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Chronosphere Book 1: Time Out of Time [Kindle Edition]

Alex Woolf
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Is your life rushing by too fast? No time to stop and smell the roses? Ever wanted a little time out? What if you could buy a year out of time, free to relax, play and party all you liked, safe in the knowledge that at the end of it all you’d be returned back to the moment you left?

Ask Raffi Delgado. He knows all about it.

Set in the late 22nd century, Chronosphere follows the adventures of teenager Raffi and his friends Dario, Jonah, Lastara and Sal in the Chronosphere, the sprawling holiday resort you go when you’ve bought time out of time. At first all is well, but something disturbing bubbles beneath the glossy exterior of the ‘paradise’ that is the Chronosphere.

In Book 1, 'Time Out of Time', the Secrocon Police are out in force to catch whoever is responsible for a series of teenage kidnappings, and when they say 'freeze', they mean it! When Dario and Raffi are arrested and sent to a horrific subterranean gulag, they discover a girl who is living her life backwards, but why? And how?

With mystery, fun, danger, twists and turns, Chronosphere is a mesmerising glimpse into a dark future where the fun of hoverbiking, air-tennis and trips to the holoplex are all held in check by the firm grip of a police state.

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Product Description


"A blend of high-tech and rural picnicking... it's a place teen readers could easily see themselves in... for a debut novel this has an oomph, a drama and a gusto" (The Bookbag)

About the Author

Alex Woolf was born in Willesden Green, North London. He studied History and Politics at university. He spent his 20s riding his motorbike, travelling and working, including a brief stint as a dish-washer in a roach-infested restaurant in Florida. Since 2001, he has been an editor and author of children's books and has written on a wide range of subjects, from spiders to Nazis. Alex lives in North London with his Italian wife and two children. 'Chronosphere: Time out of Time' is his debut novel.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping stuff 17 Mar. 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
'Time out of Time' was an excellent read. It paints a picture of a high-tech, futuristic world which is filled out in compelling detail - without ever getting in the way of our hero's fast-paced adventure. There is a healthy dose of mystery from the outset: is this a utopian future or a nightmarish one?

At heart, this is a character-driven story; but it combines this with exploration of sci-fi themes, such as the relativistic nature of time and how we experience its passage, the future development of artificial intelligence, and the potential for augmentation of human beings with mechanical and medical technologies. The reflective reader may also find aspects which provoke consideration of contemporary issues through a futuristic prism - but not too much can be said about this without spoilers!

The short version: I would recommend this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a riveting read 1 Mar. 2011
This may be for older teenagers, so I must be an old age teen!
Couldn't put it down - can't wait for the next one. Innovative, absolutely credible sci-fi.
Altogether a fabulous read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More To It Than At First Glance 21 Mar. 2011
How would you like the idea of taking a break from it all, taking a break from your responsibilities, maybe a break from your family or maybe just some time for yourself to go on holiday or do some studying? Even better how would you like this without anyone knowing - or ever finding out, it would be almost like you'd never been away! Our main character Raffi seems to like this idea (who wouldn't), escaping from his life for one year before he has to essentially stop being a child and grow up.

This is what the Time Store is selling - time. Okay so you can't use your extra time in our current world, you have to enter a specially constructed world known as the Chronosphere where time moves differently - much, much slower. So much slower that you could spend a year there and when you return to real life (I say real life, but think of it more as a real life in the future where this might be possible) you wouldn't have been gone longer than a few moments. Aside from the cost of such a place (and it does cost a pretty penny) it sounds like a pretty good deal doesn't it?

I have to say that I loved the idea of the Chronosphere and as it was backed up with scientific theory (not all of which I understood) makes it seems plausible (though I'm no expert - not even close). And I loved the descriptions of this new world which made it really easy to imagine what it would be like.

The writing is fast paced and engaging and I loved the MAIDs - essentially robots which live in each of the apartments (domiciles) within the Chronosphere to remember customers settings and generally make their stay pleasent. Though each one has their own personality and later on they make for some very entertaining (not really the right word but don't want to use one which will give too much away).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine debut novel 22 Mar. 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Alex Woolf has produced a fine debut novel demonstrating a deftness of style, imaginatively interpreted research and an intuitive knowledge of his target audience: the modern teenager. This is key to the book's success: the author does not patronise, he does not indulge in cliché or stereotyping, and he never underestimates his reader. Woolf's characters are real and believable, albeit distorted by the futuristic setting, and quite rightly so. We are intrigued, amused, disgusted and delighted by them; and they are all deeply flawed, hence we identify with them.

And then there is the Chronosphere itself which, like Mr Hood's House in Barker's The Thief of Always presents itself as Eden and harbours the horrors of Sodom. A dark strand of corruption and decay, both physical and moral, lurks beneath the surface of the Sphere, both phsyically and metaphorically, and Woolf handles the gradual uncovering of this inhuman immorality with great skill. Once fully revealed we are plunged into scenes that are both highly disturbing and at the same time irresistible in their ingenuity, all of which involve the use of time as an instrument of torture.

Chronosphere comes highly recommended: it is derivative in the best possible ways and inventive in a way that is all its own. The plot and story-telling have a fine balance that always tips the reader towards the next page. I look forward very much to Part II.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What I did on my gap year... 23 Mar. 2011
I was up late last night finishing this book, so I'm paying the price today in trying to cram lesser things (like paid employment) into my day. If only I could buy some time -- but then again that's only a pipe dream. Or is it?

In fact, buying time lies at the heart of this fast-paced novel, which gives new meaning to the term "gap year". The protagonist, Raffi, enters a world that promises so much and costs so little -- just a minute or so of his time (plus the better part of his savings). But who cares, if you're surrounded by young, beautiful hedonists and the weather in the chronosphere is perpetually pleasant. What could spoil this idyll? What indeed?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is fantastic! 19 Jan. 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I don't normally write reviews but I was really inspired to write something after I finished reading this. I love science fiction and have read everything I can find by Isaac Asimov, H G Wells, Douglas Adams etc. I particularly like stories that mess around with time and this book is all about that - time slowing down, jumping ahead, going backwards etc... The characters are really convincing and so that side of the story, about their relationships, is also interesting to read. I had to read this book on my Kindle cos it's not out in paperback yet, but I can't wait for Book 2 now! In the meantime I'm going to read the books that the author has suggested in the back of the book. He explains where he got some of his inspiration from and I've already read a few of them and loved them, so I'm going to read the rest now which should keep me going til Book 2 comes out...
Anyway, I definitely recommend this book. I think it would be suitable for anyone aged 12 and over.
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