Plot: Aralias Lyons is a time-traveller. He is not the only one who can manipulate time though and his son is kidnapped by a mad-man wishing to control the time slipstream. Aralias will do anything to get Jack back.
Accompanied by a mysterious Clara Heartwell, Aralias can’t help falling in love as he fights mechanical dragons and clockwork men to save both his son and the world. But saving Jack might not be enough, not if time has been damaged beyond repair. Can Aralias save both his son and the woman he loves or will the cost be too great?
Quote: `Can you stop reminiscing and help me do whatever it is that I’m supposed to without you telling me exactly how to do it?`
Opinion: I hoped The Undays of Aralias Lyons by K.L Horvath would be an engaging and exciting book with all the complications of time-travel and mystical creatures. It almost was, by which I mean it had the mystical creatures and it was complicated, but other than that, it disappointed me. The Undays of Aralias Lyons read like a book full of potential that missed the point at times.
The plot in a way made sense: man must use his ability to time-travel in order to save his son. To some extent, this is what happened. Only I wish it were that simple. The rules of this world never were fully explained and I never appreciated how the time-travelling worked: did they need a watch or not? Did the key to unlock time heighten their powers or just give them more specific destinations? The only thing I felt sure about was they couldn’t go back in time to kill the bad guy. Other than that, I was lost.
The characters annoyed me. Aralias had the potential to be a dashing hero, or a charming aristocrat, a good father and a satisfactory lover. Only instead, he read as just being shallow. Rather than caring for his traumatised son, he moped around over a potential lost love. He forgot about his son for half the book and his characteristics went from one extreme to another that it never felt like the reader was given a chance to truly know him.
The tension might have been stronger if I knew what was actually going on! The moments that should have been tense were undermined by the complexity of where and when the characters were, how they got there and precisely what sort of threat they were facing.
Unfortunately, the writing itself let this book down. There was too much forced dialogue and the lack of clarity about the time-travelling rules undermined the plot. The characters came across as weak and selfish, apart from Jack who was barely in it.
Time-travelling books always run the risk of being confusing with complex rules involving what can and can’t happen. I’m disappointed to say that The Undays of Aralias Lyons just didn’t live up to expectations for me and missed the mark.