Book ReviewTime Trapped

Reviewer's Rating: 
I never forget a book, but in this case I'll make an exception.
GP Putnam's Sons, 2013

BOOK TWO: TIME SNATCHER SERIES. Caleb thought he'd escaped Uncle's clutches and could have a normal life in 1968, but no such luck.  After being forcibly returned to Timeless Treasures, and his old job of stealing valuable objects from the past, he learns that tings have gotten even more sinister.  Training the new kidnapped recruits doesn't seem very important to Frank, Uncle's evil lackey, even though a few of these kids have amazing thieving skills and genius for new technology.  But then Caleb figures out it's because Frank doesn't plan on keeping them around very long - or keeping them alive.  Stakes are high for all the time snatchers.  If only Caleb can convince the new ones to stop having fun with the technology and use it to save their own lives.

Book one of the Time Snatchers was a favored first book by an author that's practically local to my own location.  Both of these made me want to love book two and I hope for Richards sake there are many out there who do because I'm just not one of them.

This book is a frenzy.  Caleb is truly stressed, trapped, and out of time/ideas.  He is frustrated, angry, afraid, and in a corner.  None of this, from a reader's perspective, is a big problem if there is equal balance of something lighter - romance, minor characters that are comedic in nature - but there is no balance to the burdens of Caleb.  Richard does a good job of making us feel everything our main guy is struggling with.  It is an intensely uncomfortable ride and I let it put me in a bad mood.  I snapped at my children, grumbled at my husband and at that point, decided it wasn't worth finishing this book if I let it bring me down so much.

In book one, there is a focus on Caleb's relationship with Abbie and a suggested romance, but it is non-existent in book two.  A quick kiss before total anarchy does not a romance make.  I understand the parameters of romance in junior fiction, but there could have been more of a support structure for Caleb to vent, work things out and feel he has someone in his corner completely.

There are some scary components to this novel that I would not recommend for junior fiction readers.  Certain banishments, punishments, and the general terror of what torture might be in store for our characters is easy fodder for nightmares.  Only a seasoned, older junior fiction reader, in my opinion, could read and walk away from this novel unaffected.

I'm sorry to say despite looking forward to it, this is a frantic book I did not enjoy even a smidgen-est bit.

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