Out of Time

Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 10/16/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lexie Fox for Readers' Favorite

Out of Time is a work of fiction in the fantasy, and science-fiction genres. It is suitable for all audiences, although it is aimed at children and younger audiences. Penned by Mark Golding, Out of Time is a delightful and imaginative adventure story that sweeps readers into a thrilling journey through time and space. The story follows the life of Joe Jackson, a curious and adventurous twelve-year-old living in the unremarkable English town of Highcross. Little does he know that his life is about to take an extraordinary turn when he stumbles upon the site of an unexploded World War II bomb. The catalyst for Joe's incredible journey is the unexpected arrival of Max, an extra-terrestrial hailing from the distant planet Proxima Centauri b. Their newfound friendship opens the door to a world of boundless possibilities as they, along with their friends, embark on a daring adventure to protect planet Earth from the nefarious ambitions of Dardan.

Out of Time explores themes of friendship, courage, and how the past, present, and future are interconnected. It would be remiss of me not to start by touching on the beautiful illustrations scattered throughout the book, which capture the feel of the story perfectly, enhancing the overall reading experience. Author Mark Golding has an incredible talent for creating enchanting characters, which we see most especially in protagonist Joe Jackson. Readers will quickly become emotionally invested in his journey as he faces the challenges of protecting his home planet. The camaraderie between Joe, Max, and their friends Mo and the Robinsons adds depth to the story, making it relatable and moving. We are taken on a rollercoaster ride through time, where we encounter dinosaurs, Roman legionaries, and medieval knights. These historical encounters are vividly described and provide a rich backdrop for the gripping plot. Out of Time is a captivating blend of adventure, science fiction, and history, making it a perfect read for children, and anyone who enjoys an absorbing and imaginative tale. The narrative is filled with suspense, humor, and heart, making it an engaging page-turner that readers will struggle to put down. I highly recommend this book.

Emma Megan

Out of Time by Mark Golding is a gorgeous children's science-fiction story. On a wintery Sunday afternoon, Joe Jackson, a twelve-year-old, curious, and adventurous boy from the small town of Highcross, England, was trying to find an unexploded World War II bomb when he ended up in a cave. He met a 15-year-old kid named Maxelon from the planet Proxima Centauri b there. The extraterrestrial Maxelon explained to Joe that he had been stuck on this planet for almost a year and now needed to return to his world, but his Tamiran technology was broken. Once Joe learns of Max's mission to capture Dardan, the leader of the Wolfians and thief from Proxima Centauri b, who aims to take over Earth, he decides to help him. Follow Joe and Max as they travel through time and place to stop a tyrant from becoming the ruler of Earth.

I really enjoyed Out of Time for its storyline, unexpected turns of events, wonderful black-and-white illustrations, and suspenseful action. Mark Golding has created a fantastic story with a nice sprinkling of history, engaging characters to root for, and science fiction elements such as aliens, innovative technology, a portable time machine, time travel, mind control, and more. This is a book any young science fiction and fantasy fan should read. It takes readers on the most unexpected, dangerous, and fantastic adventure that will keep them traveling to the pyramids of Egypt, Stonehenge, London, inside a volcano, the Cretaceous period (the dinosaur times), Roman times, and the Middle Ages. This time-traveling adventure is an excellent read for both children and adults.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Joe may seem like an ordinary twelve-year-old boy, but he’s rather adventurous. He likes to go exploring and he often manages to get lost on his expeditions. This is what happens one day when he’s exploring the site of what is believed to be an unexploded Second World War bomb. It’s a rather dangerous trek, and when the bomb disposal team blows up the hole where Joe, unbeknownst to the adults, is doing his own exploring, the ground beneath his feet sinks and he finds himself inside a deep cavern. In Mark Golding’s Out of Time, the plot thickens as Joe tries to find a way out, but ends up meeting Max, an extra-terrestrial from another planet. That’s really where the adventure begins with Joe, his new friend Max, and other friends from his so-called boring community of Highcross in the middle of jolly old England.

Mark Golding’s middle-grade novel, Out of Time, is full of adventure, science fiction, time travel, and space travel that will have young readers tuned in to the very last page. The plot is well developed with lots of exciting events, great dialogue, collaboration amongst young people, and the importance and power of friendship. The characters are true to their age and believable. As the plot thickens and Joe’s group of travelers makes their journey through both space and time, they meet all kinds of creatures, like dinosaurs, and historical figures like medieval knights. And there’s evil afoot as a dangerous power is setting its course to take over Earth. There’s a lot packed into this lively tale for young readers to both enjoy and learn.