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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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When we meet thirteen year old Becky Mellor and her eleven year old brother Joe, they are facing the dullest summer holidays of their life. Their mother has to work, resulting in them being sent to stay with their Uncle Percy - an eccentric inventor who they have never even met. Becky is resentful and determined not to enjoy herself, but, before long, even she has to admit she was wrong. Uncle Percy lives in the wonderful Bowen Hall, with huge grounds, eccentric staff and it seems to the children that the summer may look up after all. Then, once they discover Percy tending to a sabre-toothed tiger on the lawn, it not only looks up, but becomes a whole lot more interesting. For Percy Halifax is a time traveller and he has a mystery to solve - who killed his good friend Bernard Preston and what is the Theseus Disc? Plus, as it becomes obvious that the baddies are showing more than a little unwelcome interest in Becky and Joe, how are the children, who have never even met Percy before, involved in events?

This is a really exciting novel, which is perfectly pitched at ages 7+. There are Nazi baddies, mythical creatures and visits to the Ice Age, Victorian England and Ancient Greece as well as appearances by Jason and the Argonauts. The storyline is cleverly constructed, the chase and mystery keeps the thrills up and the characters are really well written. Overall, I was very impressed by the beginning of this series and I know my children want to read on.
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on 18 July 2012
Time travel, prehistoric beasts, myths, living legends, scary bad guys and an eccentric uncle, Becky and Joe are just so lucky and so are we for being able to share their adventures. This is a wonderful book for children and the young at heart, well written, exciting, funny. I love my Kindle for enabling me to find and read this book and also Carl Ashmore for writing it :-)
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on 25 May 2013
I read this book very quickly because I couldn't put it down! There are a lot of unexpected twists that you won't see coming and a lot of funny moments that will make you laugh! This book is great for anyone of any age!
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on 12 September 2013
I read this book very quickly but only because I could not put it down! Have read all three and can't wait for the next instalment! Very funny and interesting historical bits that make you say "aaah" out loud!
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on 17 March 2011
First off even tho this book was written for children I really enjoyed it and im in my late twenties! The story kept me interested from page 1 right through to the end. I will not give much detail about the plot because I dont want to spoil it for people who have not read it yet.
The characters was believable and I liked the relationship between the characters.
There was moments of humour and I had to be careful not too laugh out loud while I was reading the book next to my sleeping husband!
Its a very good adventure story with suprising twists. I think young or old would enjoy this book. I cant wait for the next instalment to find out what happens next :).
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on 2 April 2014
This is exactly how I felt at the end of this wonderful, action-packed, time-traveling adventure.

It starts with Bernard Preston stealing an artifact, which is known to him and his vicious pursuers as the Theseus Disc, from a house in Victorian London. Although fatally wounded, he manages to escape in his Reliant Robin time machine to hand the disc to his friend and fellow traveler, Percy Halifax, owner of Bowen Hall, before expiring.

The next scene opens with Percy's niece and nephew being packed off by their widowed mother to spend their Summer with their eccentric uncle. Becky is extremely reluctant, but her brother, Joe, cannot wait. As they leave their home, Becky is attacked by a rogue budgerigar. The significance of this attack does not become apparent until much later in the book.

There are sabre-toothed tigers, dinosaurs, Will Scarlett (of Robin Hood fame), rescued refugees from Nazi Germany, Jason and his Argonauts, the Golden Fleece, mythical creatures, and even a visit to one of the Ice Ages. None of these revelations count as spoilers, as you can read most of it in the book description.

This is a lot of fun for all children aged between 7 and 123, but there also a few scary moments.

My favorite character in the whole book is Edgar. Now, it WOULD be a spoiler if I told you who Edgar was, so you'll just have to read the story to find out. I am sure that you'll enjoy the experience though.

Once you've read it, you can tell me if you agree with me in my love of Edgar.
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on 6 January 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed this very unusual jaunt through time. Likeable characters and a storyline that makes you want to immediately read the next one. Just as well I had already bought them! Would also recommend Carl's 'The night they nicked Saint Nick' - am looking forward to reading it to my granddaughter when she is a little older. :)
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on 7 May 2011
I was initially drawn to this book by the price but as soon as I began to read it I was hooked. An eccentric uncle, a VW campervan time machine - whats not to like? Although written with the younger reader in mind the story is definately appealing to adults and proved to be a great escape from a boring, rainy wednesday afternoon. This is a bargain!
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on 25 May 2014
This book is alright for children including young teenagers, but is rather too simple for older readers in my view. Reading it as an adult is an okay experience, but you know that you are not really the target audience.

Time travel is always an interesting idea to explore, and there were elements of the book that were intriguing, but the characters were not highly developed. Mix together a mad scientist, a 13 year old girl and a 10 year old boy, various historical, or mythological, characters, as well as villains out of central casting and you have a mishmash of characters.

At the end of the experience I have to say that this was a gentle story and did not feel as disappointed in it as I feared I might do at one stage.
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on 6 October 2012
I have just finished reading the first in the series to my 2 oldest kids, Marlowe (girl 11) and Archie who has just turned 10. Archie said he loved this book "this much (arms stretched out wide) and then to there and there and there and to the moon and from the moon to the sun and from the sun to Pluto and then to the edge of the universe, which is always growing, so that's a lot".
From the start they were both hooked (and so was I), both wanting an eccentric uncle with a huge mansion and a pet dinosaur!
Archie wanted me to start the next book immediately and is hoping that the third in the series will follow soon.
Brilliant work, just the right amount of humour, sadness, thrills, history, myth and darkness to satisfy keen and eager imaginations.

I have recommended this to all of my friends with tweenie kids. Fantastic.
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