Making Time for Summer Adventure with "The Chaos Clock" by Gill Arbuthnott: Review and Giveaway
Melinda T. Falgoust
If you have school-aged children, then you know what happens after those last few minutes of the school year tick down and signal the start of summer vacation. Your precious little darlings rush home and launch into summer with the words that make every parent cringe: "MOM! I'M BORED!".
Luckily, for the parent whose progeny is searching for something to do (because, apparently, 'Clean your room' NEVER seems to be an acceptable suggestion), Edinburgh writer Gill Arbuthnott comes through in the nick of time with her middle-grade contemporary fantasy "The Chaos Clock", published by Floris Books in their Contemporary Kelpies line.
First published in 2003, "The Chaos Clock" marked Arbuthnott's debut in children's publishing. As the inaugural winner of Floris Books Annual Kelpies Prize, "The Chaos Clock" weaves a fantastic tale of young Kate Dagliesh and David Fairbairn, two eleven-year olds who become entangled in an ancient war between the Guardians of Time and the Lords of Chaos. The adventure starts with the Museum of Scotland and the curious Millennium Clock, a unique artifact with certain powers if they are to believe Old Mr. Flowerdew. But, the children aren't quite certain that Mr. Flowerdew's brain isn't as clouded as his milky-blue eyes.
When mysterious events start transpiring in and around Edinburgh - appearing and disappearing ancient Roman encampments, 18th century horse cabs, and a thick, flat, mercurial lake where Princes Street Gardens should be - the children begin to believe there may just be something to Mr. Flowerdew's unbelievable tale.
Ms. Arbuthnott has woven an intriguing tale of time unraveling and captures her readers' attention from the very first pages by ratcheting the tension immediately. The main characters will appeal to her audience as she has empowered them as the true heroes of the story and had written them realistically with identifying characteristics most middle-graders will relate to. Her vocabulary choice is commendable, as it stretches the typical vocabulary in spots, but never exceeds to the point of losing the reader.
Pitted against powers much more ancient than themselves, Kate and David will take willing readers on the adventure with them, page after page. Will they succeed in foiling the formidable Lightning King and scheming Water Witch, or will time continue to unravel - destroying the world as we know it? If your mind is spinning out-of-control trying to answer the question, seize an opportunity to end the Chaos and try for a win of your very own copy of "The Chaos Clock" and its exciting sequel "The Chaos Quest". Additionally, youngsters can try their own hand at controlling time and build their very own clock with the Fascinations Puzzle Clock-Making Kit - a complete prize package sure to occupy and stop your own little Lords of Chaos from being bored.