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5.0 out of 5 stars Another satisfied reader!, 20 Jun 2011
This review is from: Yesterday's Treasures (Paperback)
Once again Richard Denning has created what I can reccomend as a superb read!
Tom Oakley and friends have to risk life and limb to gather the pieces of the Crown of Knossos, before it can be used for evil once again, in a race aginst two other factions through the ages.

I'm really looking forward to the third instalment of this series of well written books!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Hourglass Institute Book 2, 20 Jun 2011
This review is from: Yesterday's Treasures (Paperback)
It was so good to be back with Tom and his friends. It's been a while since I read Tomorrow's Guardian which was the first in the series, but it didn't take me more than a couple of pages to catch up.

Tom has to save the world from imminent destruction and needs all the help he can get from his time travelling buddies to find all the pieces of the Crown of Knossos and stop this happening. I found Yesterday's Treasures to be more complex than the previous book with many unexpected twists and turns, which I did not see coming. Although the plot was intricate, Denning did a great job of explaining exactly what was going on via Tom and kept the story at a level that middle graders can easily follow.

As you'd expect from a time travel novel, the main characters are not all from the same era. I loved how Denning made each one's personality and traits so individual that you could totally believe that they were actually from that particular time. The protagonist in Yesterday's Treasures is an 11 year old schoolboy called Tom. As we found out in the first book in this series, Tomorrows Guardian, Tom is a Walker and this means he can not only travel through time but also into parallel worlds.

I really enjoyed reading the first book in this series, but I totally loved Yesterday's Treasures. The characters were amazing and I adored how Denning managed to bring great chunks of history back to life and create this fantastical time travel story around actual events. It is obvious that he has done a lot of research into the characters, events and places talked about in the book.

My final thoughts? Excellent! This series is a must read for time travel lovers, whether you're a middle-grader or a grandparent!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Time Travel Sequel, 14 April 2011
This review is from: Yesterday's Treasures (Paperback)
Set shortly after the events of Tomorrow's Guardian which saw young hero Tom accept his mantle as a Walker who could travel through time, and rescue several others with similar gifts, Yesterday's Treasures sees Tom and his friends searching for the legendary Crown of Knossos. Up against them are their old enemies from the Twisted Reality, and even the Directorate may have their own reasons for wanting the Crown...

That paragraph above probably makes very little sense if you haven't read TG, so if you haven't, go get that book first! Then come back here...

Like the first in the series, I really enjoyed Yesterday's Treasures. Denning's writing is very accessible to readers, he fleshes out his characters well - there's certainly more `shades of grey' here than could be found in the first book which was far more of a straightforward goodies/baddies kind of novel - and he does a great job of capturing the voices of people from different time periods. (I particularly like the interaction between modern schoolboy Tom and former 17th century servant girl Mary, who continually calls him `Master' despite his efforts to get her to stop.)

That said there were a couple of things which I thought let the book down at times - the tagline ``Former friends make the deadliest of foes'' commits the cardinal sin of giving too much away as we're waiting for one of Tom's allies to betray him. Denning does, to be fair, do a pretty good job of building up several characters as the possible traitor but it still felt like we were finding out too much about the novel before reading it.

I will also cheerfully admit to having problems following complicated time travel at times and one reason I enjoyed Tomorrow's Guardian so much was that it was blissfully UNcomplicated - concentrating strongly on the action parts and much less on the mechanics of time travel and the usual `'what if I meet myself'' questions was a great decision by Denning in my opinion. This is noticeably more complicated and that lessened my enjoyment at times (but to be fair I'm sure most older primary-school kids will be better at keeping up to speed than I am, as I've said, I struggle with complex stuff!)

With those slight concerns I would happily give this a good recommendation - it's exciting, it's got a great cast, it tells an interesting story and the character development shows a lot of progression from the first in the series.

If you like the sound of the book but aren't 100% sure whether to try it or not I'd strongly encourage checking out Richard's superb website where you can read the first five chapters for free! [...]

There's also a long extract from the start of the first in the series, Tomorrow's Guardian available [...] - great to see an author with so much confidence in his work that he's willing to let people have a decent sized chunk as a taster.
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