Author: Alex Scarrow
Release date: 5th August 2010
Genre: Science-Fiction, Adventure, Time Travel, YA
Target audience: 10+
Summary from Amazon:
Liam O’Connor should have died at sea in 1912. Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010. Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2029. But all three have been given a second chance – to work for an agency that no-one knows exists. Its purpose - to prevent time travel destroying history . . . When Maddy mistakenly opens a time window where and when she shouldn’t have, Liam is marooned sixty-five million years ago in the hunting ground of a deadly - and until now - undiscovered species of predator. Can Liam make contact with Maddy and Sal before he's torn to pieces by dinosaurs – and without endangering history so much that the world is overtaken by a terrifying new reality?
Time Riders: Day of the Predator is Alex Scarrow’s second action-packed time travel adventure. This time around Liam, Maddy and Sal receive an incomplete communication from the future detailing a contamination event. Time has been rewritten and the message states that is appears to be a result of the assassination of Edward Chan. The team agree that Liam and the new support unit must use a portal to go back to the suspected point of Chan’s assassination and assess the situation. The mission does not go to plan and as the title suggests poor Liam finds himself getting up close and personal with dinosaurs.
In this instalment there are many tantalising hints about the agency that recruited the team. Who are they? Will the team ever get to meet them? Or are they truly alone in battle to keep the true line of history unfolding? It is all very mysterious and keeps you constantly guessing.
Liam, Maddy and Sal all begin to show the qualities that made them stand out as perfect for their roles as the field office team. Liam is constantly thinking fast and outside of the box, using his intuition to make decisions. Maddy is thinking ahead in multiple moves like a chess player – every part the strategist. Sal is deciphering, monitoring, and fulfilling her duties as the team’s observer. Although it has to be said when time changes dramatically, she’d have to be an amoeba not to notice it.
As I was reading Day of the Predator, I felt like I was getting lots of glimmers of the future of the series. It was so exciting and also rather frustrating because I couldn’t help but want those secrets to be revealed now! The last twist in the book didn’t come as a surprise for me, Scarrow had given many hints in the first book for this but it did leave me with so many questions: How? Why? When? I know this is cryptic but you will have to read it if you want to know more. The next stop for Time Riders is Robin Hood. I am so so crazy to read it but it isn’t out until February 2011. I really hope there is a kick-butt Maid Marion!
Day of the Predator is a rip-roaring adventure. As the reader, you have to hold on tight as you are thrown out through the time portal and into new worlds and have to get your head around the huge concept that is time travel. I really love that this series explores really big questions surrounding our humanity, our rights, our freedoms and conspiracy theories. It is quite fascinating and mind-blowing if you let yourself think about it too much. But above all, this is just a huge ride on the wild side. Pure imaginative fun!
Thanks to Puffin Books for sending me the review copy.