Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Time Runners: Freeze-Framed - Justin Richards

Justin Richards has been writing Doctor Who novels for some time, but I've only read one of them: Doctor Who: The Resurrection Casket (it features the Tenth Doctor and Rose). However, Richards also writes novels featuring original characters and Time Runners: Freeze-Framed is the first in a new series, aimed largely at pre-teen or early teenage boys.

12 year old Jamie Grant's story begins:

"Let me tell you about the day my life ended. I remember it as if it was yesterday which, maybe, it was. Or perhaps it will be tomorrow. I lose track. After all, it was a long time ago."

Initially Jamie just thinks people are ignoring him when his classmates, his teacher and even his own mother suddenly start acting as if he's not around. He find he's fallen off the register, people don't reply when he speaks to them, and he's not showing up in family photos. Only his 5 year old sister Ellie and the mysterious yet friendly 14 year old Anna are aware of him. Anna explains to him that he has ceased to exist. His parents believe they only have one child, little Ellie, and no one else knows him. Anna reveals that Jamie has fallen through a "time break" and is now living outside of time in a parallel world. Fortunately Jamie does discover that although he's outside time, he possesses the power to control time. He and Anna are employed as Time Runners to fix the time break into which he has fallen, but they have to work against the Dark Runners, especially the Darkling Midnight, who, like all Dark Runners, wants to change history radically. Although his aim of having fewer wars is admirable, his means of achieving it is to remove free will from all of humanity for all time, and to set himself up as a global ruler. He wants Jamie to join the Dark Runners as he senses that Jamie has sufficient power over time to become an Adept as Midnight is - and Adepts are very rare.

Thus Jamie and Anna have a race against time to repair the time break that occurred and took him outside of time before it can take everyone outside time - and they must figure out how to repair the time break before Midnight can coerce Jamie into becoming a Dark Runner. Even if they succeed in their task, however, Jamie will still be outside of time, just as Anna is and has been since 1955, so the Time Runners will be Jamie's only family.

You can find out more about the Time Runners series at its website. This book is out in March so I received a proof-copy and was received for review from Nikki Gamble at Write Away.


Unknown said...

Wow, now that's a cover that's designed to attract its target audience! It sounds like an interesting premise.

Michele said...

Isn't it just startling ?!

It is an interesting premise - and I could see Doctor Who influences on the idea - though Jamie and Anna only use a special watch to "dial" in and out of time, rather than a TARDIS-type device... I know of a couple of readers who didn't think much of the characterisation, but I disagreed with them !