When Days Tilt (Time Catchers Book 1)

Review by Knicky L. Abbott

Author name: Karen Ginnane

Book Title: Time Catchers Book 1 When Days Tilt

A historical fantasy adventure for teens set between Victorian London and a darker parallel city.

It’s 1858, and there are two queens on the throne. Victoria reigns over London, the biggest city the world has ever known. But London has a secret shadow city, called Donlon, where another queen, the Green Witch, rules her own domain – time.

London is in turmoil. The Thames is at the height of the Great Stink; a blazing comet is searing the sky; technology is moving so fast it seems otherworldly; and the city is exploding with more people than it can hold. Darwin is about to publish his theory of evolution and humanity’s very place in the world is in question. On top of all this, people are disappearing into thin air. If they return, it is with empty eyes and torn souls, never to be the same again. Ava, a fourteen-year-old Londoner, feels trapped by the limited life of a young Victorian woman and by her watchmaking apprenticeship with her father. Her predictable world is turned upside down when she discovers that the body in her mother’s grave is not her mother, but a stranger.

When Ava goes in search of her real mother and her true identity, she is thrust into the dark world of Donlon and must fight a battle to save those she loves and the future of both worlds . . .

Publication date: 2nd July, 2021

Available formats: Paperback and Kindle from Amazon

Purchase Link: https://www.penguin.com.au/books/when-days-tilt-9781760895037

Time Catchers When Days Tilt is a stunning YA Historical Fantasy with a seam of thrilling suspense woven throughout. It is set in Victorian London and its dark parallel counterpart, the city of Donlon.  It is the story of reluctant, watchmaking apprentice Ava and her quest to find her real mother at the height of 19th century turmoil, uncertainty, and human proliferation.

I loved the setup of this story from the very first chapter. Author Karen Ginnane provides her reader with a solid starting point for understanding and caring about Ava, as well as introduces a few other most intriguing mysteries along the way for good measure. There is a real feeling of being ‘Off on an adventure’ or ‘Away with the faeries’ to this book, one that both excites and underscores the emotional impact of what happens to each of the characters we grow to love.

The words pulled me along scene after incredible scene, with prose that is very surreal, nostalgic and whimsical on the one hand, but tells a dark, dangerous, and deadly tale on the other. In a word, this book is truly enchanting, a richly-spun wonder with a mood that is exactly right for teens and young adults.

My favourite character is Malaika. Without spoiling too much of anything, I’ll simply say I found his ‘speak’ a true joy to read, and reading him was like watching a favoured childhood film. The whimsy and fancifulness just unfurled in my mind with wondrous, magnificent, dreamy imagery. And it’s this imagery, and Ginnane’s incredible prose, that makes Malaika so lovely, and this story simply exceptional.

Malaika aside, the world-building as a whole is both solid and subtly done in When Days Tilt. A feat of pure imagination disseminated through dialogue, imagery, character experience, emotion, and realization. It is such a wonderful story. The kind that lingers. The kind my soul favours best. Looking forward to more offerings in The Time Catchers series, and from Karen Ginnane herself.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: