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Nick of Time (Nick McIver Series #1)

Nick of Time (Nick McIver Series #1)

4.3 74
by Ted Bell

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

The setting is England, 1939, on the eve of war. Nick and his sister, Kate, begin gathering vital information for Winston Churchill as he tries to warn England of the imminent Nazi invasion. But the Nazis become the least of Nick's problems after he discovers a time


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

The setting is England, 1939, on the eve of war. Nick and his sister, Kate, begin gathering vital information for Winston Churchill as he tries to warn England of the imminent Nazi invasion. But the Nazis become the least of Nick's problems after he discovers a time machine hidden in a cove. Unfortunately, the evil pirate Captain Billy Blood, who travels through time capturing little children and holding them for ransom, will stop at nothing to possess the priceless machine. With the help of Lord Hawke, whose children have been taken by Blood, Nick must fight the ruthless pirate on land and sea in two different centuries in a desperate attempt to save his home and his family from being utterly destroyed.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Nick of Time is an American Classic.” —Glenn Beck

Nick of Time is a blast--the best of Robert Louis Stevenson, Horatio Hornblower and Harry Potter. The kid in me loved it, and so did the adult.” —James Patterson

Nick of Time takes young readers on a thrilling historical voyage . . . definitely not for the faint of heart.” —Los Angeles Times

“An immensely appealing book. Three huzzahs and a great big 21-gun salute to Bell for his first novel for kids.” —School Library Journal, Starred Review

“This old-fashioned adventure adds a new twist to elements of Treasure Island, Horatio Hornblower, and ‘Indiana Jones' . . . Every middle school boy (and many girls, too) will relish joining Nick on his heroic adventures. Charming and thrilling, this book could become a classic with its good, clean, swashbuckling fun.” —Voice of Youth Advocates

“Bell's narrative never lacks for excitement . . . for younger readers . . . this book will become an instant classic.” —KLIATT

“A brilliant adventure, hidden within a rolling saga, tucked inside an intriguing mystery. That's Nick of Time. Ted Bell proves that he's the master of swashbuckling for both young and old.” —Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Amber Room

“In an adventure many times his size, Nick travels time to defeat both Napoleon's plot and a secret experimental Nazi submarine in this vibrant and enchanting book.” —Jordan Weisman, co-author of the New York Times bestselling Cathy's Book

“Wow! Some books sweep you away. Nick of Time amazed me, dazzled me, and swept my imagination off to sea. . . . I've been craving an adventure story with a good mystery, and this arrived in the nick of time to rescue me.” —SchoolLibraryJournal.com

Nick of Time is one heck of an adventure! Filled with colorful characters, non-stop action, scary pirates, nasty Nazis, technically advanced submarines, rousing old-time sailing ships, thrilling battle scenes, heart-pounding sea voyages and nail-biting espionage, this story has it all. . . . If you are looking for a thrill and a new hero, this is it.” —TeenReads.com

Nick of Time reminded me of Brian Jacques, one of my favorite authors. Everything clicks together perfectly . . . I really like the era and technology of World War II, especially the ‘secret weapons' . . . the whole pirate thing really appeals to me . . . The time travel idea is cool, and what's even better is that da Vinci created it!” —Henry Willshire, age 13

