Alan M. Clark, Lorelei Shannon, Stephen C. Merritt, The Blood of Father Time: The New Cut Reviews

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“The Blood of Father Time: The New Cut ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 10/03/2007

The Blood of Father Time: The New Cut
Alan M. Clark, Lorelei Shannon, Stephen C. Merritt
Five Star, May 2007, $25.95
ISBN 1594145954

At twelve years old, Jack Riggs was a bully who on his first day at a new school beat up Mark who later became his best friend. Living with an alcoholic father toughened him up even as it made him afraid to go home. He loved history and spent much time dreaming about living in nineteenth century Tennessee. One day he and Mark were exploring THE NEW CUT, a man-made deep gorge in Brian's Creek, when eight-year-old Billy, whose mother had the New Cut created starts following them. Suddenly the Cut seems to keep going on and on.

When they leave the gorge they find a cabin without electricity or other amenities and the family who lived there gave them food and shelter that they were supposed to "pay" for by doing chores. Mark and Jason run away from them but are captured by the land pirates and forced to bait a flat boat into an ambush that turned into a massacre. The pirates are the infamous Pikes and their minions, a ruthless group of cannibal murderers. Billy, who got separated from them, meets an Indian Willawick wearing Nikes. The boys try to figure out how to get the Indian to take them out of 1811 and back home but first Jason and Mark have to find a way out of the cave that is the pirate's headquarters which is surrounded by a blood-thirsty militia.

This time travel fantasy is also a coming of age tale in which the protagonists realize that history is romanticized and reality is more gritty, dangerous and ugly. Jason learns how to make decisions for his little group and to have more tolerance for people, especially those that don't want to kill him. The authors have written a delightful work that will appeal to young adults as much as the older crowd.

Harriet Klausner

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