Nemesis and the Vault of Lost Time

Nemesis and the Vault of Lost Time
Publisher Name
Age Range
Release Date
March 17, 2024
“’s hard to prove the world’s most important substance is missing when no one knows it’s gone.”
“Substance? What substance?” asks thirteen-year-old Max Kellerman. “Why time itself!” exclaims the strange professor who Max meets in the back of his uncle’s bookstore. In fact, he says, time is being sucked out of every living person by invisible thieves and stored away in a deep, dark netherworld.

Could the professor possibly be right… or just plain crazy?

It depends on whether Max can unravel the mysterious clues in the tattered manuscript the professor leaves behind. With the help of his best friends Derek and Samantha, Max begins a quest to find this dark realm and to discover its hidden secrets. But with the time clock ticking and the professor gone missing, Max uncovers a truth he never thought possible.

Max must unravel the mysteries of Nemesis to save not just his world, but the very fabric of time itself.

Editor review

1 review
Viewing the world in new ways
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
The author adds a creative twist to an apocalyptic plot by making a connection to familiar human experiences. Everyone zones out at times or gets a sense of déjà vu. Sneezing and yawns happen every day. The plot suggests these common events are evidence of time (life force) being stolen from individuals. Boggarts collect the stolen time and deposit it into a vault, hidden in the dimension of Nemesis; Nemesis is a place, not a person. Once enough life force has been accumulated, Abaddon will lead an army of goblins, trolls, and all kinds of other monsters in an invasion of Earth and start an Armageddon.
Max is the main character and he’s an awkward seventh grader who’s often picked on for his unusual habits of daydreaming, dozing, and drooling in class. He’s the one who has a personal connection to the plot and decides he needs to destroy the vault. Max is able to manifest a special ability by calming his mind and seeing his surroundings in new ways. He has two close friends to support him. Derek adds levity to the narrative as he’s impulsive, always hungry, and he’s often complaining about the danger they’re putting themselves in. Max calls Sam the group’s voice of reason as she’s very intelligent and excels at analyzing tricky situations. Together, they form a trio of fun, relatable characters that are commonly found in middle-grade novels.
The plot includes a bit of mystery as the characters and readers don’t fully understand everything that’s happening. Max finds a book written in Latin and he’ll need to decode the dead language to unlock secrets about the strange feelings he’s been having. There aren’t any instructions on how to enter another dimension and scholarly adults have failed to uncover the way. How are three kids supposed to succeed? In addition, Max’s father supposedly died in an explosion but hints are dropped that this may not be the truth. Max’s main motivation to take on the quest is to pursue the possibility that his father may still be alive.
What didn’t work as well:
The story references science theories that may have some basis in reality. I have no idea. The references to theta waves and calculus equations will surely sail over the heads of most young readers. Mentioning Benedictine monks and the Renaissance will not have any meaning to them. However, most readers should be able get the gist of why the author includes these descriptions and still fully enjoy the story.
The final verdict:
The basic format of the story will be familiar to lovers of middle-grade books although it’s unique to find a main character who taps into his abilities by calming his mind and emotions. Overall, it’s an exciting, action-packed adventure and I recommend you give it a shot.
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