This week I’m reviewing a novel by C.S. Lakin – writers, if you haven’t discovered her blog yet, shame on you!
You can find Susanne at LIVE WRITE THRIVE – well worth a look.
She is a writing coach par excellence, and author of 18 novels. After following her blog and absorbing much of her advice on constructing and writing novels, I thought it was about time I read one of hers, and as luck would have it, she recently offered this YA time travel novel for free in return for reviews. I’m not a huge fan of time travel stories, but this one is markedly different, so I took the plunge, and pleased I did so.
I much prefer this cover, but that’s not the one of display on Goodreads, though it is the one I bought on Amazon
Here is my review
Bria’s Nobel-prize winning scientist mother has died in a lab explosion. Or has she? Only Bria notices the strange recurrence of a symbol in places it could not possibly exist – leaves, breakfast cereal, that sort of thing. Is her mother trying to communicate from the other side? Or from somewhere else?
So when her brother Dylan, a child with special needs, hears something sniffing in his closet, things take a very strange turn. After re-creating her mother’s last experiment and ripping a hold in space/time, a very odd creature tumbles out of the hole and into their basement. It might look like a dog—once it’s stopped being invisible—and it might sniff and eat like a hungry dog, but it also speaks Latin.
Along with a posse of friends and hangers on, Bria embarks on a mission to save her mother, and also the world, for the damage to space/time has opened a way for an evil invader who is poisoning the planet with the same dark energy that the scientists had thought to harness.
Lakin has created a unique concept—that of the time sniffer, dog-like creatures that can sniff out places where the aware can move from one time stream to another—and built a complex yet understandable plot, complete with paradoxes and science that is explained in such a way it doesn’t impede the action or muddle the reader any more than it does the characters trying to understand what they are dealing with.
Pretty much all the characters blossom during the story, and it was fascinating to discover the unexpected depths lying behind their teenage facades. I did find myself skimming over some of the more angsty passages, but that might just be because I’m a cynical oldie, and no longer a hot-blooded young thing.
The details of the near future are scarily believable, as shown through the lens of teenage eyes, and while this book is an action-packed adventure, it is also about developing relationships and responsibility without being heavy handed in the telling.
While rounding this tale off nicely, it also sets up a sequel that promises to be just as exciting.
Recommended for lovers of YA, time travel with a difference, dogs, nerdy science, and anyone with a huge imagination.
Find the book to buy here.