I accidentally read book two of this fab time travel series first (see my review of A Christmas in Time here!), but that didn’t spoil anything – book one is just as good!
Book: A Chase in Time by Sally Nicholls, illustrated by Rachael Dean
Read before: No
Publication date: 1st October 2020
Ownership: Review copy sent free of charge by Nosy Crow Books. All opinions my own.
A Chase in Time is the first adventure featuring siblings Alex and Ruby Pilgrim and their adventures with a mirror that allows them to go back in time to visit their ancestors. Their first adventure sees them discover the mirror’s power when they’re accidentally thrown back to 1912, and quickly become embroiled in a hunt for a thief who’s stolen one of the family’s treasures. If they don’t solve the mystery and catch the criminal, they might be trapped in the past for ever!
I said in my review of the sequel that I really liked the dynamic between the siblings, and I think it’s equally well done here. Alex is the younger of the two, and is more of the main character, but Ruby has a large part to play too, and though they’re not as close here as they will become, the way they talk to each other feels very realistic and makes them both believable. The plot here is much more action-packed than in A Christmas in Time, which gives space for different facets of Alex’s cleverness and Ruby’s practicality to shine.
Where A Christmas in Time was quite a cosy book, based around Victorian Christmas traditions and keeping the focus on character interactions, A Chase in Time is much more of a classic crime caper, with kidnappings, stolen treasure, and even a (historically appropriate) car chase! There’s a strong thread between the two, but the author clearly has a lot of versatility in how well she evokes the different eras – there’s just enough history in the books to be interesting without feeling like a textbook. I loved how the clothes were described, as with the sequel, but what I thought was really stellar here was the dialogue of Edwardian characters, which feels spot on! It’s a really enjoyable peek into history – educational but also entertaining.
This series is shaping up to be brilliant! I’m very excited for book three, which is coming in May 2021 and will see Alex and Ruby slip back to Regency times (one of my specialties!). I highly recommend them to young (and not so young) history buffs – four out of five cats!