New York Times bestselling author of The Amber Roo Steve Berry
A brilliant adventure, hidden within a rolling saga, tucked inside an intriguing mystery. That's Nick of Time. Ted Bell proves that he's the master of swashbuckling for both young and old.
co-author of the New York Times bestselling Cathy Jordan Weisman
In an adventure many times his size, Nick travels time to defeat both Napoleon's plot and a secret experimental Nazi submarine in this vibrant and enchanting book.
Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
The son of a lighthouse keeper, Nick McIver is one of a long line of McIvers who have navigated Greybeard Island's rocky reefs, from Gravestone Rock to the treacherous Seven Devils. When a mysterious sea chest washes ashore one day while Nick, his trusty dog Jip, and his little sister Katie are out exploring, a series of adventures begins, for locked inside the chest is the Tempus Machina, one of a pair invented by Leonardo Da Vinci. The small golden orbs can transport people through time and space, but unfortunately, the other time machine is in the hands of Captain William Blood, a ruthless pirate who has wandered the globe for centuries snatching children away from their parents and demanding ransom. When Blood arrives on Greybeard Island seeking the second Tempus Machina, Nick must brave the fortress of Castle Hawke to obtain the help of a reclusive nobleman who has his own score to settle with the pirate—rescuing the two kidnapped Hawke children. Set in 1939 in the outer islands of pre-war England, the bulk of the book's chapters alternate between Katie's collision with Nazis patrolling British waters in a highly sophisticated submarine, and 1805, where Nick and Lord Hawke help Nick's great-grandfather battle Captain Blood and aid Nick's hero, Admiral Lord Nelson, by warning him of a Spanish plot to trap his fleet. Author Ted Bell, well-published in the adult fiction market, includes vast amounts of historical and nautical detail, which add realism to the highly imaginative and action-filled tale. The story's primary weakness is the constantly shifting points of view, which too often puts the reader in the minds of adults. In the end, it is not Nick and Katie who trulyvanquish the enemies and have the final word, but the larger cast of grown-ups who populate the story. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis
KLIATT - Cara Chancellor
The two men appeared seemingly out of thin air, miraculously dry despite the storm howling outside the inn. For Nick McIver, though, this mystery is just one of many. In the past week, he has accidentally uncovered a notebook revealing his father is spying on the Nazis for Winston Churchill, witnessed a secret Luftwaffe flight over his own Greybeard Island, England, and then found a 150-year-old Royal Navy sea chest that somehow looks brand new. When it becomes apparent that the two strangers are willing to secure the chest's contents—a time machine created by Leonardo da Vinci—by any means necessary, Nick is forced to choose strange allies and travel back in time to an 18th-century naval battle in order to save his family, his country, and himself. While Bell's narrative never lacks for excitement, the reader will sometimes feel as though the sum of this story's parts is simply that: parts of other stories that have been packed into a full-length novel. However, for younger readers for whom cannonballs and top-secret German submarines trump occasional plot bobbles—such as Nick's ancestor sending a letter from the past after giving up the time machine—this book will become an instant adventure classic. Reviewer: Cara Chancellor
School Library Journal

Gr 6-9- This is an immensely appealing book about 12-year-old Nick McIver, son of a lighthouse owner, who lives on Greybeard Island off the coast of Great Britain in 1939. Opening with a thrilling near-fatal sailboat excursion, the action kicks into high gear when Nick finds a sea chest containing a mysterious glowing globe. Hunted by pirates from the past who seek the globe, a time-travel device, Nick finds himself bouncing back and forth in time fighting exceedingly nasty pirates, Napoleon's naval forces in 1805, and Nazi spies in 1939. Nick is the pluckiest, most likable boy-hero since Robert Lewis Stevenson's David Balfour (Kidnapped ). With great battle scenes; lots of nautical jargon; and themes of courage, integrity, and honor, this book will appeal to restless boys who can never find books written just for them. Three huzzahs and a great big 21-gun salute to Bell for his first novel for kids. Hopefully, it won't be his last.-Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK

Kirkus Reviews
The author of several Ian Fleming-style thrillers for adults reworks his lengthy self-published 2000 debut into a windy, labored and even longer doorstopper. On the eve of World War II, 12-year-old Nick receives an appeal for help from a Napoleonic-era ancestor about to get blown out of the water while trying to get vital information to Lord Nelson. The desperate message comes with a portable time machine, so off Nick hies to 1805, leaving his six-year-old sister paired with a hypercompetent inventor/British Intelligence Officer to capture an experimental Nazi supersubmarine. Linking the twin plotlines is Billy Blood, a vicious pirate with another time machine and a penchant for holding wealthy children from various eras for ransom-aboard, conveniently, the very French warship that is attacking Nick's ancestor. Needless to say, after extended sea battles Blood is foiled (but not killed, so look for sequels), the children rescued, the sub captured and the dispatches delivered, all amid many gaps in logic and massive contrivances. Bell should have left this one in his sea chest. (Fantasy. 11-13)First Printing of 100,000

Product Details

Square Fish
Publication date:
Nick McIver Series , #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.82(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt


The Jaws of Gravestone Rock

• 3 June 1939 •

off greybeard island

Hard a’lee, me boys!” shouted Nick McIver over the wind, “or be smashed to smithereens in the jaws of Gravestone Rock!”

The dog Jip barked his loud agreement.

