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Nick of Time : A Nick McIver Time Adventure

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In the celebrated tradition of grand adventure tales going back to Robert Louis Stevenson's <i>Treasure Island</i>, this is an epic adventure story about a boy who changes the course of history with his courageous feats of derring-do.

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In the celebrated tradition of grand adventure tales going back to Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, this is an epic adventure story about a boy who changes the course of history with his courageous feats of derring-do.

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.

Specifications

Series Title
Nick McIver Adventures Through Time
Publisher
Square Fish
Book Format
Paperback
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
464
Author
Ted Bell
ISBN-13
9780312581435
Publication Date
September, 2009
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
7.87 x 5.38 x 0.86 Inches
ISBN-10
0312581432

Customer Reviews

Average Rating:(3.3)out of 5 stars
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Most helpful positive review
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars
This was a great pirat...
This was a great pirate adventure mixed in with some good old fashioned time traveling (oh, and some nazis). The book takes place months before WWII starts in the English Islands that are close to France. The main character, Nick, is the son of a lightkeeper and longs to be as great a seaman as his hero Lord Nelson, Lord of the Sea. One day while he's out sailing, he takes a rest in a cove and comes across an old sea chest-only it doesn't look old, it looks brand new. Soon after he meets two vicious pirates looking for the same chest and who look like they just stepped out of the past (which they did). This sounds kind of strange when I write it but this is definitely a book worth reading.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
12-year-old Nick McIve...
12-year-old Nick McIver lives with his 6-year-old sister, Kate, and their parents on an island on the north shore of Greybeard Island, an English island in the English Channel. It is the summer of 1939, there have been rumored sightings of German U-boats in the Channel, and Nick's family is under suspicion of going against the British government's decree and spying on the Nazis. Then, Nick and Kate stumble across a mysterious sea chest that turns out to be a time machine highly sought after by the time traveling, kidnapping pirate Billy Blood. Blood will do anything to get his hands on the time machine, and so Nick enlists the help of Lord Hawke, the eccentric and reclusive proprietor of Hawke Castle, who's lost his two young children to Blood for ransom. They travel back to 1805 to help Nick's naval ancestor do battle with Blood, but the situation is also exceedingly dire back in the present world, as the Nazis close in on Greybeard Island. This book is a good example of what NOT to do when writing a historical fantasy for young readers. It's been quite a while since I've read something that contained so much amateuristic and unnecessary blither and blather that perhaps that only way to describe why this book should NOT be lauded as a noteworthy piece of juvenile historical fantasy is in a list: 1. It feels like a mediocre adult thriller writer's attempt to write for children, i.e. it fails. Excessive description, lack of character development, confusing and unappealing plot. 2. The protagonist, Nick, undergoes no growth throughout the novel. 3. Dialogue is overly dramatic and artificial. Great for a puppet show performed for a crowd of pre-schoolers. As a middle-grade novel? Not so much. 4. The plot is uneven, with things dropped into the story and never to be seen again, and too-long tangents that readers will not care about. The time machine element is not even introduced until halfway through the 400+ page novel, and by then readers won't cry anymore. 5. Having Kate be the only semi-appealing character in the book does not justify the other 99% of awfulness. Six-year-old main characters are just not relatable, and more often than not become extremely annoying, even as they are supposedly charming. 6. The characters are inauthentic. The villains are overly villainified, and the "joker" characters bumble around and speak geeky nonsense. NICK OF TIME may only appeal to those who can deal with a lot of nautical terminology, who are willing to sacrifice character and plot development for the sake of a vaguely interesting concept, and who think that one okay child protagonist makes up for all the other unappealing ones. Otherwise, I'd say don't waste your time. There are millions of other better historical fantasy books for readers of all ages out there.
Most helpful positive review
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars
This was a great pirat...
This was a great pirate adventure mixed in with some good old fashioned time traveling (oh, and some nazis). The book takes place months before WWII starts in the English Islands that are close to France. The main character, Nick, is the son of a lightkeeper and longs to be as great a seaman as his hero Lord Nelson, Lord of the Sea. One day while he's out sailing, he takes a rest in a cove and comes across an old sea chest-only it doesn't look old, it looks brand new. Soon after he meets two vicious pirates looking for the same chest and who look like they just stepped out of the past (which they did). This sounds kind of strange when I write it but this is definitely a book worth reading.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
12-year-old Nick McIve...
