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Nick of Time by Ted Bell

Nick of Time (2000)

by Ted Bell

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This is an odd sort of story. I thought all through it that I was reading a book intended for an adult audience with a teenaged protagonist. I really felt like this was just a story that will cater best to fans of Ted Bell's other books rather than the average teen book reader. ( )
  matthewbloome | May 19, 2013 |
Exciting for a junior reader; predictable for an adult. Life in the time of Nazis in Britain. Contains some history not usually found, in regard to Churchill's "spies" prior to his service as Prime Minister during WWII. ( )
  librisissimo | Feb 21, 2013 |
BL 6.3
pts 19
QN 123308
  kellyrobles | Jul 12, 2012 |
I liked the time period, WWII in Britain, as well as the Napoleonic wars in the 19th century, but as much as I liked the characters, I never really got into the story. So, a little lack-luster. Then again, it might be more geared for 11-14 year old boys.... Some books are ageless, while some, though readable at most any age, definitely feel as if they were written with a very specific audience in mind, usually to the detraction of the story. ( )
  MissClark | Jan 19, 2012 |
Nick of Time by Ted Bell

This is another bargain bin item. I get most of these books for a dollar or two a piece and because there’s so many I often skim them before buying them, you make sure I’m not buying a boring romance or mediocre mystery. But this one was called “In The Nick Of Time by Ted Bell.” And I when I skimmed it, I found it was about Time Travel., and like the typical sci-fi nerd I am I go “sweet!” I love Time Travel. So it; was quickly tossed into the “To buy” pile.
The book Nick of Time, starts out with the even of a twelve year boy named Nick saling the ship, “The stormy Pretral” through a series of rocks and reefs in a area called “the Seven Devils” And it immediately it the first twelve pages you get thins Treasure Island feel, which is awesome way to start out a book by the way. It is soon learned Nick arrives home late, so his mother gibes him no dinner. He lives on Greybeard Island in 1939, just before World War II. He lives with his mother father and sister, His father is a spy for possible Nazi airplanes and subs to report any activity to Churchill. But one day his father receives a letter saying that the king waits him to stop spying and in order to do some he will remove his family from their home. His father and mother leave to speak with the king about it, telling Nick to take care his little sister while their gone. Meanwhile on the island, Kate and Nick discover a chest that is antique yet looks bran new. The two children hide it, but soon find that there are pirates on the island looking for it and they hold Nick’s dog for ransomed. For help, Nick and Kate joins with a friend Gunner rot go to Hawke castle in order to get help. (With the chest) Lord Hawke reveals there is a time machine inside the chest with a letter saying his great grandfather needs help back in 1805
So overall, the character of Nick is a hug throwback to Jim Hawkens in Treasure Island. Yet set right before WW II with a long lost time machine created by Da Vinci that pirates are after is the comples yet very original plot for the book. It’s giving pirate novels a sci-fi twist. And the only way to describe it is this about the closest thing I’ve seen to the Disney movie Treasure Planet, where they attempted to do the same thing.
So now that I’m done explaining, what is good and what is bad?
The good is it’s a blend of piracy, time travel and then some WWII espionage. It is a genre blender and genre blenders are just so fun. So even if you don’t like one of those elements there still maybe something you enjoy. The book has a complex and elaborate narrative in which it’s unpredictable. And I will say here, because it’s unpredictable, it does have an element of suspense. It is a little draggy when explaining the time machine but it picks up with a good pacing and you’re never bored.
The bad? Well I have to say detail. When they travel back to 1805, there is lack of detail. There’s even a lack of detail in 1939. I don’t live in these times, so unless I’m a history wiz, I really don’t know what difference is between the two. There should have been astonishment of how things are different or a bit about Nick adjusting to 1805. Also Kate is capture on a U ship with Hawke’s assistant Hobbes and honestly I know very little about U-boats, so really wished they back round info there too. But I thought maybe it was because it’s aimed at kids, but then there’s a seen where a boy had his arm blown off. Well certainly if their going to throw gore in for the older reader they should gibe us more detail, for people who don’t know the terms of the older days. There were illustrations in the book of different events and characters and sadly helped me understand more of the environment than the author did. That and there is a plot hole. Such as Nick goes to Lord Hawke knowing any one who enters his castle is removed to be shot dead. He goes on a whim that he might help having no idea of who he is at all. That just doesn’t seem realistic to me. And then one last thing. The book is called “nick of time”. Cute for the title. But s the book goes on, the author uses that as s pun way too much. There’s too many scenes where Nick arrives to save some one and they go, “You just arrived in the nick of time.” Once I forgive. Twice is pushing it. Three no way. But they do it four times. It just makes the reader roll their eyes when they se it. .
So overall, it actually is a creative e story and a great genre blender. If you like pirates and time travel read it. If you’re like me, I like Disney’s Treasure Planet, this will be amazing. But he barely that even though a lot is in this, it delves into any real details or drama that is happening. It’s just fun with a lot of action, worth looking into.

3 1/4 smoothies out of four
Overall rating: Nick Of Time: A Genre Blender Featuring Time Traveling And Pirates
  Lelue | Feb 15, 2011 |
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A hero is no braver than an ordinary man,
but he is braver five minutes longer.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
A good ship is never tested in calm waters.
--Richard Trench
For my daugher, Byrdie

And for Mike, Pendleton, and Sally

Also for Benji and Alex,
and all the other kids in the neighborhood
First words
"Hard a'lee, me boys!" shouted Nick McIver over the wind, "or be smashed to smithereens in the jaws of Gravestone Rock!"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312380682, Hardcover)

Nick of Time is the first young reader's book written by bestselling author Ted Bell.

In the grand tradition of epic novels like Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island comes a wondrous tale of time travel, adventure, and riches, in which twelve-year-old Nick McIver sets out to become “the hero of his own life.”

The setting is England, 1939, on the eve of war. Nick and his younger sister, Kate, live in a lighthouse on the smallest of the Channel Islands. Nick and Kate come to the aid of their father who is engaged in a desperate war of espionage with German U-boat wolf packs that are circling the islands. The information they provide to Winston Churchill is vital as he tries to warn England of the imminent Nazi invasion.

One day Nick discovers an old sea chest, left for him by his ancestor, Captain Nicholas McIver of the Royal Navy. Inside, he finds a time machine and a desperate plea for help from the captain. He uses the machine to return to the year 1805. Captain McIver and, indeed, Admiral Nelson’s entire fleet are threatened by the treachery of the French and the mutinous Captain Billy Blood. Nick must reach deep inside, using his wits, courage, and daring to rescue the imperiled British sailors.

His sister, Kate, meanwhile, has enlisted the aid of two of England’s most brilliant “scientific detectives,” Lord Hawke and Commander Hobbes, to thwart the invading Nazis. She and Nick must face England’s underwater enemies, a challenge made all the more difficult when they discover the existence of Germany’s supersecret submarine.

In this striking adventure for readers of all ages, Nick must fight ruthless enemies across two different centuries, on land and sea, to help defeat those determined to destroy his home and his family.  

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:50 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Nick McIver is no ordinary boy, fighting pirates, beating Nazis at their own game, and traveling through time.

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