Nick, at the helm of his small sloop, Stormy Petrel, that afternoon, was almost at the end of his .rst day-long voyage around Greybeard Island. He was hard on the wind, making a good seven knots as he tacked homeward. Just now, he was approaching the treacherous reefs that guarded the entrance to Lighthouse Harbor. Jip, on the bow, was howling into the strong headwind, enjoying the pounding sprays of seawater every bit as much as his skipper.

But now Nick was watching the western sky and the rapidly rising seas uneasily. Maybe he should have nipped inside the huge Gravestone Rock, in the lee of this wind. Probably should have known better than to sail the long way home in weather like this. Should have done this, should have done that, he silently cursed himself. He did know better, in fact.

But he and Jip had been having such a splendid time, bounding through the waves, he’d simply ignored the storm warnings. A little cold spot in the pit of his stomach was growing. He hated that cold feeling. He’d not even spoken its name.

But it was fear.

The glorious empty bowl of blue that had been the morning sky now featured stacks of boiling cumulus clouds, all gone to darkening greys and blacks. Billowing towers of purple clouds loomed on the western horizon, swiftly turning the colors of an ugly bruise. In the last hour, clouds of spume came scudding across his bow and through the rigging of Stormy Petrel. Above the howl of the elements was the high keening whistle of wind in the sloop’s rigging. Salt spray stung Nick’s eyes. But he could still see the sky overhead, boiling and black.

Nick leaned hard into the Petrel ’s tiller, putting the weight of his lean body against it, .ghting to keep his bow to windward of Gravestone Rock. He had both hands on the tiller, and they’d gone clammy and cold. Looking up in awe at the giant rock now looming before him, he wiped .rst one hand, then the other, on his soaking trousers. The Gravestone. A terrible thought shuddered unpleasantly through Nick’s mind. Would that famous stone tower today mark still another watery grave? His own, and his beloved Jip’s? He cursed himself for his stupidity and leaned into his tiller with all his might. Hopeless. The bow refused to answer the helm, to come up into the wind.

However could he keep his small sloop to the safe, windward side of the massive stone looming ever larger before him? And to the leeward side lay the Seven Devils. On a calm day, Nick might pick his way through these treacherous

reefs. But now, in a blow, they were deadly.

He was fresh out of options.

“And you call yourself a sailor, Nick McIver!” he cried aloud. But not even his dog heard his bitter cry of frustration above the roar of wind and water. He should have known better. There was a terrible price to pay for carelessness at sea. Especially when you were anywhere near the Gravestone.

It was a towering monument of glistening black granite that now rose before him. Thrusting from the sea like some angry tombstone, it had claimed the lives of skippers and sailors a good deal saltier than Nick and Jip. As Nick had known from earliest childhood, countless ships and men had gone to the bottom courtesy of the Gravestone Rock. Or the seven deadly spines of rock spreading like tentacles in all directions from its base. The Seven Devils, the reefs were called, and not for nothing either. Here was as .endish a bit of coastline as ever there was.

This perilous coast had .nally led to the building of Nick’s home. Even now, the great Greybeard Light sent yellow stabs streaking overhead through the darkening sky. This .ashing tower atop the cliffs off his port bow held special meaning for Nick McIver. It was both a warning to stay away and a summons to come home.

For Nick lived atop that lighthouse, he was a lighthouse keeper’s son. And now it looked as if the famous rock below it might claim the boy, if the boy didn’t think of something, and quickly. if the gravestone doesn’t get you, the seven devils will! read the legend carved into the mantel at the Greybeard Inn. And the long-dead British tar who had carved it there knew well whereof he spoke. At that moment, Nick wished he himself had carved those ancient words of warning into the pitching deck he now stood upon.

“We’re not going to make it, boy!” shouted an anguished Nick. “I can’t keep her pointed high enough!” Indeed he could not steer, nor will, the bow of his small boat to windward of the ever larger Gravestone. For every foot of forward motion Petrel gained, she was losing two feet to side-slipping. Adrenaline poured into Nick’s veins as he realized the potential for total disaster in what he was about to do.

A whispered prayer to his long-dead hero escaped his lips.

Nelson the Strong , Nelson the Brave, Nelson the Lord of the Sea.

Nick faced a terrible decision. The most brutal maneuver any sailor could make in such a dreadful blow was a jibe. Jibing meant turning the boat away from the wind, instead of into it, so that its brutal force passed directly behind the mainsail. The huge mainsail and heavy boom would then come whipping across the cockpit with a violence that could easily rip the mast from the boat. But what choice did he have? The terrible decision was already made.

