Time's Chariot

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Overview

THE HIMALAYAS, 5000 BC:

Commissioner Daiho is dead, but there’s no question of foul play. The murder of a Home Timer is about as likely as unauthorized interference with the work of a Correspondent. . . .

Isfahan, Arabia, 1029:

Abu Ali was startled. He hadn’t heard the stranger enter. The Correspondent was even more alarmed—his enhanced senses would have picked up the arrival...

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Time's Chariot

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Overview

THE HIMALAYAS, 5000 BC:

Commissioner Daiho is dead, but there’s no question of foul play. The murder of a Home Timer is about as likely as unauthorized interference with the work of a Correspondent. . . .

Isfahan, Arabia, 1029:

Abu Ali was startled. He hadn’t heard the stranger enter. The Correspondent was even more alarmed—his enhanced senses would have picked up the arrival of any normal human. Then the stranger spoke, and it was the language of the Home Time. Seconds later, Correspondent RC/1029’s world went dark.

The Home Time, 2000 Years Later:

Field Operative Rico Garron is about to have a very bad day.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up

Jeapes fills this science-fiction tale of time-travel malfeasance with enough plot twists to satisfy the most avid mystery buff. The book begins with an unidentified person falling to his death. Readers then meet other characters in rapid succession, including an unnamed Correspondent in AD 1029; Field Ops Garron and Zo; Acting Commissioner Marje Orendal and her assistant, Hossein Asaldra; journeymen Jontan Baiget and Sarai Killin; and patrician Phenuel Scott. Among these and other characters, Garron emerges as the hero. He feels certain that Commissioner Daiho did not simply fall but was murdered. It's all very convoluted, and Jeapes will keep readers turning the pages to figure out who exactly is trying to do what. Teens will certainly enjoy the story, which could just as easily sit on the adult shelves. To further confuse things, the cover's pastel artwork looks more like something for elementary students than for middle or upper graders. This was originally published in Great Britain as Winged Chariot (Scholastic, Ltd, 1999).-Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Kirkus Reviews
"The past was officially a nasty, dirty place where people had no social preparation and were cruel and mean to each other . . . ." But since the present "Home Time" world-unified, pacified and populated by 20 billion people-is now crime- and even injury-proofed, how could Commissioner Li Daiho have fallen off a balcony to his death, let alone be murdered? Such is the mystery that Field Operative Rico Garron is charged with solving in this demanding, convoluted time-travel adventure that, among other things, explores the effects of technology on society and humanity's relationship to its past. The novel-first published in England in 1999 as The Winged Chariot and featuring an all-adult cast of characters-lurches from time to place as Rico gets closer to unraveling the mystery surrounding Daiho's death. Rico's hotheaded-but-rather-heroic nature and acidic sense of humor make him an intriguing character, and perhaps that in itself will be enough to keep readers going boldly through the irritatingly complex story line. (Fiction. YA/adult)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385751674
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/9/2008
  • Pages: 384
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: 780L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Ben Jeapes is the critically acclaimed author of The New World Order and The Xenocide Mission, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. He lives in Oxfordshire, England.
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Read an Excerpt

One

They had drugged him and now his body twisted lazily as it tumbled through the air.

Somewhere in one corner of his drugged mind was a feeling of annoyance, because he wasn’t a body yet, but that was how they had referred to him. And, looking at the ground creeping closer, he felt the description would soon be accurate, which annoyed him even more. He hadn’t even been given the choice of whether or not to die.

The wind was a booming, rushing noise in his ears. He had fallen for a long time. He had fallen off a mountain, he recalled, though he wasn’t sure what a mountain was. Perhaps it was that shining blur. They may have drugged him into compliance and a fatalistic acceptance of death, he thought, but he wasn’t stupid.

Another corner of his mind wondered about the emergency agravs – necessary equipment when you lived over a mile above ground, designed for just such eventualities as this. Even now they should be picking him up and reducing his rate of descent so that he would land as smoothly as a feather. Somehow he had got past their reach.

He frowned because something wasn’t making sense. This was the Home Time and murder was meant to be a thing of the past, and yet he was reasonably certain that murder was what had just happened to him.

And then the ground, once so far away and approaching slowly, was suddenly coming quickly up towards him, and there was no time for terror before all his worries abruptly ceased.

