Nick of Time
By Ted Bell
(St. Martin's Griffin, Hardcover, 9780312380687, 448pp.)
Publication Date: May 13, 2008
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Nick of Time is the first young reader's book written by bestselling author Ted Bell.
In the grand tradition of epic novels like Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island comes a wondrous tale of time travel, adventure, and riches, in which twelve-year-old Nick McIver sets out to become "the hero of his own life."
The setting is England, 1939, on the eve of war. Nick and his younger sister, Kate, live in a lighthouse on the smallest of the Channel Islands. Nick and Kate come to the aid of their father who is engaged in a desperate war of espionage with German U-boat wolf packs that are circling the islands. The information they provide to Winston Churchill is vital as he tries to warn England of the imminent Nazi invasion.
One day Nick discovers an old sea chest, left for him by his ancestor, Captain Nicholas McIver of the Royal Navy. Inside, he finds a time machine and a desperate plea for help from the captain. He uses the machine to return to the year 1805. Captain McIver and, indeed, Admiral Nelson's entire fleet are threatened by the treachery of the French and the mutinous Captain Billy Blood. Nick must reach deep inside, using his wits, courage, and daring to rescue the imperiled British sailors.
His sister, Kate, meanwhile, has enlisted the aid of two of England's most brilliant "scientific detectives," Lord Hawke and Commander Hobbes, to thwart the invading Nazis. She and Nick must face England's underwater enemies, a challenge made all the more difficult when they discover the existence of Germany's supersecret submarine.
In this striking adventure for readers of all ages, Nick must fight ruthless enemies across two different centuries, on land and sea, to help defeat those determined to destroy his home and his family.
Ted Bell is the former Vice-Chairman of the Board and World-Wide Creative Director of Young & Rubicam, one of the world's largest advertising agencies. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Hawke, Assassin, Pirate, Spy, and Tsar. This is his first novel for young adults.
"An immensely appealing book... Nick is the pluckiest, most likable boy-hero since Robert Lewis Stevenson's David Balfour (Kidnapped ). With great battle scenes; lots of nautical jargon; and themes of courage, integrity, and honor, this book will appeal to restless boys who can never find books written just for them. Three huzzahs and a great big 21-gun salute to Bell for his first novel for kids. Hopefully, it won't be his last."
People who devoured Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series can rejoice this summer at the possibility of sharing the passion for the British Royal Navy with their offspring... There is an undeniable attraction for boys to the figure of the heroic Englishman (though Nick's spunky younger sister will seem to girls the true hero of the novel), and Nick's mantra in times of stress -- "Nelson the strong, Nelson the brave, Nelson, the lord of the sea" -- gets him through the most grueling of moments, when a boy might otherwise give up. The descriptions of the sea battles here are definitely not for the faint of heart.
"Nick of Time is a blast-
"Nick of Time is one heck of an adventure! Filled with colorful characters, non-stop action, scary pirates, nasty Nazis, technically advanced submarines, rousing old-time sailing ships, thrilling battle scenes, heart-pounding sea voyages and nail-biting espionage, this story has it all... If you are looking for a thrill and a new hero, this is it."
"A brilliant adventure, hidden within a rolling saga, tucked inside an intriguing mystery. That's Nick of Time. Ted Bell proves that he's the master of swashbuckling for both young and old."
"Wow! Some books sweep you away. NICK OF TIME amazed me, dazzled me, and swept my imagination off to sea.... I've been craving an adventure story with a good mystery and this arrived in the nick of time to rescue me."
Nick of Time reminded me of Brian Jacques, one of my favorite authors. Everything clicks together perfectly. . . . I really like the era and technology of WWII, especially the 'secret weapons' . . . the whole pirate thing really appeals to me. . . . The time travel idea is cool, and what's even better is that da Vinci created it!
"In a barnburner of an adventure novel (originally published in 2000), Bell, with more than a nod to Frank and Joe Hardy and Tom Swift, takes readers back to 1939, when villains were truly evil and heroic lads were willing to risk all for king and country... We've got chapter cliffhangers, machines and weapons galore, sailing, spying, and pure adventure. Ahoy! Summer reading ahead!" -Horn Book Magazine
"Nick of Time mixes a sense of honor with a story your son will not be able to put down. I know it's for teenagers but I read it cover to cover and it is FANTASTIC. I can't wait for my son to read it…Thank you for writing something where boys can be boys….really a tremendous book…it's about values and virtues and spirit of adventure and sticking up for your little sister….." -Glenn Beck from the Glenn Beck Show
This old-fashioned adventure adds a new twist to elements of Treasure Island, Horatio Hornblower, and Indiana Jones … Every middle school boy (and many girls, too) will relish joining Nick on his heroic adventures. Charming and thrilling, this book could become a classic with its good, clean, swashbuckling fun.
Pirates, the ocean, time travel, and even a bit of history! How could you not want to read it? The book kept me wanting more… I would greatly suggest this book for those that love a bit of time travel and pirates!
I just got back from vacation and NICK OF TIME was on top of my pile. I loved it! It was truly a combination of all the great adventure books that I've read. I know that it will be a great sell to boys, but there will be an awful lot of girls (like me!) who will not be able to put it down. Can't wait for a sequel.
Nick is the old-fashioned kind of hero, adept at all those skills taught in the Dangerous Book for Boys, while being worried about causing his mother concern. This book is sure to captivate those seeking a crackling good adventure story and would be a great family read-aloud too.
I loved NICK OF TIME!... The time travel was very cool, especially how the author tied it to historical events (which love to read about). I had a hard time putting the book down, even when I had homework. I read at breakfast, and tried to read at dinner, but my mom made me stop... Awesome book, can't wait for the sequel!
It's hard to explain how much I loved this book. If you can read, read this book! If you can't read, have someone read it to you!... I love Harry Potter but this book makes Harry Potter seem like a tale that isn't very exciting... I do have one request though: make a sequel! It would be awesome to see another adventure of Nick and his friends and family! Blood can't just wander around time forever! I want to read about Blood getting what he deserves.
It was almost impossible to put the book down…and I am anxiously awaiting Ted Bell's second novel.
I was always itching for what's next…
In my lifetime, I have had three books that I have never wanted to end... but the best of all is NICK OF TIME. I have to say that "Nick of Time" was a thrilling, never ceasing, ever changing, three-hundred-and-seventy-five pages of sheer, unrelenting wonderment and enjoyment that I will never forget... The best book I have ever read.
As soon as I picked up NICK OF TIME, it kept me on my toes until the very end. I couldn't put it down!... It was a true adventure novel with a little twist... He was a very realistic character and I found a lot to look up to in the courage and energy he brought to situations.