“Jibe HO!” he shouted to his shaggy crew. He pulled sharply back on his tiller instead of pushing against it. The bow swung instantly off the wind. “Mind yer heads!” Nick bellowed. The stout wooden boom and violently snapping mainsail came roaring across the small open cockpit like the furies of hell. “Down, boy!” Nick cried, and ducked under the heavy wooden boom at the last second, narrowly avoiding a blow to the head which would have sent him, unconscious, overboard. The lines, the sails, the rigging, every plank of his boat was screaming, at their breaking point. She’d been built of stout timber, but he could feel Petrel straining desperately at her seams. If a plank should spring open now, this close to a rocky lee shore, they were surely done for!

But she held. Looking aloft, he saw his mast and rigging mostly intact. By jibing the boat, he’d gained precious time to think.

Nick feverishly eyed his options, now rapidly dwindling to nil. There had to be a way out of this! Nicholas McIver was not a boy destined to die such a stupid, unseamanlike death. Not if he could help it. He had a healthy fear of dying, all right, but now, staring death square in the face, he was far more afraid of letting them all down. His mother. His father. His little sister, Katie. His best friend, Gunner.

Wasn’t that a fate even worse than death, he wondered? For a boy to slip beneath the cold waves without even the chance to prove to those he loved that he was a brave boy, a boy destined to do great things in this world? A boy who might one day be—a hero?

The already fresh wind had now built into something truly appalling. Petrel was rapidly running out of sea room. The sickly green-yellow sky cast its unhealthy glow over the frothing sea. Nick heard an ominous roar building on his port side. Just as he looked up, a wave like an onrushing locomotive crashed over the windward side of the little boat, staggering the tiny vessel, knocking her instantly and violently on her side. Nick was buried under a torrent of cold seawater. He clung desperately to the tiller to avoid being washed overboard. He was thinking only of Jip, again standing watch up on the bow. As the weight of her heavy lead keel quickly righted the boat once more, Nick, sputtering, strained forward, rubbing the stinging saltwater from his eyes. His dog was still there. Heaven only knew how the creature had managed it. In fact, Jip was barking loudly, surely in anger at the wave that had almost done them in.

“All that lead we hung off her bottom is good for something, eh, Jipper? Hang on, boy!” Nick cried. “I’ll think of something!” But what, his mind answered, whatever could he do? He knew that the next wave they took broadside would be their last. He fought the tiller, determined to get the towering waves on Petrel ’s stern. It was his only chance.

Just at that moment Petrel was lifted high above a cavernous trough by the hand of another huge wave. For a brief moment, Nick could see most of the northern tip of his island. And he knew in that instant what he had to do. There was no escaping to windward of the Gravestone Rock. Since Petrel could never make headway back into the teeth of the storm, he now had no choice. He must fall off to the leeward side of the rock, sailing a dead run before the wind, directly into the waiting jaws of the Seven Devils! Nothing else for it, he thought, more grimly determined than ever.

From the crest of the wave, Nick had seen a small .ash of white on the rocky shore dead ahead. It could only mean a sandy cove, one of many along this coast where he and Kate played on sunny days.

If he could somehow time the waves precisely, so that Petrel ’s keel might just brush the Devil’s deadly tops, he just might have a chance at beaching the boat on the sandy shore of that little cove. Yes, he just might.

Now that he had a plan, the boy’s spirits soared. It wasn’t much of a plan, but it was the only chance he had. If it failed, why, he—

“Shorten sail, lads!” Nick cried to his imaginary crew, clenching the damp and salty mainsheet in his teeth as he loosed the main halyard with his free hand. In a blow like this, reducing sail area by ree.ng the main wouldn’t decrease his boat speed by much, but it might just be enough to control his timing of the waves over the reefs. It was clear that Nick would need all the seamanship, and luck, he could muster to get captain and crew safely ashore.

Jip, as if recognizing the desperate seriousness of their situation, came aft to stand watch beside his master. Nick was glad of his company.

“Steady now, steady,” cried Nick, bracing his knees against the thwart seat and winding the mainsheet round his .st to secure it. The force of the wind on the shortened sail made Nick’s arm feel as if it might be pulled from its socket. “Steady as she goes, lads!” Wind and water were tossing the sloop about like a pond boat, throwing his timing off dangerously. Entering the procession of towering rollers, Nick felt his sloop surge forward. “Look alive, Jip, we’re in for a bit of a sleigh ride!” he cried. Jip growled and stood his ground.

