These two reviews describe the second and third in the Throwback middle-grade trilogy by Peter Lerangis. I've reviewed the first book, here:Throwback #2: The Chaos Loop, Corey finds out he had a great uncle who died just before the end of WWII and that his maternal grandmother and grandfather met after her escape from Europe to South America. Corey's best friend Leila's family was also affected by the Holocaust. When Corey decides to try to help facilitate the failed attempt on Hitler's life (a bombing attempt that failed because of timing), Leila agrees to go with him.
Reminder: Corey is a "Throwback", a rare time traveler who can cause changes in history. Leila can time travel and so can Corey's grandfather, but neither of them are Throwbacks. In The Chaos Loop, Corey's grandfather can no longer time travel because it can change your DNA if you travel too much and he was starting to sense changes in his body.
Corey ends up going back to three separate time periods. He sees Hitler during his days as a struggling artist and homeless man in Austria, as the Fuhrer well into WWII, and, right before the war ends, Corey meets his great uncle. Will Corey be able to change time and save millions of lives? Will he be able to continue traveling through time without it turning him into some kind of strange creature?
Highly recommended - I thought the first Throwback book was only so-so, although I enjoyed the adventurousness of it. But, The Chaos Loop was full of action-packed tension and I finished it within a couple days. In each of the books, I learned something new about history but I especially enjoyed learning about the bombing attempt on Hitler's life. I knew it happened but have never read any of the details, before.
Warning: There are spoilers for The Chaos Loop in the third book's description, so skip down to the recommendation line on the third book's review if you want to avoid knowing what happens in The Chaos Loop but want to read my general thoughts about Throwback #3: Out of Time.
Second warning!!! - Skip down to the recommendation line and don't read the review of Throwback #3: Out of Time if you don't want any spoilers for The Chaos Loop!Throwback #3: Out of Time, the worst possible thing has happened. Corey has suddenly turned into a wolf-like creature and his actions during previous time travel have messed things up in the present. Now, his grandmother never met his grandfather, his mother doesn't exist but his dad has a son by the woman he married instead, and his paternal grandfather is married to someone else. Corey shouldn't even exist! But, he does, as a mangy animal who can talk, and Leila oddly remembers him. Normally, when someone changes time, the people who exist in the new timeline are unaware that things were ever different. But, Leila is somehow able to always remember the other threads of time.
Corey and Leila go looking for help from his grandfather and he doesn't remember a Corey at all, just a grandson named Gregory. But, he has some ideas and another time traveler has offered her help. After they figure out the only way that it's even remotely possible to change Corey back is to restore the timeline, Corey and Leila go back to WWII and also to the 19th century to talk to Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who designed Central Park.
Will Corey and Leila be able to figure out how to restore time? Or is Corey stuck in the body of an ailing wolf-like animal for the rest of his life . . . which might not be long.
Highly recommended - Wow, what a wild ride. Out of Time is a rollercoaster that kept me on the edge of my seat. I read it in a single evening, which is very unusual for me. I just couldn't bear to put it down. I had to find out what was going to happen! And, I have to say, it was one of the best finales of any trilogy I've ever read, satisfying yet surprising in some ways. I loved it and would recommend this whole series to any adventure-loving child or grown-up.
Worth mentioning: The first book, which I didn't like as much, did get lower ratings. So, my opinion is a common one. But, I bought the entire trilogy based on the ratings of the latter two and the fact that time travel is totally my jam. I'm so glad I trusted my instincts on this purchase.
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