The Time Trials by Jon & Dayna McConnell

Posted March 20, 2023 by elzaread in Book Review / 0 Comments

The Time Trials by Jon & Dayna McConnellThe Time Trials by John McConnell
Series: The Time Trials #1
Published by Tiny Fox Press on September 21, 2021
Genres: Historical Fiction, Sci-Fi, Time Travel, Young Adult
Pages: 358
Format: ARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon

After the deaths of his parents in a horrific car accident — one that he considers his own fault — Walkman-toting, guitar-playing Finn Mallory would do anything to turn back time…to press “rewind.” When he’s admitted on full scholarship to an elite boarding school, things get more complicated: he becomes an “Unfortunate” in a sea of rich kids whose shoes cost more than his late parents made in a week. An invitation to a boring-sounding history club changes everything, as this team does much more than research and field trips.

Well….they do take field trips. Just not the kind you’re thinking. For Finn, the present was already enough to deal with, but now he finds that he also must reckon with the past, in more ways than one.

Who doesn’t remember High School and Clubbing? No, I’m not talking about the type of clubbing where you stuff your bedding with  make-believe clothing and pillows and then sneak out of the window to visit the latest trending Club with a fake ID. I’m talking about joining a High School Club. Like the Glee Club, or some or the Lacrosse Club.

Welcome to Wharton Academy where they take Clubbing to the next level!

Just from the title, Wharton Academy, the reader can decipher that the unfortunate Middle Class, or low and behold the unmentionable Lower Class, do not attend Wharton Academy. 

Finn Mallory is not a rich man’s son. In fact, he is no-one’s son. But he does apparently have good fortune. Shortly after the passing of his parents, Finn is awarded a full scholarship at Wharton Academy. Oh of course you know exactly what is going to happen. And no, you are not wrong. But this story does have a few twists that will keep the Young Adult readers entertained and the Adolescent readers thrilled on the edge of their seats.

When Finn has to choose a School Club  and the lacrosse team isn’t quite the right fit, the headmaster suggests the Young Historians Club.

History has the ability to influence the future. Few things in life wield that type of power. If we learn from the mistakes of the past, we alter the course of our future. We become better than those before us, as we should, for we hold the advantage of being able to learn from their decisions.”

The Young Historians Club is a highly secretive and exclusive club at Wharton Academy. Very few members have joined up. Just like me, you might wonder, why? A History Club can surely be nothing but fun? I mean they even have field trips. Yes, it might not be in a Wharton Academy airconditioned van and rather a time machine, but what can the harm be in that?

If you could change history, where would you begin? And what exactly would you like to change?  How about playing a game where you might do just that and score a couple of points for your school. This game, better known as the Time Trials, are a couple of challenges named after traditional children’s games. Once again, what can the harm be in that?

Before I start giving away the whole plot, let me stop right there. The Time Trials is a well crafted Adolescent/YA novel with a couple of youngsters you might easily spot in your local mall. I think that’s what I liked most about this book. The characters are relatable with real life circumstances and family dynamics. This makes the sci-fi/fantasy scenario they are projected in, even harsher and way more realistic. With historical accuracies and a highly imaginative plotline, The Time Trials is a book I will easily recommend to readers from around 13+.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book for review purposes.


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