12-year-old Nick McIver lives with his 6-year-old sister, Kate, and their parents on an island on the north shore of Greybeard Island, an English island in the English Channel. It is the summer of 1939, there have been rumored sightings of German U-boats in the Channel, and Nick's family is under suspicion of going against the British government's decree and spying on the Nazis. Then, Nick and Kate stumble across a mysterious sea chest that turns out to be a time machine highly sought after by the time traveling, kidnapping pirate Billy Blood. Blood will do anything to get his hands on the time machine, and so Nick enlists the help of Lord Hawke, the eccentric and reclusive proprietor of Hawke Castle, who's lost his two young children to Blood for ransom. They travel back to 1805 to help Nick's naval ancestor do battle with Blood, but the situation is also exceedingly dire back in the present world, as the Nazis close in on Greybeard Island. This book is a good example of what NOT to do when writing a historical fantasy for young readers. It's been quite a while since I've read something that contained so much amateuristic and unnecessary blither and blather that perhaps that only way to describe why this book should NOT be lauded as a noteworthy piece of juvenile historical fantasy is in a list: 1. It feels like a mediocre adult thriller writer's attempt to write for children, i.e. it fails. Excessive description, lack of character development, confusing and unappealing plot. 2. The protagonist, Nick, undergoes no growth throughout the novel. 3. Dialogue is overly dramatic and artificial. Great for a puppet show performed for a crowd of pre-schoolers. As a middle-grade novel? Not so much. 4. The plot is uneven, with things dropped into the story and never to be seen again, and too-long tangents that readers will not care about. The time machine element is not even introduced until halfway through the 400+ page novel, and by then readers won't cry anymore. 5. Having Kate be the only semi-appealing character in the book does not justify the other 99% of awfulness. Six-year-old main characters are just not relatable, and more often than not become extremely annoying, even as they are supposedly charming. 6. The characters are inauthentic. The villains are overly villainified, and the "joker" characters bumble around and speak geeky nonsense. NICK OF TIME may only appeal to those who can deal with a lot of nautical terminology, who are willing to sacrifice character and plot development for the sake of a vaguely interesting concept, and who think that one okay child protagonist makes up for all the other unappealing ones. Otherwise, I'd say don't waste your time. There are millions of other better historical fantasy books for readers of all ages out there.
This was a great pirate adventure mixed in with some good old fashioned time traveling (oh, and some nazis). The book takes place months before WWII starts in the English Islands that are close to France. The main character, Nick, is the son of a lightkeeper and longs to be as great a seaman as his hero Lord Nelson, Lord of the Sea. One day while he's out sailing, he takes a rest in a cove and comes across an old sea chest-only it doesn't look old, it looks brand new. Soon after he meets two vicious pirates looking for the same chest and who look like they just stepped out of the past (which they did). This sounds kind of strange when I write it but this is definitely a book worth reading.
12-year-old Nick McIver lives with his 6-year-old sister, Kate, and their parents on an island on the north shore of Greybeard Island, an English island in the English Channel. It is the summer of 1939, there have been rumored sightings of German U-boats in the Channel, and Nick's family is under suspicion of going against the British government's decree and spying on the Nazis. Then, Nick and Kate stumble across a mysterious sea chest that turns out to be a time machine highly sought after by the time traveling, kidnapping pirate Billy Blood. Blood will do anything to get his hands on the time machine, and so Nick enlists the help of Lord Hawke, the eccentric and reclusive proprietor of Hawke Castle, who's lost his two young children to Blood for ransom. They travel back to 1805 to help Nick's naval ancestor do battle with Blood, but the situation is also exceedingly dire back in the present world, as the Nazis close in on Greybeard Island. This book is a good example of what NOT to do when writing a historical fantasy for young readers. It's been quite a while since I've read something that contained so much amateuristic and unnecessary blither and blather that perhaps that only way to describe why this book should NOT be lauded as a noteworthy piece of juvenile historical fantasy is in a list: 1. It feels like a mediocre adult thriller writer's attempt to write for children, i.e. it fails. Excessive description, lack of character development, confusing and unappealing plot. 2. The protagonist, Nick, undergoes no growth throughout the novel. 3. Dialogue is overly dramatic and artificial. Great for a puppet show performed for a crowd of pre-schoolers. As a middle-grade novel? Not so much. 4. The plot is uneven, with things dropped into the story and never to be seen again, and too-long tangents that readers will not care about. The time machine element is not even introduced until halfway through the 400+ page novel, and by then readers won't cry anymore. 5. Having Kate be the only semi-appealing character in the book does not justify the other 99% of awfulness. Six-year-old main characters are just not relatable, and more often than not become extremely annoying, even as they are supposedly charming. 6. The characters are inauthentic. The villains are overly villainified, and the "joker" characters bumble around and speak geeky nonsense. NICK OF TIME may only appeal to those who can deal with a lot of nautical terminology, who are willing to sacrifice character and plot development for the sake of a vaguely interesting concept, and who think that one okay child protagonist makes up for all the other unappealing ones. Otherwise, I'd say don't waste your time. There are millions of other better historical fantasy books for readers of all ages out there.

Frequent mentions

1-5 of 11 reviews
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

This was a great pirat...

This was a great pirate adventure mixed in with some good old fashioned time traveling (oh, and some nazis). The book takes place months before WWII starts in the English Islands that are close to France. The main character, Nick, is the son of a lightkeeper and longs to be as great a seaman as his hero Lord Nelson, Lord of the Sea. One day while he's out sailing, he takes a rest in a cove and comes across an old sea chest-only it doesn't look old, it looks brand new. Soon after he meets two vicious pirates looking for the same chest and who look like they just stepped out of the past (which they did). This sounds kind of strange when I write it but this is definitely a book worth reading.

Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Reason for Reading: I ...

