Book Review: The Time Tider

By Sinead O’Hart

From the publisher:

Mara and her dad have lived in their van for as long as she can remember. Whatever her father does to scrape a living has kept them constantly moving and Mara has never questioned it. That is until she uncovers a collection of notes addressed to ‘the Tider’, an individual responsible for harvesting lost time from people whose lives were cut short.

But before Mara can question her father he is taken by a dangerous group who want to use his power for evil. With the very fabric of time and space at stake, it’s down to Mara and her new friend Jan to find him before it’s too late…

A fast-paced, time bending adventure perfect for fans of A WRINKLE IN TIME, THE SECRET KEEPERS and SKY SONG.

My Review:

I really enjoyed reading this fast-paced middle grade adventure with spec fiction elements, written by fellow Irish author, Sinead O’Hart.

What I loved about this story:

The Concept: Of course, no one dies before their time in reality, but the concept for this story is that when people’s lives end unexpectedly (be it through accident or by murder), their unused time must be collected. Otherwise time warps form, a large amount of them would be potentially dangerous to humanity. Mara has grown up noticing warps, or soft places as she calls them, and has hidden in them from time to time (so to speak). What a fantastic premise for a contemporary middle grade story!

Magical artefacts: If you have read my stories, you will know I love magical items. I was thrilled therefore to read about the tools of the time tider: the stitch, the pocket watch, and the hour glass. I won’t explain what each one does – you will have to read the book to find out!

Excerpts from the Time Tider notebook: Each chapter features a short excerpt from the Time Tider’s notebook at the start, a really nice framing device that drip feeds relevant information about the responsibilities of the time tider.

I have a lot of questions about how the world works. The story has many intriguing elements relating to collecting time that is sure to stimulate the imaginations of the target readership. Those who read a lot of speculative fiction (or are fantasy writers) will want more. Ultimately there is little use (or misuse) of time in the story, at least not as much as I wanted! However I suspect there is more than enough for the intended audience.

What the story has is a valuable commodity, unscrupulous people determined to get their hands on it, the threat of a life-altering event, and a twelve year old girl being almost the only person to prevent disaster. The fact that the rare commodity is unused time is a fabulous bonus. I liked Mara. She’s a strong heroine, although she is very together for a girl who has lived at least ten of her twelve years in a van with only her Dad. I really liked the idea behind that, of a girl on the fringes and the self-sacrificing life of the time tider. The story also touches on the corrupting effects of power, and of the tragedy of people obsessed with the past who miss out on the present.

Overall this is a fast-paced thrilling adventure with a likeable heroine and a super time collection premise which is sure to appeal to a lot of young readers.

The Time Tider will be published on the 2nd February, and I recommend you check it out.

Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher Little Tiger Group for the eARC.

11 responses to “Book Review: The Time Tider”

  1. I like the concepts embedded in this unique plot. Sounds like a fast read with plenty of reasons to keep turning the pages. I’m looking forward to the opportunity when I can read this myself. Thanks for being a part of MMGM once again.

    Liked by 1 person

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