Book Reviews of Nick of Time (Nick McIver Adventures Through Time, Bk 1)

Nick of Time (Nick McIver Adventures Through Time, Bk 1)
Nick of Time - Nick McIver Adventures Through Time, Bk 1
Author: Ted Bell
ISBN-13: 9780312380687
ISBN-10: 0312380682
Publication Date: 5/13/2008
Pages: 448
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
Rating:
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 8

3.4 stars, based on 8 ratings
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

9 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Nick of Time (Nick McIver Adventures Through Time, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Check out my other reviews at whatbookisthat.blogspot.com!

This story was almost impossible to put down from the very beginning. The first chapter deals almost exclusively with A Sailing Mishap, and I was so engrossed in what happened I barely remembered to blink. The imagery was very vivid and it was easy to imagine the places and items being described in the opening chapters.

Pre-war England in 1939 was a gloomy place. This book does an excellent job of inspiring interest in the period and also in setting a mood that's appropriate for the story being told. Nick and his family are spying for England against the Germans; the reader can feel their devotion to their cause and their investment in what they're doing.

But this isn't just a WWII novel, not by a long stretch! There are pirates! Nazis! Naval fleets! Leonardo da Vinci has a cameo! Evil Parrots! This book reminded me a lot of old Hardy Boys stories, with the nonstop action and evil lurking around every corner.

That brings me to another thing that I truly enjoyed about this book. Maybe it has something to do with it being marketed towards a younger audience, but I find that in many books, the reader gets bogged down, either in lengthy treatises about why technology works the way it does, or in endless descriptions or conversations about what makes the bad guy so bad. I'm not saying that those elements don't have their places or their purposes, but when I'm reading for entertainment, I can trust that the bad guy is bad, or that technology works in a certain way, without pages and pages of explanation on either subject. With both subjects, Nick of Time has just enough description to be acceptably fantastic. It is fiction, after all!

One final thought- I've found, especially with books marketed towards young adults, that there seems to be a lack of books that present as appealing to boys. While Twilight is definitely a worldwide phenomenon in every sense of the world, it's definitely one that's marketed towards young women. Where's the corresponding appeal for young men? I'm not saying that books have to be for one gender or another, or that being a certain gender means you have to read certain books, but I can honestly say that when my brothers (for example) ask me to recommend a book, Twilight usually isn't the first thing that pops into my head.

With that said, Nick of Time is a book that would appeal to readers of any gender, and of any age. Swashbuckling, adventure, sailing, time travel, history, there are so many elements here that there's something for everyone, and that's a rare feat, indeed.

Overall Grade: A
reviewed Nick of Time (Nick McIver Adventures Through Time, Bk 1) on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Marie Robinson for TeensReadToo.com

Set in 1939, NICK OF TIME is about young Nick McIver and his adventuresome spirit.

Nick loves to sail and be out on the water with his trusty dog, Jip. He loves it so much that he often loses track of time and comes home late for dinner, which irritates his tough yet loving mother. One night, Nick also discovers that his father is no ordinary lighthouse keeper. He's also a spy for England. What would become World War II was brewing, and Nick joins his dad in his efforts of spying for Nazis.

This story has a lot going for it. The writing is excellent, the story includes sailboats, Nazis, submarines, secret castles, mysterious villains, pirates, squawking parrots, dogs, cats, spies and, as the title implies, travel through time. The one downside is that it takes more than one hundred pages to get to the time travel promised by the title.

Nevertheless, it's a fun story, full of adventure and suspense, with a dose of history thrown in.
reviewed Nick of Time (Nick McIver Adventures Through Time, Bk 1) on + 962 more book reviews
This book is a good example of what NOT to do when writing a historical fantasy for young readers. It's been quite a while since I've read something that contained so much amateuristic and unnecessary blither and blather that perhaps that only way to describe why this book should NOT be lauded as a noteworthy piece of juvenile historical fantasy is in a list:

1. It feels like a mediocre adult thriller writer's attempt to write for children, i.e. it fails. Excessive description, lack of character development, confusing and unappealing plot.
2. The protagonist, Nick, undergoes no growth throughout the novel.
3. Dialogue is overly dramatic and artificial. Great for a puppet show performed for a crowd of pre-schoolers. As a middle-grade novel? Not so much.
4. The plot is uneven, with things dropped into the story and never to be seen again, and too-long tangents that readers will not care about. The time machine element is not even introduced until halfway through the 400+ page novel, and by then readers won't cry anymore.
5. Having Kate be the only semi-appealing character in the book does not justify the other 99% of awfulness. Six-year-old main characters are just not relatable, and more often than not become extremely annoying, even as they are supposedly charming.
6. The characters are inauthentic. The villains are overly villainified, and the âjokerâ characters bumble around and speak geeky nonsense.

