Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tomorrow's Guardian: Review & Author Interview

Tomorrow's Guardian
by Richard Denning

Paperback: 368 pages
Published: January 1, 2011

When schoolboy Tom Oakley discovers he can transport himself through time, he draws the attention of evil men who seek to bend history to their will. Tom's family is obliterated and he soon faces an impossible choice: To save the world he must sacrifice his family.

This is a Young Adult Time Travel Novel.

My Review / Rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fast paced, action filled adventure through time!

Tomorrow's Guardian was a fun read filled with so many twists, that you'll be guessing until the very end. Denning created a clever world where time is fragile and every event matters. He interweaves time-travel and history in a way that makes history exciting. I loved the quirky cast of characters from different periods of time. Together, they made me laugh as they travel through time to keep the world safe from people who want to try to change history for their own gain.

Tom Oakley was just an ordinary 11 year old schoolboy when he suddenly started having strange visions and dreams -- or at least that's what he thought. Turns out, he was having visions of people and events that happened hundreds of years ago. Tom gets the surprise of his life when he finds out he's a "Walker." Someone who has the ability to travel back through time. As if this wasn't shock enough, Tom discovers that he's actually the most gifted walker of his time! Tom becomes a target of evil men who seek to exploit his power and use it to change history.

Tom soon joins the Hourglass Institute, an organization that was created to guard the future. With their help, Tom is able to develop his walking gift. He learns that those visions he experienced were not just random, but of fellow walkers who were in mortal danger. He reluctantly travels back in time to rescue them and enlists their help with the Hourglass Institute. Together, they work as a team to save the world.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves a great adventure. This wasn't just a story about time travel, but one about underdogs and living up to your potential. To quote the book, mighty oaks from little acorns grow.  Overall, a great read that anyone would enjoy!


1. What inspired you to write a novel about time travel?

I have always been interested in history and visiting historical locations where great events happened – Waterloo, The Tower of London, The Normandy Beaches etc. It has long struck me as a shame that I could not ACTUALLY see those events happen (although of course you probably would NOT want to see some of the more brutal of them). The fantasy of being able to travel in time allowing you to experience these moments  does appeal to me. As a result I  find Time Travel as an element in fiction fascinating. In writing a time travel novel I was able to visit some of those locations and dates through the eyes of my characters. Tom and his friends see lots of interesting times and will see more in future books.

2. In Tomorrow's Guardian, Tom travels back in time to save people from different centuries. If you could go back and save / meet anyone in history, who would it be and why?

You know that  lot of travel guides list “Top ten places to visit or Top twenty things to do in this country”. I would use Time Travel like that. I would take the chance to revisit the big events and witness them first hand as well as get to know the famous people. If I had to choose one I would say Alexander the Great. He was a fairly brutal warlord of course BUT he also had that spark and drive to achieve greatness. He died in his 30s but did so much in that short time.  Think I would like to learn his secret and tap some of that energy.

3. Your biography says that you're a fan of history and it's pretty evident from all the history included in your book. If you could have lived in any time period, which one would you choose and why?

You might expect me to say Medieval England for the romance of it but those years were pretty dark and bloody (and fascinating). I love the world of Poirot and if I could be plonked down in that era of the 1920s and 1930s in the world of huge English country houses with its libraries, occasional murder mysteries and decent breakfasts I think that would be fun. Have to avoid the Great Depression and the threat of impending war of course!

4. Tom is pretty brave and adventurous for his age. Were you anything like him at that age?

Oh I don’t think so. I mean I read a lot of adventure stories and imagined being the hero but I don’t think I got more adventurous then going on scout camps of hiring a canoe on the river. But we went lots of places – all over England as well as spending many summers in France and my parents took me to lots of historical locations. So I got my love of old sites and castles from an early age.

5. What's your all-time favorite book?

The Lord of The Rings. It is such an important book and really the basis for my love of fantasy, old maps and old scripts. It’s a bit dated these days but if I am stressed or modern life seems too chaotic, curling up with a cup of tea and reading the first few chapters takes me away from all of that. Tolkien had such a huge imagination – he created a whole world and populated it with fantasy races as well as outlining thousands of years of history, languages etc.  All modern fantasy pays homage to Tolkien.

Thank you, Mr. Denning for answering my questions!

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