Caleb thought he'd escaped Uncle's clutches and could have a normal life in 1968, but no such luck. After being forcibly returned to Timeless Treasures and his old job of stealing valuable objects from the past, he learns that things have gotten even more sinister. Training the new kidnapped recruits doesn't seem very important to ...
Caleb thought he'd escaped Uncle's clutches and could have a normal life in 1968, but no such luck. After being forcibly returned to Timeless Treasures and his old job of stealing valuable objects from the past, he learns that things have gotten even more sinister. Training the new kidnapped recruits doesn't seem very important to Frank, Uncle's evil lackey, even though a few of these kids have amazing theiving skills and genius for new technology. But then Caleb figures out it's because Frank doesn't plan on keeping them around very long - or keeping them alive.
Stakes are high for all of the time snatchers. If only Caleb can convince the new ones to stop having fun with the technology and use it to save their own lives.
In the exciting follow-up to Time Snatchers (Putnam, 2012), Caleb has been pulled back into Uncle's band of time-travelling thieves—snatchers, as they call themselves. Reminiscent of Oliver Twist, Uncle raises orphans and forces them to steal for him, dishing out dire consequences when mistakes are made. Five months have passed since the end of book one, and fellow snatcher Frank has amassed tremendous power to which Uncle remains oblivious. Caleb and Abbie are teamed up with some of the new recruits (mere children), teaching them the ropes of snatching, all while Frank proves himself to be even more unyielding and evil than Uncle. Book two culminates in a daring escape, with the characters running out of options and knowing that their every act is completely immoral. Readers of the first volume will certainly be interested in the continuing saga. First-time readers should probably start with book one. Due to the age of the main characters (thirteen), this is a solid middle grade novel, but older readers will be interested in the story as well. Captivating characters, including a computer with human DNA convinced she is not a computer, and technological prodigies enhance the plot. The capabilities of the recruits and snatchers demonstrate that to accomplish something, all you need to do is set your mind to it. Reviewer: Kristi Sadowski
School Library Journal
Gr 6–8—A sequel to the excellent Time Snatchers (Putnam, 2012). After spending five months in peaceful ignorance of his past, Caleb, a time-traveling thief, is forced to return to Timeless Treasures, where he is back under the thumb of Uncle, the Faginesque leader of a band of thieves. Things have changed while Caleb was gone. Uncle is more erratic and strange, and cruel Frank is running most of the day-to-day operations. As Frank exercises more and more harsh control, it puts Caleb and his new recruits in danger; something will have to be done before all their futures are snatched away from them. With his memories and time-snatching ability restored, Caleb feels the loss of his adopted family as well as the fear of being back with Uncle and Frank. These emotions propel much of the action in the book as Caleb tries to find a way to protect the recruits and get home. Ungar cleverly includes real historical occurrences in his characters' time-travel episodes, so the book serves as an enlightening glimpse into different eras and events. Characters are well established and most take interesting and honest turns. However, the action is uneven at times, and the resolution of the main conflict comes off as rushed and slightly anticlimactic. Nonetheless, this is well-done science fiction that is built around a very intriguing concept.—Erik Knapp, Davis Library, Plano, TX
Ungar doesn't do much to move the plot along but does lighten the tone and trot in some promising new characters for this follow-up to Time Snatchers (2012). Caleb finds himself once again in the clutches of Uncle, a mad, Fagin-esque type in 2061 who snatches waifs from the timestream and trains them to steal important artifacts from various historical eras. Memories magically restored, Caleb is charged with training a team of young new recruits. As team members include strong-minded, street-wise con artist Razor and 10-year-old autistic tech whiz Dmitri, it's much like herding cats--particularly as missions to snatch Newton's apple, the first glass of Coca-Cola and other treasures are set up to fail by Caleb's rival Frank, who schemes to wrest control of the organization from its bizarrely obsessive founder. Eventually Caleb and his hot fellow agent Abbie lead a rescue that leaves him, Abbie and Razor at least temporarily at peace and in safety and returns the other recruits to their original locales aboard a time-traveling subway car. Running gags and missions that devolve into comical chaos are pluses, but both Caleb and the story are left more or less where they began, and frequent allusions to the opener will cause new readers to flounder. Caleb's wooden, present-tense narration doesn't help matters. For fans of the first book only. (Science fiction. 11-13)
Richard Ungar has always been captivated by the idea of traveling through time and was inspired to write his first novel, Time Snatchers, by an image in Chris Van Allsburg’s picture book The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. Called “Another Place, Another Time,” the scene shows children riding a sail-propelled sidecar along a railway track that seems to go on forever.
A lawyer by profession, Richard was born in Montreal and lives in Toronto with his wife and two sons. He is the author-illustrator of the award-winning picture book Even Higher and the acclaimed Rachel series.