The trick, and it was a good one, was keeping Petrel out of the sequence of huge waves rushing toward the treacherous shore. To wait until the timing was precisely right. “Right” meant that Petrel was lifted at the precise moment her keel was passing over each one of the jagged Devils. It was going to take luck all right, bags of the stuff; luck and no small measure of skill.

“Easy . . . easy ...and ...NOW!” cried Nick, heaving the tiller to starboard to swing his bow around. If there was a tinge of fear remaining in his voice you couldn’t hear it for the wind or the spray or the sheer exhilaration of the moment as he steered the little boat down the broad steep face of the wave toward the deep trough below. Petrel ’s moment of truth had .nally arrived.

“We need to come up, now, boy,” Nick said, holding on to his tiller for dear life. The Gravestone Rock loomed dangerously close to his left as Petrel plunged deeper into the trough. “We. Need. To. Come. UP!” Nick held his breath. He’d seen the ugly spine of the .rst reef from the top of his wave and knew that Petrel ’s keel could clear it if only he had timed his descent into the trough perfectly. He clenched his jaw, unaware how painfully tight it was. Jip, too, was rigid, staring at the wall of water before them, sensing the moment.

Petrel ’s bow suddenly lifted. She was rising high on the majestic swell and Nick waited for the tearing sound of her keel on the deadly jagged rock. It occurred to him in that moment that it would probably be one of the last sounds he would ever hear.

It didn’t come.

At the wave’s crest, Nick could see that he’d timed it perfectly. The waves would now lift him over the two razor-sharp reefs that remained between Petrel and the safety of the sandy cove. Jip scrambled forward once more to his station at the bow. He barked loudly in triumph, daring the forces of nature to do battle once more with the mighty Petrel and her daring crew.

“Hooray!” Nick cried in both relief and exultation. “We did it, boy, we perfectly well did it, didn’t we?”

In the deep bottle-green safety of the cove, it was simply a matter of running Petrel toward shore until her keel beached on the soft sand. That done, Nick quickly freed the main and jib halyards and all the wet canvas fell to the deck. As the boat swung round and listed to her starboard side, a happy Nick and Jip leapt over the gunwale and waded ashore. Nick made fast a line from Petrel ’s bow to a large rock on the shore. Then he and Jip ducked into the mouth of the nearest cave to escape the fury of the storm.

And they had been safe, perched on a deep ledge inside the cave, waiting for the storm to blow itself out before sailing home for supper.

This cave, it occurred to Nick as he and Jip climbed back into the boat, might make an excellent hiding place someday. Either as a place to hide from bloodthirsty pirates, or a place to secret any treasure he and his crew might .nd during their future navigations.

“All right, boy,” Nick said, hauling down on the halyard that raised his mainsail once more. “Time to .y away home!” Now that the storm had subsided, he was con.dent he could pick his way through the reefs with little trouble. After all, he knew their locations by heart.

Yes, you could always rely upon young Nicholas McIver to get his crew home safely. After all, was there a more reliable boy in all of England?

Excerpted from Nick of Time by Ted Bell.

Copyright © 2008 by Ted Bell.

Published in August 2009 by St. Martin's Press.

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in

any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

Meet the Author

Ted Bell is the New York Times bestselling author of Nick of Time and The Time Pirate, as well as the bestselling Alexander Hawke series. For many years he was a leading talent in advertising, and won numerous Clios and Cannes Gold Lions and the Cannes Grand Prix. He began his advertising career as a copy-writer at Doyle Dane Bernbach in the 1970s. In 1991, he joined Young&Rubicam, one of the world's largest advertising agencies, as Vice-Chairman of the board and World-Wide Creative Director. Bell retired from advertising in 2001 to write full-time. He lives in Florida and Colorado.