NICK OF TIME may only appeal to those who can deal with a lot of nautical terminology, who are willing to sacrifice character and plot development for the sake of a vaguely interesting concept, and who think that one okay child protagonist makes up for all the other unappealing ones. Otherwise, I'd say don't waste your time. There are millions of other better historical fantasy books for readers of all ages out there.
reviewed Nick of Time (Nick McIver Adventures Through Time, Bk 1) on + 19 more book reviews
Nick of Time is a thrilling adventure story with pirates, Nazi submarines, Napoleonic naval warfare, castles, top secret military security, sailing, and time travel. The characters were likable and interesting, the action riveting, and the writing style engaging. I found Nick to be a relatable protagonist, with his desire to be a hero and to be brave like the idols in his books, and what he learns about heroism and courage. I highly recommend this book.
reviewed Nick of Time (Nick McIver Adventures Through Time, Bk 1) on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Marie Robinson for TeensReadToo.com

Set in 1939, NICK OF TIME is about young Nick McIver and his adventuresome spirit.

Nick loves to sail and be out on the water with his trusty dog, Jip. He loves it so much that he often loses track of time and comes home late for dinner, which irritates his tough yet loving mother. One night, Nick also discovers that his father is no ordinary lighthouse keeper. He's also a spy for England. What would become World War II was brewing, and Nick joins his dad in his efforts of spying for Nazis.

This story has a lot going for it. The writing is excellent, the story includes sailboats, Nazis, submarines, secret castles, mysterious villains, pirates, squawking parrots, dogs, cats, spies and, as the title implies, travel through time. The one downside is that it takes more than one hundred pages to get to the time travel promised by the title.

Nevertheless, it's a fun story, full of adventure and suspense, with a dose of history thrown in.
reviewed Nick of Time (Nick McIver Adventures Through Time, Bk 1) on + 34 more book reviews
I imagine that this book would be a fascinating read for a 10-13 year old, or a minimally educated adult, but not for a well-read or well-educated adult. Some things are not explained at all, while some other things test the credulity of the reader. Of course, it's target reader IS that 10-13 year old, so I'm not criticizing, just warning the adult reader. I read it for two reasons, one, it was Ted Bell, and two, it was as a preview for my wife, who teaches middle school and is always looking for books that would appeal to her 10-11 year old students in order to encourage them to read. I would recommend it to that age group.
reviewed Nick of Time (Nick McIver Adventures Through Time, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
I loved it and my son loved it. Great adventure for adults and teens.
reviewed Nick of Time (Nick McIver Adventures Through Time, Bk 1) on + 962 more book reviews
This book is a good example of what NOT to do when writing a historical fantasy for young readers. It's been quite a while since I've read something that contained so much amateuristic and unnecessary blither and blather that perhaps that only way to describe why this book should NOT be lauded as a noteworthy piece of juvenile historical fantasy is in a list:

1. It feels like a mediocre adult thriller writer's attempt to write for children, i.e. it fails. Excessive description, lack of character development, confusing and unappealing plot.
2. The protagonist, Nick, undergoes no growth throughout the novel.
3. Dialogue is overly dramatic and artificial. Great for a puppet show performed for a crowd of pre-schoolers. As a middle-grade novel? Not so much.
4. The plot is uneven, with things dropped into the story and never to be seen again, and too-long tangents that readers will not care about. The time machine element is not even introduced until halfway through the 400+ page novel, and by then readers won't cry anymore.
5. Having Kate be the only semi-appealing character in the book does not justify the other 99% of awfulness. Six-year-old main characters are just not relatable, and more often than not become extremely annoying, even as they are supposedly charming.
6. The characters are inauthentic. The villains are overly villainified, and the âjokerâ characters bumble around and speak geeky nonsense.

NICK OF TIME may only appeal to those who can deal with a lot of nautical terminology, who are willing to sacrifice character and plot development for the sake of a vaguely interesting concept, and who think that one okay child protagonist makes up for all the other unappealing ones. Otherwise, I'd say don't waste your time. There are millions of other better historical fantasy books for readers of all ages out there.
reviewed Nick of Time (Nick McIver Adventures Through Time, Bk 1) on + 962 more book reviews
This book is a good example of what NOT to do when writing a historical fantasy for young readers. It's been quite a while since I've read something that contained so much amateuristic and unnecessary blither and blather that perhaps that only way to describe why this book should NOT be lauded as a noteworthy piece of juvenile historical fantasy is in a list:

1. It feels like a mediocre adult thriller writer's attempt to write for children, i.e. it fails. Excessive description, lack of character development, confusing and unappealing plot.
2. The protagonist, Nick, undergoes no growth throughout the novel.
3. Dialogue is overly dramatic and artificial. Great for a puppet show performed for a crowd of pre-schoolers. As a middle-grade novel? Not so much.
4. The plot is uneven, with things dropped into the story and never to be seen again, and too-long tangents that readers will not care about. The time machine element is not even introduced until halfway through the 400+ page novel, and by then readers won't cry anymore.
5. Having Kate be the only semi-appealing character in the book does not justify the other 99% of awfulness. Six-year-old main characters are just not relatable, and more often than not become extremely annoying, even as they are supposedly charming.
6. The characters are inauthentic. The villains are overly villainified, and the âjokerâ characters bumble around and speak geeky nonsense.

NICK OF TIME may only appeal to those who can deal with a lot of nautical terminology, who are willing to sacrifice character and plot development for the sake of a vaguely interesting concept, and who think that one okay child protagonist makes up for all the other unappealing ones. Otherwise, I'd say don't waste your time. There are millions of other better historical fantasy books for readers of all ages out there.