My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Ned Henry is a time traveler saddled with the task of finding the bishop's bird stump in time for the consecration of the reconstruction of Coventry Cathedral. He is sent to Victorian England for a much needed rest which turns into another task and not so much the needed relaxation. During his quest and bumblings along the way he may even meet his true love.
This was a really different book from any that I have read. Not for the lover of spoon-fed reads, this book requires work. At first I didn't want to like it because I had to work hard. But later I could appreciate it for what it is - a quirky time-travel book full of hilarious characters and events. My favorite part of the book is all the laugh out loud moments where Ned is ridiculing the Victorian era. He took every cliche from this time period and exploited the heck out of it. Routinely ladies give little "screamlets" with their mouth in a perfect "O." Every word that Ned has only seen in print is uttered out loud - "pshaw, stuff and nonsense, drat" and other such words. I liked a scene where Baine the butler has literally been given 50 commands in 10 seconds, and Ned wonders why the butler "hasn't turned to pet drowning" because of the stress of the job.
I also enjoyed Ned, a slightly fumbling character with the best intentions. My favorite part with him was when he caught the first glimpse of himself in a window in the Victorian era and stopped cold saying, "Wow, I do look great!"
I can't give this book a wholehearted 4 stars because the plot was sometimes extremely tedious to wade through. Also it took a crazy amount of time - think 100 pages - to figure out what the heck was going on. It is more like a 3.5 for me for the unique plot, laughable situations and characters.
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