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Nick of Time (Nick McIver Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 74 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow! Some books sweep you away. Ted Bell's Nick of Time amazed me, dazzled me, and swept my imagination off to sea. The interweaving of pirate adventures at sea with the threat of German U-boats pre-WWII was accomplished so skillfully that I yearned to join them traveling through time. Ted Bell's descriptions were so vivid, I could picture every scene in full-color. With the exciting action scenes, I ignored the outside world to focus on this incredible tale. The history was so enticing, I found myself pouring through WWII texts on England's preparations for war, Churchill's struggles, and maps of the islands. I wanted to experience sailing and its dangers as Nick was able to do. Curse my landlocked childhood! I curled up with this book last weekend while battling the flu, but even the flu couldn't keep me away from the pages of this story. I was compelled to keep reading until past midnight. The last line of the story gave me hope for many more sequels. Please, Mr. Bell, may I have some more? I know you have written books for adults, but this title was truly amazing and I want to experience it again. Someone will be snatching up the rights to make this into a film soon! Give us hope that the sequel is on it's way. The message of heroism in Nick of Time has clung to me this week. I keep reviewing scenes and conversations from the story. Who are my heroes? What if I could travel through time to meet them? Would I have anything to offer them? Are there small roles in history that we could play that would impact others? How many of us could act as well as seven-year old Kate? Also, what has become of the villain Billy Blood? Where will he strike next? Middle school students are going to be so hooked by this book. Perhaps I should change to being a MS librarian just so I can help boys in particular find this book. Don't worry girls, you'll love this as much as I did and there is plenty to ponder after you're finished reading. Just don't think you can read only one chapter before breakfast. I tried and glanced up 80 pages later to wonder what had happened and where I'd been. I've been craving an adventure story with a good mystery and this arrived in the nick of time to rescue me. Nick of Time will be released in May, 2008... read the next great book for kids.
Swedey More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book as a gift. I have been told by my nephew that he loved the book and would enjoy more from the same author. Also he gives the book 5 stars for thrilling, story, absorbing,writing, Cover art and characters.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Set in 1939, NICK OF TIME is about young Nick McIver and his adventuresome spirit.

Nick loves to sail and be out on the water with his trusty dog, Jip. He loves it so much that he often loses track of time and comes home late for dinner, which irritates his tough yet loving mother. One night, Nick also discovers that his father is no ordinary lighthouse keeper. He's also a spy for England. What would become World War II was brewing, and Nick joins his dad in his efforts of spying for Nazis.

This story has a lot going for it. The writing is excellent, the story includes sailboats, Nazis, submarines, secret castles, mysterious villains, pirates, squawking parrots, dogs, cats, spies and, as the title implies, travel through time. The one downside is that it takes more than one hundred pages to get to the time travel promised by the title.

