Book review

City of Time by Eoin McNamee (2008)

Sequel to The Navigator, and another urgent battle to prevent the Harsh from seizing control of time itself.

Cati has taken over from her father as the Watcher. While the rest of her people, the Resistors, sleep in the Starry, she watches from the shadows of time and waits for the next attack.

'Hello, Watcher!' Owen shouted as he always did, knowing she could see him even though he couldn't see her. He paused and scanned the shadows under the trees, wondering if she was safe and if he would ever see her again. Time, he had learned, was a dangerous place.

Actually, he will see her again pretty soon, because time seems to be wobbling. He doesn't know it yet, but time and space are distorting. Gravity is getting stronger and pulling the moon towards the earth, and it's scaring the life out of Cati:

'It'll hit us?' Cati said, staring at the moon as if she'd never seen it before.

If the fabric of time is threatened it's Cati's job to wake the Resistors, but this time she finds she can't do it. Something is wrong in the Starry. The air is foetid and the sleepers are disturbed. The only person she can turn to is Owen, the Navigator. He lives in the ordinary world but he has a role to play in Cati's world too, like his father before him. The only problem with that is that neither Owen nor Cati are quite clear what Owen's role is. Both children have lost their fathers too early for the knowledge to be passed on.

So they're going to have to save the world by trial and error...fortunately, Owen manages to wake up Dr Diamond from his long sleep in the Starry and the three of them together sort out a bit of a plan. If the earth is running out of time, they'd better jolly well go and fetch some more, from the City of Time. It's OK. You can store time in tempods:

'What is a tempod?' Cati asked, thinking about the final odd word of her father's message.
'A tempod is a strange thing, not much understood,' Dr Diamond said. 'It looks like a hollow rock, by all accounts, but it is capable of storing a large quantity of time.'

Pretty handy. But not easy to come by. If you fancy a rollicking, fantastical adventure, this one could be for you!

What can I read next?

It's a sequel. Read the first one first:

If you enjoy the idea of living half in one world and half in another, you might like to look at the brilliant Stravaganza series by Mary Hoffman:

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