But what if the future were now? The world of 2000 (and change) seemed impossibly futuristic for so long. Of course there will be meals in pill-form! Jet-packs! People will live on the moon! Travel to Alpha Centauri and beyond! This was supposed to be a hum-dinger of a future world. Pah. I don’t know about you, but my robot dog is still on backorder. To us, it seems so ordinary. But is it?
Ali Sparkes’ new novel, Frozen in Time, just released in paperback by Egmont USA, is a time-travel book set in the present. Two modern children, Ben and Rachel, discover a cryogenic chamber buried in the woods behind their house, and accidentally defrost Polly and Freddy, children kept in stasis since 1956. Ben and Rachel become guides and translators for the two time-travelers, introducing them to fast food, pot noodles and feminism. Through Polly and Freddy’s eyes, Ben and Rachel – and the reader – see this our world in a new light, realizing what wonders surround us. Yet Polly and Freddy have a few wonders of their own to share, skills and knowledge that we have all but lost, and the modern children find themselves recapturing bits of the past.
Frozen in Time is also a spy novel, with Russian agents and mad, genius scientists and sinister figures lurking in the shadows, When the children decide to find out what happened to Freddy and Polly’s father all those years ago, they unknowingly provoke those would prefer the truth remain hidden.
Frozen in Time is a lively, fun novel. Its unique twist on time travel made it an especially gripping read and I never tired of reading about how the four children learned from each other, trading 2010 expertise for 1956 skills. All in all, it was a jolly good romp and crickey, but you’ll be sorry if you don’t give it a go.