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The Age of Amy: Channel '63 by Bruce Edwards
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The Age of Amy: Channel '63

by Bruce Edwards

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The Age of Amy: Channel '63 is the third installment in the Age of Amy series and this time finds 16-year-old Amy in the midst of a court battle to gain emancipation from her parents and family who have become so engrossed in the materialism and consumerism of the modern age, she cannot take it any longer. As a diversion, Amy and her best friend Hubert head to the local theme park, Theme Farm, where a new attraction, Used-to-be-TV has just opened, enticing people to "tune in" to the year 1963. This is right up Amy's alley, as she longs for the simpler days of the 1960s, with the white picket fences and family dinners, ala Leave it to Beaver. Things become a little more personal once Amy meets a young man from 1963 named Clifford and is able to get a "magic clicker" to remove restrictions placed on the attraction to prevent changing history -- which is exactly what Amy ends up attempting on both a personal and global level as she tries to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

There is a lot going on in Channel '63. The plot is really in two parts, the emancipation storyline and the Used-to-be-TV tale. Both are framed in the context of Amy trying to find her place in the world and her center of happiness. Both are intriguing, and could have easily been explored separately in individual books. Being placed together, I feel as though they were a little lost in each other. I felt that both the emancipation resolution, as well as the time in which Amy and Clifford fall in love were both rushed. These are minor points, however, once the book has finished as so much more overshadows these issues.

Since Channel '63 is a science fiction/fantasy book, we are treated to an interesting world that, while much like our own, is very different. The most obvious departure is in the theme park, Theme Farm, which is run by creatures known as Fritterz -- beings with animal heads and human bodies. They are able to speak and have human intelligence, but keep their animal characteristics. They have developed the technology of Used-to-be-TV, where they have tapped into security and television cameras from today and in 1963 to create a two way communication system. Speaking to the science of this technology, Edwards is not overly concerned with how things work, and we're spared the "hard sci-fi" aspect of this, but he is aware, and treats very carefully the idea that actions in the past can affect aspects of the future. This is made clear in the fact that the theme park attraction has built in safeguards against tampering, and how history changes after first interaction between Amy and Clifford with the "magic clicker" in use to circumvent these safeguards. Once it is clear that changes are possible, Amy will attempt to change history on a larger scale in regards to the Kennedy Assassination (similar to Stephen King's 11/22/63) where she learns the hard way the pitfalls of tampering with history.

Ultimately, Channel '63 is a quick, fun, quirky read with very likable characters and ends up being more of a character story than a time travel tale. We are treated to lots of snips and jabs at modern society and culture, from the reality shows Amy's parents enjoy, to the restaurants here and Hubert frequent within Theme Farm. It's a very fast coming of age story as both Amy and Clifford find their place in life and the world. Amy finds that all she ever wanted in life was right under her nose, she just needed to step back to see it, and Clifford learns the same, as he breaks out of his straight-laced lifestyle to grow into a strong musician and political activist. I found the whole thing to be a very endearing, interesting, and memorable story and world.

I received an advanced copy thanks to Enchanted Book Promotions and Brice Edwards in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  chensel477 | Nov 10, 2014 |
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Book description
A 21st century teenage girl finds love in 1963 through a bewitching TV, and accidentally alters history.

 What if you could tune your TV to the year 1963, and watch -- live? A new theme park attraction allows visitors to not only observe, but talk with the people of that turbulent decade. For 16-year-old Amy, it’s the perfect escape from her own time -- and the hardships of being a modern-day teenager.

 But when she falls for a charming teenage boy from yesteryear, things get complicated. Building a relationship across time proves difficult, especially while computers constantly bleep any language that might impact the future. Happily, Amy acquires a "magic clicker" which defeats this annoying restriction. But gaining the ability to speak freely comes with a heavy responsibility: Amy now has the power to alter history!
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0983760446, Paperback)

What if you could tune your TV to the year 1963, and watch -- live? A new theme park attraction allows visitors to not only observe, but talk with the people of that turbulent decade. For 16-year-old Amy, it's the perfect escape from her own time -- an era she doesn't seem to fit in with.

Things get complicated, however, when Amy falls for a 60s teenage boy on the bewitching TV screen. Trying to build a relationship across time proves maddening, especially while computers constantly bleep any language that might impact the future. Fortunately, Amy acquires a "magic clicker" which defeats this annoying restriction. But gaining the ability to speak freely comes with a heavy responsibility: Amy now has the power to alter history!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:44 -0400)

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