Untimed by Andy Gavin is a book I’ve had for some time. Andy very kindly sent it to me all the way in Australia, much appreciated. I had read and reviewed Andy’s first book The Darkening Dream which is an excellent novel. Untimed is Andy’s second and check out that cover. Great stuff huh.
The inside is and isn’t as great as that cover. I feel quite mixed on this one. The Darkening Dream was a mature YA novel, historical and religious details that Andy clearly put a great deal of time and research into. Untimed you could say is historical it is time travel after all but it’s a mixed bag.
Andy is a very talented author who’s books will always be on my TBR list just because he wrote them. Untimed when I started it sucked me in. So fascinating a story about a kid who’s mother doesn’t even remember his name. Most people over look him, Charlie just blends like wallpaper you know its there but you don’t care or remember. When Charlie meets a Tick-Tock a time traveling steampunk cogs and wheels robot man thing and they go hurtling back in time I was all omg this story is so cool. Then Charlie is back in time with no clue what the hell is going on, where he is or how this craziness happened. Good stuff right but then he meets Yvaine. Charlies discovers that he can travel through time. One direction only, downtime for boys and uptime for girls like his fellow time traveler Yvaine.
Up to that point I was all eager to read the book but once Charlie meets Yvaine I put the book aside and it sat there for quite some time. I wanted action adventure hell time travel not a love sick boy and a girl from idk the dark ages with views that were ones I couldn’t relate to which was the big problem. I thought Charlie was a stupid little boy who could only think with his puberty raging hormones and Yvaine a teen mother who lived such a different life that I simply couldn’t relate to either one and quite frankly disliked them both. Then for some reason I picked the book back up. I never really got to like them but once I read past a point in the story and they finally went time traveling I got into the story and breezed right through it wanting to know what would happen.
Charlies dad is as annoying as he is, being a time traveler as well and doesn’t tell his son what to expect or prepares him in any way other than telling him to read history books. Being frustrated with characters is not fun. Loving a story though and the premise the author has created makes for an interesting time. I got to warm up to Charlie and Yvaine but thought the sex between the two of them was just weird. I’m no prude but teen sex just makes me go yuck kids especially when the pictures in the book which are great by the way make them look like they are 10 or 12, 14 if you push it. Yvaine is a teen mother no less but then she is from 1500 something so probably the norm then but you’d think Charlie would have some sense and not pork some chick he met not to mention get drunk endlessly what the hell is that. Stop making me feel like a scolding old lady.
These issues prevented me from loving the story. The tocks I wanted to know more about, the history of them and the time travellers that had my attention. The book lays way for a sequel and again I’m happy to read anything Andy writes but I hope there will be more of what I enjoyed to read and less of the ridiculous teen porking.
As if that weren’t enough, when a mysterious clockwork man tries to kill him in modern day Philadelphia, and they tumble through a hole into 1725 London, Charlie realizes even the laws of time don’t take him seriously.
Still, this isn’t all bad. In fact, there’s this girl, another time traveler, who not only remembers his name, but might even like him! Unfortunately, Yvaine carries more than her share of baggage: like a baby boy and at least two ex-boyfriends! One’s famous, the other’s murderous, and Charlie doesn’t know who is the bigger problem.
When one kills the other — and the other is nineteen year-old Ben Franklin — things get really crazy. Can their relationship survive? Can the future? Charlie and Yvaine are time travelers, they can fix this — theoretically — but the rules are complicated and the stakes are history as we know it.
And there’s one more wrinkle: he can only travel into the past, and she can only travel into the future!