Title: The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray
Author: O.R. Simmonds
Publisher: Appellation Press
Publication Date: July 30, 2021
Genre: Science Fiction
1980s LONDON. A SENSELESS MURDER, A BIZARRE DISAPPEARANCE AND A MYSTERY DECADES IN THE MAKING.
William Wells, a gifted but risk-averse US college dropout living an unadventurous life in London, stumbles upon a mysterious timepiece with the ability to alter time. When the Timepiece’s previous owner is brutally murdered by unknown assailants, Will flees, only to see his girlfriend, Abigayle, vanish before his eyes when she comes into contact with this remarkable watch.
He now finds himself alone in an unfamiliar city, wanted for a murder he didn’t commit and the prime suspect in a woman’s disappearance. Whether he knows it or not, Will does have one advantage – control over the most powerful force in the universe: time. The only problem is that he has no idea how to wield it. Those that do, members of a secretive and long-forgotten organisation, are also on his trail and there are no lines they won’t cross to recover The Timepiece.
Why This Book
Not only does this book hold the distinction of involving time travel that was actually explained and actually made sense to me, it also has quite a fun friendship that was surprisingly heartwarming. The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray involves an American living illegally in the UK with his British girlfriend, who ends up basically somewhere else in time thanks to a special watch called the Timepiece. While he’s trying desperately to find her, Will ends up in the company of a man named Frenz who, many years ago, was the Timekeeper, the one who in charge of keeping the Timepiece.
There’s a lot Will doesn’t know or understand, so it’s up to Frenz to help him learn and keep him out of time-related trouble. Over time, they evolve from mentor and mentee to friends who rely on each other as they go on the run to escape those who want the Timepiece and to save Will’s girlfriend. Will and Frenz played off of each other perfectly, becoming the perfect partners in this fast-paced story that really doesn’t let up for these two. It was fun and delightful to read.
My review: “It’s fast-paced and Will and Frenz never seem to catch a break, but they’re immensely quick and resourceful and work off of each other really well. They’re ideal partners, and just overall fun. I loved how the story just seemed to relentlessly push forward, giving neither characters nor reader a break”
Paul’s Picks gave this 4.5 stars, saying “This book reminded me a little of a Mike Chen book. The relationships and characters take center stage and while some of the plot point definitely rely on science fiction elements, it’s not what holds the story together”
Heather L. Barksdale rated this a 4, saying “Overall, I enjoyed this time travelling tale. The protagonist, Will, is funny and believable in his interactions with those around him as everything he thinks he knows falls apart. I enjoyed how the author intertwined action with backstories. It gave the tale depth and kept the pacing interesting”
Whispering Stories gave this a 5, saying “The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray is a fast-paced story with as many twists and turns as a mountain road. There is plenty of action and many surprises”
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