Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Out of Time by Paul McCusker (review)

Out of Time by Paul McCusker
Copyright 2009
Zondervan - YA/Time Travel (Christian)
224 pages
Author's website

Stop right here! If that cover image appears as vague and uninteresting to you as it did to me, you might just be tempted to ignore the book review. It's funny how much impact a cover can have, for better or worse. I can tell you right now, Out of Time is better than its cover.

Jeff and Elizabeth are driving to their end-of-school dance when a heavy fog descends over the road and a man appears in front of them on horseback. The horse rears up and his passenger goes flying. Oddly, the injured horseman is wearing medieval clothing, carries a jewel-encrusted sword and speaks only in Latin. If what he says is true, King Arthur has been zapped through time, just before his fatal battle with Mordred.

Medical professionals and the local sheriff assume Arthur is crazy, but Elizabeth's father is able to speak and translate Latin and he knows better -- the strange man's mode of speech would be impossible to le
arn simply by reading books. Could it really be King Arthur? If so, how and why did he travel through time?

Out of Time is the second book in the Time Thriller Trilogy. I acquired my copy to read and review for First Wild and have not yet read the first book in the series, Ripple Effect, although my son has been begging me to locate a copy. I'll tell you about that in the next paragraph. Note that there's a sneak peek chapter just below this entry. You'll find that it's a nice, light read.

When my copy of Out of Time arrived, I offered my son a chance to read the book first because I had plenty of time to get to it. He read it in nothing flat and handed the book right back to me.

We are in agreement: Out of Time is loads of fun. The elements include a time portal that leads King Arthur to step through time, a medieval church moved from England to the U.S., a villain who wants to replace an ancient church with a superstore, and a clergyman is depressed and unwilling to change. There's a great deal of action and adventure in this book. At one point, I thought the faith issue became slightly heavy-handed. Some might consider it preachy when the author begins to veer into the subject of faith. But, Out of Time is less a Christian story than it is a rocking fine little adventure. I gobbled it up almost as quickly as my son and I doubt most people would be offended by the Christian sections. They're decidedly more palatable than a book full of bad language, if you ask me.

Definitely recommended by both Bookfool and Kiddo, especially to those who love time travel and enjoy a nice, adventurous read that isn't too complex.


  1. While I also got through this through FIRST I haven't had a chance to read it yet. I really enjoyed the first book, though!

  2. Anonymous6:53 AM

    I had barely glanced at the cover til you admonished me to take a closer look; it's not too bad! Just get a little more distance - the horse really starts to pop from farther away.

    and the book sounds good!

  3. This one sounds good! Should I read the first one first? Or is this a book that stands alone?

    Diary of an Eccentric

  4. Actually, I thought the cover looked kind of cool. Sounds like an intriguing book.

  5. Amy,

    It's easy to get overloaded with First books, isn't it? I still have A Lever Long Enough on my stack, but since I have three tours this week, I haven't touched it. And, I was enjoying the book! I'm sure you'll enjoy Out of Time if you liked Ripple Effect. I've got to get a copy of Ripple Effect for my son, now. He reads quickly but he's picky, so it's really hard to keep him supplied with enough books.


    I think it's the monochromatic look that gave me the sense that the cover was too bland and I'd have overlooked it in a store. I like it; it's just not a big grabber. Oh, maybe I should hold it back a bit then. LOL


    It stands alone fine. Although the characters occasionally refer back to their first experience with time travel, they don't leave you feeling like there's a big gaping hole in your understanding. It's very well done.


    I think it actually looks better on screen than the book looks when you hold it in your hands. The elements are all perfect -- the horse and rider coming out of a fog on a clock with Roman numerals. It's just the muted/monochromatic look that I think makes it a little bland to me.

  6. You read such 'different' books! Another one for the wish list. :)

  7. Kailana,

    I'm into variety. I think you'd enjoy this one. Unlike The Once and Future King (which I remember you warned me was too much -- yep, I made it about halfway), this Arthur story is light. :)

  8. I loved the first one and I am not through with the second one. :)

  9. Brittanie,

    Oh, good! I'm always glad to hear people love a book on my wishlist.

  10. This sounds like fun! I'll keep an eye out for the series.


  11. Anonymous10:36 AM

    You're right - I was just about to skip over this review based on the cover art! (I am so shallow)

    These books do sound quite good though - I will have to add them to the list as possibilities for the library collection. Thanks for the review!

  12. Lesley,

    I don't think it's so much that you're shallow as the fact that we all are impacted in different ways by the images we see. It's unfortunate, though. Last year I passed over a book I really wanted because I hated the cover and bought one that didn't honestly appeal to me when I read the reviews because the cover grabbed me. Argh! I hate that.

    I hope you do add those books to your library. My son has been begging me to get copies of the first and third books for weeks. I wish our library carried them.


Thank you for visiting my blog! I use comment moderation because apparently my blog is a spam magnet. Don't worry. If you're not a robot, your comment will eventually show up and I will respond, with a few exceptions. If a comment smacks of advertising, contains a dubious link or is offensive, it will be deleted. I love to hear from real people! I'm a really chatty gal and I love your comments!