The Navigator

Eoin McNamee, Author . Random/Lamb $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-375-83910-8

McNamee (Resurrection Man , for adults) makes his YA debut with an inventive time travel story. Owen lives in the shadow of a father who committed suicide, but readers barely get to meet the young hero before he encounters a tiny man who warns him, "It has begun... it is to be you." From there, Owen is whisked to the Workhouse, "the center of the Resisters to the Harsh and the frost of eternal solitude that they wish to loose upon the earth." He is taken in by these "custodians of time," who tell him about the Harsh—faceless creatures that "long for emptiness, for cold nothingness." To this end, the Harsh have begun the Puissance, which is causing time to run backwards. In order to defeat the Harsh, Owen and new friend Cati must find the Mortmain, a device of unknown shape and size that can destroy the Great Machine causing the Puissance. The Mortmain recalls Rowling's "portkey" concept—a magical artifact, hiding in plain sight as an everyday object, which may feel a bit derivative to some readers. But the ultimate discovery of that object and its keeper ties the book's ending to its beginning in satisfying fashion. McNamee's setting is certainly unique, and readers who relish the brain-teasing nature of time-travel stories will also relish this book and its planned sequels. Ages 9-12. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/13/2006
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 347 pages - 978-0-00-720977-4
Library Binding - 342 pages - 978-0-375-93910-5
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-4852-9
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-307-49700-0
Paperback - 342 pages - 978-0-385-73554-4
Downloadable Audio - 1 pages - 978-0-7393-5167-3
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