THE ORDER OF TIME
Written by Scott P. Southall
Seaview Press Holdings 1/21/2020
274 Pages Age 8—12
Genre: Middle Grade Book, Fantasy
Themes: Time Travel, Ancient Egypt
Unlike most twins, Anastasia and Edward Upston are complete and total opposites. Despite their differences they are inseparable and tackle the highs and lows of sixth grade together. Then: life gets complicated.
They discover that their friend and mentor, Dr. Gregorian, is part of a secret society called the Order of Time. It turns out that time is not fixed, it’s a fluid continuum where changes to the past can create ripples all the way through to the present. It unwittingly falls to the twins to travel back through time to ancient Egypt where they must overcome deadly assassins, evil high priests and vengeful gods in order to prevent disaster. Together Anastasia and Edward must navigate all obstacles to preserve the past and find their way back home. (from back cover)
“Anastasia and Edward watched as the afternoon sunlight reflected brilliantly off the building’s golden dome. In centuries past it could have served as a beacon, calling out to those seeking knowledge or answers to mysteries unsolved.”
Why I like The Order of Time
Six-grade twins, Anastasia and Edward, become fast friends with Dr. Alfred Gregorian, curator of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The kids are often the first to see a new artifact or antiquity. But lately, odd things keep occurring at the museum. First, a ninja with a sword runs straight at the twins as they enter the Smithsonian. If not for a young guard’s tackling expertise, the kids would have . . . nothing good could have happened. Then a bomb threat evacuates the museum. Dr. Gregorian is not with those in a safety zone. The twins find him in the Egyptian exhibit, knocked out cold. A time-traveling group calling themselves the Corsairs is the culprit. This group travels back in time to make changes to history. The Corsairs latest infraction occurs in ancient Egypt. If those changes remain uncorrected after twenty-four hours the changes become “true” history and ripples of change will course through time, causing many horrible changes to the present time.
A second time-traveling group, called The Order of Time, must deduce what change the Corsairs make to history, and return history to its correct sequence. Dr. Gregorian has been a member of the Order of Time for many years, but Dr. G. broke his leg when attacked in the Egyptian display. Unable to go and time being of the utmost urgency, the twins offer to go in his place. Despite many objections by Dr. Gregorian, the twins soon stand in front of the Refractium Crystal. Once in Egypt, they must find what the Corsairs changed and fix it. In this case, the twins arrive before the Corsairs have arrived to enact their two-prong plan. Now, instead of fixing history, they simply must stop the Corsairs from changing it. How are two ten-year-old children from the twenty-first century, going to fight the age-old Corsairs?
The Order of Time depicts siblings in a positive light. Anastasia is the “leader” of this twin-team. Edward knows history and can recite it all day long. His enthusiasm is contagious. But, Edward also acts before he thinks, causing more situations for his sister to handle. Anastasia’s skills keep them moving forward. Physically, she is a little dynamo. Girls will appreciate Anastasia as proof that, in middle grade, girls are more mature and ready to lead. Despite their differences, the twins work well together. They complement each other, worry about each other, and take care of each other. Anastasia and Edward would make any story zing with excitement.
Debut author, Scott P. Southall’s storytelling is smooth and exciting. Each scene plays out in a sequence perfect for the twin’s mission and readers’ excitement. A light sense of humor relieves tension, but then back up the hill readers go as the excitement again builds. This rollercoaster of a ride is more proof that the author knows how to plot for story and for readers’ enjoyment. Parents will be pleased their child is reading this modern take on ancient times. As their child reads, he or she will learn a thing or two about ancient Egypt. It would be difficult not to learn given all the knowledge Edward relates to those who will listen (Anastasia mostly). Edward’s incredible knowledge comes from Southall’s incredibly, well-researched writing.
The Order of Time is another in a banner year of can’t-put-down middle grade books.
But . . . editing, proofing needs tightened, especially in concern to punctuation. Oxford commas frequently go missing and semi-colons used incorrectly or not at all. For a debut Indie, these are little problems easily fixed.
Available at Amazon
[Do not confuse with The Order of Time by physicist, Carlo Rovelli — nonfiction.]
THE ORDER OF TIME. Copyright © 2020 by Scott P. Southall. Published by Seaview Press Holdings, New York, NY.
Copyright © 2020 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
[I am an Amazon affiliate. When you purchase through a link on KLR, you are supporting Kid Lit Reviews. For each sale, KLR makes a small commission, which costs you nothing extra. This is an easy way to show your support for this site, without using your own money. For each commission received, I gratefully thank you.]