The Time Mechanic


STEAMPUNK/FANTASY:  History is a fragile thing. Legend says that when catastrophe threatens to upset the peaceful progress of time and culture, a Time Mechanic will rise to meet the challenge. Legend becomes reality for ordinary young shopkeeper Jeremy, who suddenly finds himself appointed Time Mechanic and the leader of a motley crew of quarrelsome and quirky individuals: his ex-best friend Mars, rich-girl thief Kannikey, and Ffip, the inventor.

Endowed with new powers, Jeremy is eager to take on the task, but keeping history on track is not as easy as legends would have it. Driven by guilt, Jeremy isolates himself and further damages his relationship with Mars. If he and his crew want to save everything they love, they’re going to have to set aside their differences and work together. But is that enough to save their world?

Lively and fun, Ms. Bastedo writes adventure with her tongue firmly in cheek. Reminiscent of Frank L Baum’s Oz stories, “The Time Mechanic” is set in an alternate world of shopkeepers, eccentrics, and wacky machines. Character development is awkward, though. Jeremy is so stubborn that he is difficult to root for. His conflict with Mars is alternately heartbreaking and hilarious, but mostly confusing – they appear to fight for the sake of fighting. The two female characters, Kannikey and Ffip, are fun and their burgeoning relationships with the two male leads are enjoyable to watch. This is a story with good heart and good humor and readers who like lively, old-fashioned adventure tales will find much to like here.

Janice Martin