What happens when a pickpocket steals a watch that proves to be more than just a watch? Or. Equally. How would Oliver Twist fare in a steampunk world? Or. What if the Artful Dodger was a girl?
These are just some of the sort of questions I think Brent A.Harris was asking himself when he begun A Twist in Time. He weaves a clever mashup of Dickensian London’s grimness with the bright inconsequence that is steampunk – and it works.
For me, the drawing of the characters was the outstanding feature of this novel. That and the light handed world building.
I was less fond of the time slips at the beginning of the book. They jarred me out of my comfort zone, but not really in a good way. However, I persevered and I was glad I did.
This book grows on you.
There’s a good storyline acted out by characters one comes to care about and a nifty twisty end. Brent has a nice grasp of language and his writing style is clean and clever. I’d happily give this book four stars and recommend it as an entertaining read.
Dickens Goes Steampunk – With Time Travel Too!
When Oliver Twist is caught having stolen a watch from its owner, he expects to pay the ultimate price for theft. But Mr Brownlow has other ideas and the street urchin Oliver finds himself swept up into a new life which includes adventure, romance and time-travel.
What I enjoyed.
The atmosphere. The author really summons up a steampunk feel – the mix of the squalor of nineteenth-century London and the extraordinary magical technology.
The writing style. Often drawn into poetic prose, the book is a delight to read for the way it uses language.
The characters. These are all well crafted and are what make the story come alive. They are all engaging, believable and very well drawn. Knowing a bit about their Dickensian precursors adds to the delight.
The end. A wonderful extra twist in time, which is very much worthwhile.
What I Struggled With.
The beginning. This is a book that starts three times. The first chapter begins with what seems to be a ‘story present’ prologue – but isn’t really. Then we meet Oliver as a child and that finishes when we are told he has a time travel event – but not what that event is or what happens. Then the story suddenly starts again with Oliver as an adult. It is very disjointed and makes the book hard to get into.
Once past the choppy opening, this is a wonderful tale for teens and older who love steampunk, time travel and thundering good adventure stories.