifs as well. It’s a bit scary knowing how everything that’s happened and everything that is happening is shaping up to go down a certain path and that there are many, many paths that differ from what is now. Untimed made me think a lot and with that ending, I can not wait for the sequel.