Saving Time by E. K. Lea is the first in a series of children's fantasy adventure stories - there are already three more in the pipeline, A Stitch In Time (available in August 2016), No Time Like The Present (January 2017) and Out of Time (October 2017). The author is certainly going to be busy !
The action takes place "in a not too distant future, in a world where lawlessnes reigns and no one looks for missing children". The atmosphere reminded me of a cross between a post-apocalyptic future world and a look back at Dickensian London. I kept expecting Fagin and a bunch of pickpockets to come out of the woodwork and the reference to a "strange curiosity shop" just heightened the Dickensian feel.
The young heroes, Tag and Del, do whatever it takes to survive in this hostile world. They're certainly no angels, with Tag on the run after stealing something to sell on from the Church Street Gang, a ruthless bunch of crooks and thieves, and Del seeming to have multiple identities, which must be a useful way of staying invisible in the dangerous sewer network they live in. Nevertheless, the fate of the world ends up in their hands when their paths cross and they are thrown into a quest to discover a mysterious missing item linked to the one that Tag stole - the very fabric of time (or at least the missing hour when the clocks go forwards), that has also been stolen.
Tag and Del will have their work cut out, coming up against pitiless thugs who are much bigger and stronger than they are, but they also have a number of eccentric and surprising allies on their side.
It's a fast-paced, action-packed story that will appeal to children of both sexes. It's a short read - only 129 pages - which makes it a great option for reluctant readers, but I did find that it lacked any sense of closure. I know the action will be picked up in the sequels but I always like stories to have a beginning, a middle and an end, even if some threads can be left hanging to be picked up at later date.
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £4.99
Paperback, First Edition, 116 pages
Published February 28th 2016 by Reading Room Cafe Project Publishing
Disclosure : I received a copy of the book in order to write an honest review.