The Order of Time


Children - Mythology/Fairy Tale
264 Pages
Reviewed on 10/25/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

The Order of Time by Scott P. Southall is an engaging children's fantasy with believable characters and strong hints of adventure. It follows Anastasia and Edward Upston, eleven-year-old twins who attend the elite Blake Academy and who love exploring the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. When they have a run-in with a weird, freaky character, a person who looks like he belonged to another time, the twins eventually unearth a more disturbing truth: their friend and mentor, Dr. Alfred Gregorian (Dr. G.), the curator of the Smithsonian, a wrinkly man who radiates kindness, belongs to a Secret Society known as the Order of Time. A disruption has occurred in the past and it threatens the present, so Anastasia and her brother must travel back in time and try to fix it. But ancient Egypt is filled with danger and enemies—assassins, unforgiving gods, corrupt high priests, and more. Can they succeed and make their way back to the present?

This is a fantastic tale that will appeal to fans of adventure, time travel, and fantasy, and a story that is well-written for young readers. The twins make a wonderful pair, and while they have their unique personalities, they share a powerful bond that is deftly explored in the narrative. Scott P. Southall writes in prose that is enchanting and accessible and weaves powerful descriptions in the story. The journey to the past is an exciting one and while I marveled at the excitement that accompanies the two lead characters, I also worried about their fate as they move from one danger to the next. The concept of time is skillfully developed, and time appears to be like a character in the story. The Order of Time is fast-paced, featuring compelling characters, a great setting, and a cleverly written plot. It is a delightful read for fans of young adult fantasy and time travel.

Vincent Dublado

Fraternal twins Anastasia and Edward Upton have nothing in common. Their difference in personality, however, is what makes them click for they view things from opposite perspectives. As if the sixth grade is not challenging enough, life throws them even bigger lemons. The Order of Time by Scott P. Southall is your gateway to joining their adventure. The book’s title is the name of a secret society where their mentor, Dr. Gregorian, is a member. This society is engaged in time travel, and when their mentor is attacked by an evil group, the Corsairs, who want to alter the past to advance their interests, the task of protecting the timeline falls into the hands of the twins. Anastasia and Edward must travel back to ancient Egypt where they will encounter evil priests and malevolent gods in order to preserve the consistency of history’s timeline.

As a middle-grade sci-fi fantasy novel, the plot works as it quickly establishes the two hero characters that young readers will relate to. When they travel back in time, it gives you that same kind of excitement you feel in watching those time travel cartoons like “Time Squad” and “Superbook.” Whether you are eight or eighty, you will enjoy being transported into an exotic setting with Edward and Anastasia. The local color of ancient Egypt will permeate your senses and will make your spine tingle at the presence of villains. The Order of Time depicts sibling relationships in a positive light. Southall gives the right message that personality differences should be embraced as an opportunity to learn from the ideas of others. This is a middle-grade book that parents and kids will enjoy reading.

Tammy Ruggles

The Order of Time by Scott P. Southall is an imaginative children's fairy tale that will whisk you away on an unforgettable adventure. It's about 11-year-old twins Edward and Anastasia, who are diametrically opposed but are still close to each other. They encounter bullies at Blake Academy and visit the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, like other ordinary sixth-graders. Then problems crop up that change life as they know it, and everything else. Dr. Gregorian is their trusted friend, but he belongs to The Order of Time, a secret society. When the twins discover that time and events can be altered, they have to travel back in time to early Egypt to battle assassins, dark priests, and gods with revenge on their minds--all to prevent an atrocity. It's up to these two children to save the past and return home.

Young readers will love everything about this book, from the action to the characters of the twins to the dangers they face. The time travel angle is always fun, and you'll get a sense of mystery and intrigue as the concept of secret societies and time come to light. Southall's writing is fresh and immediate, and he has an energetic way with dialogue and pacing. As you read, you bounce from chapter to chapter, eager to find out how the twins will handle what's going on. Sometimes the obstacles seem hard to overcome, but Anastasia and Edward are smart and determined. What I like is that these two seem like regular kids caught up in an unnerving scenario--something young readers can relate to, and some adults too, I suspect. This author knows how to weave a magnetic story that is straightforward and convincing. The locales and researched details really come to life in a way that is interesting instead of dry. Kudos to The Order of Time by Scott P. Southall for an enjoyable read.