Anastasia and Edward Upston are summoned to the Order of Time’s London headquarters to provide testimony. Their friend and mentor Dr. Alfred Gregorian has been charged with violating the time-traveling society’s rules in relation to their trip to ancient Egypt. The twelve-year-old twins are determined to defend Dr. G and to get a closer look at the inner workings of the Order and its secret academy.
An unexpected turn of events leaves the twins stranded a thousand years in the past during the Viking Age. Hopes of returning home become secondary when they find themselves caught in the midst of a power struggle between Odin and Loki that could instigate the end of the Nine Realms. Surviving the Viking Age long enough for Dr. G and the Order to rescue them may be the hardest thing they ever do. If they can ….
Refreshingly, Southall depicts his child heroes as capable participants in their adventures who are believed and trusted by adults, which bolsters their confidence and self-worth. The story becomes more urgent when the twins discover they have only four days to defeat the dragon, sent by the trickster god Loki, who knows that Soren’s people are guarding Odin’s magical door—a portal that can bring about Ragnarök, “the end of the world.” Whatever they do, the children cannot change history, as Edward cautions: “the ripples from any change in the past can completely change the future.”
Southall sprinkles welcome historical detail about the food, culture, and religion of various periods and cultures among action-packed fight scenes and strategic battle plans. Written in a brisk, cheerful tone, the story encourages thoughtfulness and action to right wrongs, as well as offering assistance where it is needed. Fans of time-travel stories will enjoy this character-driven story with smart, competent children in a historical setting.
Takeaway: Young readers and adults who love time travel stories will savor the adventure and nuggets of historical fact.
Great for fans of: Paul Aertker’s Crime Travelers series, Alexandra Bracken’s Passenger.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
Anastasia and Edward Upston are back in a new book and off on another adventure. This time the Order of Time is ready to accept them into their academy in London as Order members in training, but first they must pass a test. With the aid of the Refractium Crystal, they travel back in time, but plans go awry, and they end up in the Viking Age of Eric the Red. Caught between two bickering gods, the twins must use all their ingenuity and skills to survive, pass the test, and return home to the twenty-first century.
Author Scott P. Southall has once again created a fascinating world of the imagination through these intrepid twins. The frozen winter landscape of northern Denmark is as real as if I were looking out my window. We are immersed in the world not only of ancient Vikings, but also the mythology which they believed in, and which shaped their world. Anastasia and Edward are compelling characters with all the positive and negative qualities to make them believable. I look forward to the next journey back in time.
The Order of Time and Odin’s Door (The Order of Time Series Book 2) is a children’s fantasy book by Scott P. Southall. It begins with 12-year-old twins Anastasia and Edward facing the council of the secretive Order of Time in London. The twins are outsiders who were not supposed to know about the Order but learned about it when they had to help a friend. They are given a test to prove themselves, but instead, they head directly into a trap and end up locked in the cold, snowy winter of Denmark in the Viking past with no way to get back and a vicious dragon heading straight for the fortress they now live in. The Iron Blades, Odin’s favorite clan of Vikings, are its target—and the kids are caught smack in the middle.
A rollickingly entertaining novel, Scott P. Southall’s book is firmly rooted in the popular imagination and hits a bulls-eye with its mixture of classic action-adventure elements. The Order of Time and Odin’s Door has echoes of Night at the Museum, Marvel’s Thor, and Tolkien’s The Hobbit, creating an instant winning mix for those who have been yearning for another adventure in the same vein. Also, I learned an amazing amount about Norse mythology from this story, more than I’d ever learned from any other source, and all presented in an astonishingly fun way. The idea of the museum curators who travel back in time is brilliant and if you have a kid who is struggling to care about history, this book is a must-have for opening their eyes to just how exciting long-ago civilizations and their legends really are.
5-Star Reviewed by Sarah Scheele for Readers' Favorite