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The Navigator


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/ Key title Time travel adventure in which a boy joins a rebel uprising against a sinister enemy -- 'The Harsh' -- in order to repair the fabric of time. / Competition: Artemis Fowl, Keys to the Kingdom

About the Author

Eoin McNamee was born in County Down, Northern Ireland. He is critically acclaimed as an adult novelist, the best known title being Resurrection Man ('one of the most outstanding pieces of Irish fiction to come along in years' Irish Times) which was also made into a film. He was awarded the Macauley Fellowship for Irish Literature in 1990. In addition to his literary novels, Eoin has written two thrillers under the pseudonym John Creed.


Gr 5-8-This fantasy by Irish author McNamee introduces Owen, whose father has died mysteriously, and whose mother has sunk into a depression. Out in his wilderness hideaway, he catapults into a time vortex where he meets a girl named Cati and her fellow Wakeful. Their eternal task is to fight the Harsh, a powerful ice people who upend time, running it backward so that humans no longer exist. Owen, Cati, and other Wakeful set out to find the Puissance, the place where it is foretold that the Navigator, a legendary figure, can defeat the Harsh and restore proper time. Readers who head for D. J. MacHale's "Pendragon" (S & S) and Garth Nix's "The Keys to the Kingdom" (Scholastic) series may like this one as well, but it sometimes strains credibility. The idea that time is moving backward (from modern to medieval times by novel's end), but that all humanity immediately disappears (even though there were humans back then) is hard to accept. And while Owen and Cati are plucky adventurers, the descriptions sometimes fall flat, and the transitions are occasionally abrupt. Consider this title an additional purchase; acquire where Kenneth Oppel's Airborn (HarperCollins, 2004) and similar titles are popular.-Caitlin Augusta, The Darien Library, CT Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

With a vocal performance that sounds both youthful and polished, Heyborne gamely takes on this spirited, swift-moving fantasy-adventure, the first children's book by Irish novelist McNamee. Though villagers whisper of suicide, Owen is not certain of how his father mysteriously died. He only knows that life without his father has been isolating and difficult, throwing his mother into a depression. While visiting the hillside hideaway that brings him some solace, Owen meets a tiny man (who occasionally sounds like Sean Connery); he foretells the boy's key role in the dangerous exploits to come. The encounter has placed Owen into a sort of time portal; he is soon recruited by the Resisters, those battling a group called the Harsh who have caused time to shift backwards in an effort to wipe out humanity. A plucky girl named Cati is along for the wild ride, which is likely to broaden the appeal of this recording. Though sorting out the logical intricacies of the plot can be a bit tricky, listeners who stick with it will be satisfied by this exciting yarn. Ages 10-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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