The Futurist Academy: Time Keepers Series Book 1
by R. L. VanCleave
Middle Grade Fantasy
Despite the fact that Caleb’s mother disappeared six years ago, he and his sisters have lived a fairly normal existence of going to school, friends at bible study, and so on. That all changes one evening when a nightmare creature shows up outside of their house. His father tells the children that they are a family of time travelers and now that they have been found by the enemy the children must go to The Futurist Academy for their protection and to learn how to use their talents.
This is a pretty good story. The young characters are remarkably developed and likable, except when they aren’t supposed to be likable. Together they make a great team with each of them bringing something special to the table. The archetypes are all there (the sneak, the hacker, the brainac, the raw talent, and the mastermind) and all are put to terrific use to move the story along.
The concept is also kind of fun. Time travel to the future to see how things turn out and then back to the starting point to fix them if they go wrong. The big bad is, of course, set on world domination and the Time Keepers is the special force that has dedicated itself to making sure that doesn’t happen. There is an engaging mystery to solve and loads of read-until-all hours enjoyment.
However, I feel like I have read this book before. I don’t write that to be snarky, the truth is that anyone reading this book will immediately draw comparisons between it and another popular middle grade series. That isn’t to say this story can’t hold its own. There is a reason the magic school trope is so in demand with middle graders (as well as older readers).
In the end, this book is a terrific starting place for a new series. It offers so much potential for books to come that it should be very popular with tweens and teens. I am certainly looking forward to the next installment.
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
For thousands of years, mankind has been protected by a secret society of time travelers…Tweet
Caleb Wood is a normal kid living in a semi-normal home. Sure, his mom disappeared six years ago under strange circumstances. But Caleb and his two sisters still have their dad. And he’s as normal as can be.
At least that’s what Caleb used to think…
Caleb’s mostly-boring life is about to change forever.
When a strange creature from the past appears in his neighborhood, Caleb watches from his bedroom window as his dad engages in a dangerous game of time-travel hide and seek with the monster.
Forced to flee their home—and reveal the truth about Caleb’s mom—his father takes Caleb and his two little sisters Bea and Sera to the Futurist Academy where they’ll learn the secrets of time travel.
Caleb learns to use time travel as a tool to change the future. But not all travelers follow the rules, and one powerful time lord has found a way to reach to the past—a skill he will use to bring mankind under his control.
Will Caleb and his friends save the academy and their fellow students before the time lord destroys any hope of saving the future of mankind?
What do I do when I’m not writing? Spending time with my very artistic and musically talented family! I play a handful of instruments fairly well and even used to play piano and guitar at church. But I couldn’t carry a tune if my life depended on it, which explains why I’ve never been asked to sing…
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