Thursday, April 7, 2011

Review: Sent - Margaret Peterson Haddix

Synopsis: Thirteen-year-olds Jonah and Chip are reeling from the news that they're both missing children from history, kidnapped from their proper time period. Before they can fully absorb this revelation, a time purist named JB sends Chip and another boy, Alex, back to the fifteenth century, where they supposedly belong. Jonah and his sister, Katherine, grab Chip's arm just as he's being sent away. The result? Jonah and Katherine also end up in the fifteenth century, where they decidedly do not belong.

Chip's true identity is Edward V, king of England, and Alex is his younger brother, Richard, Duke of York. But Chip is convinced that his uncle, Richard of Gloucester, plans to kill them and seize the throne for himself.

JB promises that if the kids can "fix time," he will allow them to return to the present day. But how can they possibly return home safely when history claims that Chip and Alex were murdered?

Review: As with Found, saying that I liked Sent is not entirely the right way of putting it. It was interesting, exciting, clever, and easy to follow. There was nothing I disliked, but like just isn't the word, which is the case with most time-travel stories.

It helps to have a knowledge of history when reading this simply because it helps the Reader appreciate the way Margaret Peterson Haddix puts the story of Edward V and his brother, Richard, together. Every fan of history's mysteries (such as the odd "disappearance" of the two royal boys) loves to read a new take on what really happened. Haddix's very premise of The Missing series has set up an ideal way for her to introduce interesting theories concerning cases like the Duchess Anastasia and others like her, who seem to have just disappeared from time itself. I absolutely love time-travel books for this very reason: it presents the "what ifs" of history; a tiny glimpse at what could have happened. And every historian - amateur or professional - loves to explore that.

The characters improved in Sent. Alex is a wonderful addition to the group, but Katherine gets increasingly annoying. I still imaged her older than Jonah, even though she is supposed to be about two years younger than him and Chip. But she's a pretty easy fifth wheel to ignore. One thing that does get very irritating is how the kids never let JB explain anything. They always cut him off right when he's about to offer something potentially helpful - and all because they think that he doesn't care whether or not Chip and Alex die. Urgh! It drove me up a wall!! I never felt sorry for Jonah, Chip, Alex, and Katherine when a situation got sticky because they never gave JB enough time to explain what to do. That's a pet peeve of mine.

However, Sent is a worthwhile read. It is better than Found, and I believe that Sabotaged is going to be even better.

Overall Rating: 

Others in The Missing Series:


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