A Tale of Time City by Diana Wynne Jones
Published by Greenwillow Books (1987), Paperback, 336pg
Filed under: Fiction, Middle Grade, Sci-fi
Got my copy from: Bought
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Time City - built far in the future on a patch of space outside time - holds the formidable task of overseeing history, yet it's starting to decay, crumble .... What does that say for the future of the world ... for the past ... for the present? Two Time City boys, determined to save it all, think they have the answer in Vivian Smith, a young Twenty Century girl whom they pluck from a British train station at the start of World War II. But not only have they broken every rule in the book by traveling back in time - they have the wrong person! Unable to return safely, Vivian's only choice is to help the boys restore Time City or risk being stuck outside time forever... (from Goodreads)
So, yeah: I read this way back in March for Diana Wynne Jones month, and then I never reviewed it. For shame!
A Tale of Time City is actually one of my favorite DWJ books, and I guess that makes it kinda difficult to review. It’s so good! It’s got time travel, precocious children, vaguely mythological scifi things that’ve mixed over with fantasy, interesting future!technology, WWII (for a little bit, anyway), androids and good parents and ice cream that comes out of the wall!
Also, WONDERFUL characters. DWJ’s kid characters are always smart and nosy and willing to put themselves into danger if it means doing the right thing, but they’re also still kids. They don’t understand everything about the world yet, they misinterpret things, they make trouble and not always in a good way. They make mistakes! They’re fully fleshed-out people, and it’s great.
DWJ’s fantasy books tend to get the most press, but her scifi books are excellent as well. If you’re already a fan of books like Howl’s Moving Castle, you definitely need to read A Tale of Time City! It’s got a fabulous story, excellent characters (except for the baddies, who are kind of one-dimensional), and the sort of happily-ever-after ending (the kind with caveats) that’s both satisfying and a little scary. And did I mention the time travel? (Time travel!!)
Read: March 2013
I haven’t read nearly enough time travel books! Which is a shame, because it’s one of my favorite plot thingies. What’s your favorite time travel book?