The Time Tider by Sinéad O’Hart

Published by Little Tiger, 2023.

The Time Tider is a real page-turner of a book; it’s packed with action and tension. It will have you on the edge of your seat.

Mara and her dad have lived in their van for as long as she can remember. Whatever her father does to scrape a living has kept them constantly moving and Mara has never questioned it. That is until she uncovers The Time Tider’s Handbook and realises that her dad is the Time Tider: the individual responsible for eradicating dangerous warps in time by harvesting the lost time from people whose lives have been cut short.

But before Mara can fully question her father, he is taken by a dangerous group who want to use his power for evil. With the very fabric of time and space at stake, it’s down to Mara and her new friend Jan to find him before it’s too late…

I loved the science fiction and fantasy elements of the story: the use of the Stitch to travel through time and the concept of warps (anomalies in the flow of time which form when a person dies before they’re supposed to). The book’s premise of being able to bottle the “un-lived time” of people who died prematurely is both original and fascinating.

At any time, there is only ever one Time Tider – the chosen one. This means that the role comes with a great deal of responsibility and power. Lost time is harvested to protect humankind but this bottled time is a very desirable commodity; it’s spare time – time that has not yet been lived. There’s definitely a market for bottled time among people who’d like to buy time in order to extend their own lives. I enjoyed the exploration of how power can corrupt and the moral implications of trading someone else’s time.

Mara is a feisty, determined character with a strong sense of right and wrong. She will definitely appeal to young readers. They’re also going to be impressed (and envious) that she learnt to drive aged eight! Mara and Jan’s adventure is an exhilarating one, as they rely on their wits and instincts to navigate a dark and dangerous world where they don’t know which adults to trust.

Rating: 💙💙💙💙

Suitable for children aged 8+

Thank you to Little Tiger for sending me this book to review. I reviewed the book as part of The Time Tider blog tour where Sinéad O’Hart talked to me about the Irish settings in her books. You can read her guest post here.

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