Reason for Reading: I have the second book, but thought I had better read the first book, well ... first. I read this aloud to my son, as he loves seafaring adventures. Set in 1939, just before war is declared, on the smallest of the Channel Islands. Nick's father is lighthouse keeper and a secret spy for politician Winston Churchill reporting back any German U-Boat activity in the Channel waters. A strange man called Billy Blood kidnaps Nick's dog Jipper and thus starts a seafaring adventure that will cross time. Billy Blood is a pirate of Admiral Lord Nelson's time and not only has he taken Nick's dog, he has also kidnapped Lord Hawke's two children. Lord Hawke, Nick and his friend Gunner go back in time with a time machine device of Hawke's which Blood just happens to have the only other existing one. While there they must help Nelson's fleet out of a dangerous situation that only Nick can guide them through. Meanwhile, back at home, Nick's younger sister, Kate, has been left with Commander Hobbes to take some vital information about a special U-Boat to England unbeknownst that said U-Boat is hot on their trail. Rip-roaring adventure from beginning to end in the fashion of "Treasure Island" and in the same vein the illustrations are a handful of full-page drawings as one would find illustrative plates in an old copy of "Treasure Island". A gripping story with Nick certainly in the lead as main character. He is an independent twelve-year-old, though respectful to his parents, who was born with the sea in his blood. He spends as much time as possible out in his boat sailing the waters in good and bad weather, even mapping a route through a dangerous coral reef into a cove. His hero is Admiral Lord Nelson and he thinks of him every time he starts to feel discouraged in life. His sister, Kate, is only seven and maintains her position well, despite being cute and funny she is smart as a tack and manages to save the situation at the last minute many times. We both loved this book. The story is engaging and the shared time between the two time periods is very exciting. The chapters alternate with one set of characters in 1805 then back to the present with the Nazis in 1939. All of the main characters are likable and each has a sense of humour which adds a light tone in between the action scenes. The story is realistic and the battles scenes in 1805 are not for the very young or sensitive as battle wounds are described in full, and blood and violence are shown in their proper place in war, though never unnecessarily or gratuitously. The pirates, and well most adults, do use a small amount of language using the British curse words bloody/bleeding frequently and taking the Lord's name in vain quite often. Since I was reading aloud, I was able to say the words about half the time as they applied, something really was bloody in the battle and I spoke the Lord's name in a way that the character was now calling upon Him rather than swearing, the other half of the time I edited it out. But these are two small complaints in a book aimed at this age group. I just love finding books that are definitely aimed at boys, there are of course many girls who enjoy this type of action and they have the character of Kate to identify with, but I appreciate when the male/female characters are brother/sister thus eliminating the awkward love angle or the even more annoying battle of the sexes angle. Kate and Nick are especially a nice team as they are loving family members, far enough apart in age that Nick is Kate's parent-in-absentia figure and Kate adores her big brother. A wonderful book with family values, adventure, really bad guys (pirates and Nazis) and an edge of your seat action set in exciting historical times. Looking forward to Book 2 in the series.

Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

I loved this book. I r...

I loved this book. I read another review that said something to the effect of "I don't know if this is a kid story written for adults or an adult story written for kids," but I liked it precisely for this reason. The story was fresh, exciting, and well-written. My only complaint was the odd typo (there were around 10 or so throughout the book), but in its defense, I have an Advanced Reader Copy, which may have been through more editing before final release. I hope it was, anyway, it needed more proofreading. The story is about Nick McIver, a twelve-year-old living in a lighthouse on one of the Channel Islands in 1939. Nick's father is engaged in spying on German vessels passing through the English Channel, because despite the government denying an upcoming war, many people (including Winston Churchill) believe it is inevitable. Nick gets caught up in his father's work, as does his younger sister. Nick finds a sea chest with his name on it, buried in the sand, looking as if it was brand new despite the fact that such chests were made almost a century before. Nick is confronted by a creepy man searching for this chest, who kidnaps Nick's dog to help motivate Nick to give him the chest. It turns out this man is the infamous pirate Billy Blood, who stole a time-travel device made by DaVinci and is trying to collect its mate so he can control all of time. Nick flees to the mysterious Hawke castle with the chest, where Lord Hawke helps him use the device to find Blood in the 1800s and join Nick's ancestor (also named Nick) in a sea battle to save Lord Nelson and the entire English fleet from a sneak attack by the Spanish and French. It's a rousing tale, and not at all cheesy or silly. The pacing was done well, and although it is a bit long for younger readers, I think it's an excellent story for all ages. I'm very grateful to Mr. Bell for sending me an autographed ARC, and hope that others will read this review and pick this book up on my recommendation.

Average Rating:(3.0)out of 5 stars

This rollicking advent...

This rollicking adventure story stars Nick McIver as he spies on the Nazis, sails ships, protects his little sister, and travels through time. The tone is old-fashioned, reminiscent of classic adventure stories. I didn't totally buy Nick's voice and I think there was too much going on. It might have been a lovely historical adventure novel without everything else. Still, this will appeal to kids looking for an absorbing adventure story.

Average Rating:(3.0)out of 5 stars

This is an odd sort of...

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.


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