Two
Isfahan, 1029

Help! Help me!’ The Correspondent paused and cocked his head, still fingering the halter of the camel tied up beside the road. He had stopped to inspect the animal because a camel saddled for a rider, but riderless, aroused his curiosity. He was in the middle of what was still called Persia and it was shortly after his arrival at 08:00, local time on 13 May in the year the faithful called 407, the Christians called 1029 and his masters called 1564 pre-Home Time. He was on the road between Qom and Isfahan and so far, apart from the camel, he had seen no sign of anyone else around him.

‘Help!’ The voice was more desperate and, turning up his hearing, the Correspondent could hear the sounds of conflict, heavy breathing, metal on metal. The noise came from the other side of a small hill beside the road through the desert, and he set off over it at a slow jog.

There was a fight going on round the other side of the hill, three against one, and the one was tiring. The Correspondent had no idea of the rights and wrongs of the situation and no especial desire to intervene, so instead he began to record the scene, sucking the information in through his eyes and storing it in the special areas at the back of his brain.

In his final despair, the one man below raised his eyes and saw the Correspondent at the top of the rise. ‘In the name of the Prophet, help me!’ he cried. Still, the Correspondent might have stayed put if one of the three others hadn’t turned round and spotted him. Immediately he charged with an angry bellow, scimitar raised.

The Correspondent stood where he was and watched the man approach. Something inside him assessed a threat to personal safety and he shifted to defence mode, without showing any external change. The attacker’s yell peaked as he drew close and brought the blade down.

With one hand the Correspondent swatted the blade aside. The other he jabbed deep into the man’s throat. The man staggered backwards and fell, eyes bulging, choking on his crushed larynx.

The two remaining attackers stood over their now motionless victim. They ran at him as one, and again the Correspondent let them get close. Then his foot came up at the end of a straight leg, catching the first under the ribs and crushing his heart. The second man got the Correspondent’s rigid fingers in his solar plexus and his spinal cord was severed by a chop to the back of his neck.

The Correspondent looked down at the three bodies, stored the scene in his memory and then went down to see if the one they had been attacking was still alive.

He was – a young man only just out of adolescence, with a scraggly beard. He had propped himself up on one arm and he gazed at the Correspondent with awe.

‘You just stood there!’ he said. ‘I have never seen someone dispatch three bandits so quickly. You have my eternal gratitude.’

The bandits had actually posed little threat. The Correspondent still didn’t know much, but he knew that. Provided he avoided immediate trauma and kept himself in more or less one piece, his body could overcome virtually any threat to it from war or disease, and regenerate itself indefinitely. He was packed full of added organic components and he possessed skills and senses that evolution had never given Homo sapiens and never would. He could even remould his features if desired, given a day or so to himself. At the moment, he appeared like any other man of the region in his mid thirties.

The young man in the sand would not have understood, so the Correspondent just asked: ‘Who were they?’

‘Infidel worthless bandits,’ the young man said casually. He looked up at his helper. ‘And who are you, friend?’

Who was he? A good question. Your memory will be affected by the transference. They had told him that, though he couldn’t remember who they were and he still had no specific memory of the Home Time. He did know that he had a function: to observe, to comment, to survive. He was Correspondent RC/1029 – any further identity that he took would be up to him.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2012

    Horrid

    Its horribly written as well as grmattically. :(

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2012

    Very very very very good book

    I lovee this book it is good book for teenagers and some people way above their reading level. Whoever reads this book will reaaly understand literature.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Steph for TeensReadToo.com

    Rico Garron is disturbed when the death of Commissioner Diaho seems to be in fact a murder. <BR/><BR/>But when several facts come up that lead to a greater mystery than a mere murder, Rico finds himself on a timeless hunt to find the truth. And this journey is literally a timeless one. <BR/><BR/>Being of the future, Rico can in fact travel back in time hundreds of years and trace Commissioner Diaho's dealings to figure out why he was murdered and who killed him. <BR/><BR/>With TIME'S CHARIOT, Ben Jeapes writes a very intriguing story about the future. While at first it can be confusing trying to figure out what is going on and trying to learn these new "futuristic" terms, the story itself is still very enticing and will quickly pull readers in. The many twists and turns make this novel a true page-turner.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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