Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Navigator

The Navigator by Eoin McNamee, 2007
Dedication: "For Owen and Kathleen" (his children, me thinks)

Wowee, zowee! A book I stayed up to finish!

Trish Parcell Watts -- Book design: easy to read font, easy on the eyes spacing and margins
Jon Goodell -- Interior illustrations: full page, detailed, always a treat to turn the page and find an illustration.

Owen is different. He doesn't fit in at school and his mother is suffering from a mysterious mental disorder. Owen's father commited suicide and he hears people in town say, "Like father, like son," "He'll go the same way." Owen does suffer a crippling phobia of water. The sight of the harbor or a river makes him tremble.

He finds refuge in his "den," a small clearing in the woods where he has built a fort with odds and ends of furniture and items he scavenged from the town junk yard. He is in his den one afternoon when the light in the sky changes and in a flash, Owen's world disappears.

He encounters a person calling himself Sub-Commandant who is part of the Resisters and who has called the Sleepers to wake up because The Harsh have caused Time to start moving backward and are getting ready to attack. Wha-huh? Think how Owen feels!

This was a terrific adventure story. There is a missing artifact, three young people working with the adults to save the world, an epic journey and the hope that "The Navigator" will appear to restore the flow of Time and get the world back on track. Three young ones and a world to save--great stuff.

I enjoy wrapping my head around space/time/Starfleet Department of Temporal Investigations kind of stuff so this book hit the spot with me.

The fantastical apparatus of this world such as the power source "Magno," the brass observation tower "Skyward," the "Q-Car" and goggled bad guys operating dragonfly styled flying machines put me in mind of Flash Gordon serials. Illustrator, Jon Goodell has done a lovely service bringing these images to life. Keep him on staff for future books, please!

There was still an unresolved mystery in my mind about a minor character in the beginning of the book. I think this means more stories are coming.

I love Irish storytellers.

Eoin McNamee writes screenplays and books. This is his first book for children.
Interview at BookMunch about his political thriller The Ultras

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