Review: The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis
I give three stars to books I enjoyed while reading but think I got everything from them in the first read. A 3-1/2 star rating would be more accurate for me on this book.
The Arch of Atlantis is targeted at 12–14 year old readers and follows eighth-grader Amanda Sault and her schoolmates from a disastrous school food fight (and fighting with each other) to an abrupt time-travel mission where they have to learn to work together and stop an evil being from changing history.
On the warning side, I was a little bored with how wordy some parts of the book were — some over-the-top similes and hard-to-follow paragraphs. The main characters were very stereotypical and felt dated to the 1990s, but that’s neither good nor bad. It does, however, make for a LOT of crass insults and threats flying across every page, so be aware of that. There’re also two or three slightly gory scenes (reasons why I put this book in the young YA category rather than middle grade).
Another thing to think about: Sometimes authors use their books to open new perspectives for readers, teaching us new things about other cultures or lifestyles. Other authors use their books simply to preach their beliefs at you. I felt like The Arch did a little of both, mainly in the beginning of the book. If the latter doesn’t bother you, or if you can make yourself get past that short hurdle, then you’ll be in for a fun remainder of the story.
On to the things I really enjoyed! First of all, the concept is brilliant. Obviously, I love a great modern-day tale crossing over into legend and lore! Sharon Ledwith gave the time-travel aspect an outstanding touch by using “old English” speech to liven up the reader’s connection with the past. It worked really well. I also had some good chuckles at the confusion the medieval characters often experienced at the modern-day characters’ idioms and lingo (take “Tweet”, for instance). The descriptions, language, and characters of “the past” were extremely well carried out and made for my favorite part of the book.
All in all, The Arch of Atlantis was a fun adventure. A little slow and stereotypical at the beginning, but definitely worth reading through. If you’ve wondered what Robin Hood might’ve been like as a kid; if you like younger YA reading; if you like time travel, crystal powers, mysterious missions, or anything to do with Atlantis … you’ll want to check out The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis.