Time Engine cover-mediumSYNOPSIS

“You can’t go home again. 
Deirdre Perdaut was intrigued when she first heard this line, but lost interest when she learned it came from an old, dead white guy. Her English teacher was fond of old, dead white guys, but her History teacher confirmed they were nothing but trouble. 
As she huddled in the dank barn, listening to the approaching storm, Deirdre wished she had paid more attention in both classes. Surely, she reasoned, going home should be easy if you never technically left. Deirdre was already in the right place, she was just in a very wrong time. The only thing standing between the girl and her home was the trifling matter of two hundred years. 
Deirdre was not surprised that her current predicament came courtesy of an old, dead white guy. It was Colonel Ellsworth Fruithandler’s miraculous Time Engine that had left her stranded two centuries before her birth. With both Fruithandler and his Engine gone, Deirdre was learning firsthand that Colonial America was a dangerous place for a young, friendless black girl. 
If she wants to go home again, Deirdre has just one task to complete. Armed with an eighth-grade understanding of physics and whatever she can scavenge from an eighteenth century farm, she needs to build a working time machine.”


I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

This was an interesting book to read. There were parts I enjoyed, and parts I didn’t. I’m a HUGE fan of Doctor Who, so the time travel aspect of this story really interested me. However, I feel the synopsis was a little misleading.  The synopsis provided made me think there was going to be a lot of time spent about her trying to survive as a black teenage girl in the slave era. Not so much. I was actually kind of disappointed by that. Also, it took a very long time to get to that part of the book. If you want a time traveling book that goes deep into slavery, read Trapped Between the Lash and the Gun by Arvella Whitmore.

That was my biggest issue with the book. It took so long to get to what the book was suppose to be about according to the synopsis. I kept waiting for these parts on the back of the book to show up. I think I was around page 180 or so until you got to any mention of slaves, and not until around page 230 there was the mention of a storm. I feel as though this book could have told the same story with 75-100 less pages. You will need some patience while reading this story.

Also, you might want a dictionary around you because Allen R. BRady uses words I never heard of. That can be a good or bad thing, depending on your own self. He is definitely a lover of words.

However, what kept me reading was the characters. I kept wanting to know if Deidre was going to make it back home. Deidre was remarkably calm most of the time when dealing with her situation. I know I would have cried in a corner if I somehow was brought back in time, especially if I was only in 8th grade.  The cast of zany intellects cracked me up. Col. Fruithandler and his crew were hilarious. They were too smart for their own good which provided some great dialogue between all of them. As the story  progresses, you don’t see much of that crew, and I found myself actually  missing them!  I wouldn’t mind a novella about them.

Speaking of humor, this book has it, and not just from Fruithandler and his crew. Brady added clever ways to incorporate pop culture references: Hollaback Girl, Chewbaca, Hakuna Matata, Kwanza Chalupa, and others. I think I snorted a few times.

You can tell Brady had fun writing this book. When you can see that oozing from the pages, what more can you ask of a writer?

If you enjoy time traveling books, Doctor Who sans aliens, and have a great imagination, I think you will enjoy this. This is definitely for science lovers and those who like thinking about the impossible that could maybe one day become possible.


I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.


Allen R. Brady lives in New York’s Orange County. In addition to the TARBABIES novel series, he has written plays for the Air Pirates Radio Theater, which are performed in venues throughout the Hudson Valley.