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Reviewed by Shaul Behr for Readers' Favorite
What could a 24th-century teenager have in common with an 11th-century peasant? Miranda Hawking finds out the hard way in Mack Leonard’s outstanding new science fiction novel, All Time, in which she unwillingly finds herself transported back into the Dark Ages, separated from her parents and companions, with seemingly no way back to her own time. Fortunately for her, the first person she meets is Friskin York, a salt-of-the-earth artist with a quick wit and a noble heart, who does all he can to help the unfortunate lass come to terms with her loss, and survive in an age of disease, war, superstition, long-drops, and generally non-existent sanitation.
The story alternates points of view, switching between Miranda narrating her story in past tense, and Friskin’s perspective told in third-person present tense, which makes for an interesting combination that continually keeps the reader alert. But it’s the quality of Leonard’s writing that really sets this book apart from the pack: it is simply world-class. The prose is beautifully written, drawing the reader’s imagination right into the story. The characters are genuine and convincing; even the non-human characters are delightfully human. The dialogue is crisp, witty, and often hilarious; yet, when the mood changes, it is poignant and powerfully emotional. From start to finish, I was enraptured with this story. If I have any complaint, it’s that the cliffhanger ending means I’m going to have to wait until the next book in the series comes out before I find out how events are going to unfold. Based on this work, Mack Leonard belongs in the same league as Eoin Colfer, Jonathan Stroud, and Rick Riordan. A fabulous book, and I eagerly await the next one!