Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Time Snatchers by Richard Ungar

It’s 2061 and Caleb works for Timeless Treasures, a rare artifacts business run by Uncle. To stock his inventory, Uncle sends children through time to snatch priceless objects from history. Caleb enjoys the work, especially as he works with his close friend Abbie. But Uncle changes the program by making “snatchers” compete against one another. The snatchers who fall behind on filling their artifacts quota are left stranded in the past. When fellow snatcher, Frank, starts ruining Caleb’s snatches things get deadly between Caleb and Uncle.

Ungar’s story is a science-fiction spin of Oliver Twist, with Uncle’s character starting off like Fagin, but ending the story like Bill Sikes. But unlike Oliver Twist, Caleb is an orphan with absolutely no family ties. When Caleb was “adopted” by Uncle, it seemed to Caleb that Uncle actually loved him. But when Caleb sees Uncle’s affection deteriorate because of greed and pride, Caleb aches for familial acceptance. On the surface, Time Snatchers is a fast-paced, intense novel full of humor, excitement, betrayal, and time-travel adventure. At its core, the book is the confession of a boy fighting impossible odds to be a part of a family. The sequel is called Time Trapped. Good for both boys and girls ages 12 and up.

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