Book review

Takedown by Graham Marks (2007)

Takedown? What does that mean then? It means nothing to me, which is why the book stayed on the shelf for so long. Pity, because it's exciting stuff, if you enjoy time travel and saving the world stories.

They say that time travel can't be possible because if it were, we would be tripping over time travellers every time we turned round in the street. So, perhaps we have the answer here...when Dachron Amok is selected to travel six hundred years back in time, to the practically prehistoric year of 2007, they don't send all of him back. They just send his mind, or essence, or soul. Obviously, this isn't a simple matter because a mind needs a body to park in when it lands. If the tech department knew what they were doing they might choose a suitable, cooperative host body, but this time the procedure goes wrong. And Dachron Amok wakes up in the body of Steve Anthony, 16, and hung over, though it was a brilliant party.

A big mistake has been made, and it matters, because Dachron Amok has a job to do. He has to save the world, which in the year 2667 is falling apart. It seems that the replacement for the combustion engine was invented in 2007. It's called the Charm Principle, but unfortunately the subatomic exhaust is just as bad for the environment as carbon dioxide. All Dachron has to do is nip back in time and point out to the inventor his little mistake in the formula:

Steve was alone now. As alone as you could ever be with somebody else rattling round your brain and insisting that you didn't have time to sit down and read the paper. 'We've got work to do!' Dachron said.
'Yeah, 'we'. The situation is, I'm stuck with you and you're stuck with me and I have a mission to complete,' said Dachron.
Steve sat down on the hall stairs. 'You telling me I have no choice in the matter?' he said. 'What if I refuse?'
'I make your life hell,' said Dachron. 'I never shut up - and don't forget, this is for the rest of your life.'
'I can't believe this is happening to me!'
'Believe it.'

Can Steve and Dachron save the world? Or will it collapse in the year 2667? Great little adventure story, and it might make you think a bit too.

What can I read next?

Graham Marks has written other books for younger readers. Have a look at these:

  • Snatched!
  • Tokyo

If you enjoy Graham Marks, I think you might also like to look at this one by David Thorpe, set in a rather grim future where teenagers literally start to grow into their own technology:

And if you really prefer to travel in time, have a look at this series by Mary Hoffman:

Also, the Bookchooser has found these books with a similar profile:

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