Nevertheless, it's a fun story, full of adventure and suspense, with a dose of history thrown in.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A modern day Treasure Island with a great 12 year old hero!! This book will delight any and all readers but boys 9 and up will absolutely eat it up! Pirates, Nazi submarines, and a dramatic sea rescue of kidnapped children. What a great read and a perfect break for all kids (and moms and dads, too) who are 'wild about Harry'!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for everyone, but most especially for boys. Not only is it historical and teaches many historical facts overlooked in school, it teaches values like courage and persistence. It is entertaining for both boys 10 and over and all adults. I read it along with my grandson, and we compared notes each night. He wants to read it again, because he knows he may have missed some important little clues to the entire plot. Great writing. Wish Ted Bell would write many more like it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Reading this book I felt like I was back in time, a time when books were full of not only adventure, but values such as courage and love of country and boys who were self- reliant and wanting to be heroes! In my view, it's a classic in the making! It may sound old-fashioned but believe me, it isn't! One of the most exciting adventure stories I've ever read. And I am not exaggerating even a smidge. Clearly written for youngsters but this oldster loved it!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bought this book for my 12 year old nephew and sat down to read a chapter to make sure it was 'clean' enough to gift - it is. Got hooked and ended up reading the whole book myself over the weekend. Enjoyment of the book requires an imagination as the time travel and constant non-stop adventures go well beyond reality. However, the characters are well-developed, the plot is fast moving, the historical elements are informative, and each of the short chapters leaves the reader wanting to know what happens next. I think some of the nautical vocabulary and historical context are likely beyond pre-teen knowledge but the story will delight.
harstan More than 1 year ago
As Europe flares up with the latest continental war this time between the allies and the Fascists, twelve years old Nick McIver and his younger sister Kate live with their father in a lighthouse on Graybeard Island, one of the Channel islands. The Nazi U-boats surround their island while their father tries to get important information to the War Office in London. Meanwhile Nick finds a chest containing an odd plea from a long dead ancestor. Apparently Royal Naval Captain Nicholas McIver is in trouble, but has critical information that Lord Admiral Nelson needs. The message accompanies a handy time machine that enables Nick to go back to 1805 to help his antecedent. --- As Nick goes back to the Napoleonic Era, Kate joins Lord Hawke and Commander Hobbes as they try to steal an experimental Nazi submarine. At the same relative time in both eras, pirate Billy Blood uses his portable time machine to abduct the children of wealthy parents from various periods that he takes to his French warship he demands exorbitant ransom if they want their brats back. In 1805 he is about to kill Nick¿s relative in 1939, he considers kidnapping Nick¿s sister. --- Ted bell¿s fine young adult thriller is an engaging preadolescent time travel fantasy in which readers will root for the McIver pair to be in THE NICK OF TIME to save England at sea TWICE a century and half apart. The sea battles are incredibly descriptive in both periods so much so that the audience can compare the navies. Although the non-stop action twists reasoning in order to keep the escapades going, no one will care as readers will cheer on the fully developed young champions while hissing that diabolically bloody pirate. --- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
From its striking dust cover art to its beautiful binding and print, this middle-grade adventure story has it all: boats and the sea, pirates, castles, Nazis, and time travel. It has everything a young reader could want. The writing is crisp, clear, and practically flawless. Description and scene setting put the reader in the middle of things where he or she is immediately drawn into the adventure with the leading characters, Nick and Kate. As the story progresses, more and more actors are sprinkled in until a full host are moving the story faster and faster forward toward a roaring climax. Action never stops in the great novel which rivals Robert Lewis Stevenson's Treasure Island in size and scope. The author covers this book's sometimes rapid point of view changes with seamless transition and skill seldom seen in a beginning writer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is cool. Period. When you're done reading all the Harry Potter books, check this out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Their is amasing stuff in this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be captivating from the first page. The reader is pulled into the adventures of Nick and his friends, and kept at the edge of your seat with every turn of the page. Bell has created an adventure for both young and old. I personally can't wait for the next installment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For those who love childhood adventure books that you can read when old, this fits both bills!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The series is one i like to read again and again.
InTheBookcase More than 1 year ago
"Nick of Time" is an epic novel for readers of any age. Author Ted Bell wrote it for kids, but adults would find it a fascinating read too. This is the story that Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island) could have written if he lived in our generation. The first chapters light upon twelve-year-old Nick McIver, the son of the lighthouse keeper on a little English island. The year is 1939. Trouble is stirring from Germany, and someone needs to spy on what the Nazis are doing. As young Nick begins to learn of the disturbing things happening above him in the air, and below him in the sea, he becomes concerned for the well-being of England and its people. Who is truly safe from the Nazis' efforts? Nick can't just sail away from these problems on his clipper, like he so enjoys doing. This time, he's in it for the fight, no matter where it takes him. Next is the leap into time travel! It's an exciting aspect of the book, which takes the reader away from the beginning of World War II and into a time much earlier, where there's a large problem to solve at sea, and not much time to escape. Will Nick's new comrades (AKA "scientific detectives") be able to help him get back to 1939 in one piece? Aside from the Nazis, Nick has inherited his very own personal enemy --- who is a pirate, no less. Not just any pirate either, but one who can travel through time. Nick is kept on his toes, never knowing from which direction that the infamous William Blood may appear from. So many great characters are featured in this book! I wish I could tell you about Gunner, Commander Hobbes and Lord Hawke, but you'll have to read the book to find out about them. I truly think the author did such a wonderful job with describing his characters. Although a decidedly masculine cast takes the spotlight, there's one little girl who simply shines. Kate, Nick McIver's little sister is an adorable sweetheart, who fits in so perfectly with the action. She's smart for her age, and may as well take on the entire German Gestapo with her charm. The only con that I found in the entire story is that it does include violence --- more so that most juvenile novels might have. Then again, this adventure isn't quite like any other juvenile novel either. It's that good. Other notes: The audiobook with John Shea as narrator is the perfect listening material on a rainy day. "Nick of Time" is an exciting nautical adventure, filled with peril, wit, and the element of surprise. I can hardly wait for the sequel, "The Time Pirate".
2silverspurs More than 1 year ago
To long. I liked the idea of the book and what the author wanted to put across, but the book was way too long and in some instances, boring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gr8 book so much adventure
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it. It was soo good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Ive read it abot 10 times now Cant wait for my kids to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book for the whole family!One of the best books ever that contains history!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago