Julius and the Watchmaker by Tim Hehir

Friday, December 27, 2013

Time travel and alternate worlds are pretty much my favourite things in fiction. (And in reality! If someone would just invent them here!) Julius and the Watchmaker has both. Set in Victorian England (most of the time), it centres around Julius Higgins – who runs away from his rather boring life working in his grandfather’s bookshop and being chased by bullies, to inadvertently become a thief and time traveller. It’s a little bit steampunk, a little bit sinister (mechanical robots powered by the brains of executed criminals! ‘Hungry Ghosts’ moving from their parallel world into our own!), but still original and inventive and fun. The time travelling device is a magical spinning pocket watch (the time travel scenes are brilliant), and there are lots of awesome historical tie-ins (real life historical figures feature heavily in the backstory, though they don’t make an appearance in the main story), and a brief trip to Tibet (characters possess different bodies, as well). I think a lot of these adventure-style books are geared towards younger teenaged boys, but I’m nineteen and a girl and I loved it, so maybe you will too (it could have a had a couple more female characters though). After all, who doesn’t love time travel?

Originally published in Young Vagabond.
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