Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sent (The Missing #2) by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Sent
"I think it's probably safe to say, given when you should have landed, that you're...um..."

"Tell me!"

"I think, right now, you're the king of England."


Thirteen-year-olds Jonah and Chip are reeling from the news that they're both missing children from history, kidnapped from their proper time period. Before they can fully absorb this revelation, a time purist named JB zaps Chip and another boy, Alex, back to the fifteenth century, where they supposedly belong. Determined not to lose their friends, Jonah and his sister, Katherine, grab Chip's arms just as he's being sent away. The result? Jonah and Katherine also end up in the fifteenth century, where they decidedly do not belong.

Chip's true identity is Edward V, king of England, and Alex is his younger brother, Richard, Duke of York. But Chip is convinced that his uncle, Richard of Gloucester, plans to kill them and seize the throne for himself.
JB promises that if the kids can "fix time," he will allow them to return to the present day. But how can they possibly return home safely when history claims that Chip and Alex were murdered?

In a riveting tale that climaxes on the battlefield at Bosworth, master storyteller Margaret Peterson Haddix brings readers back in time to an unforgettable moment in history and plunges them into the adventure of a lifetime.

Um, excuse me?  Medieval castles?  Intrigue?  Time travel?  In one book?

If I wouldn't have known better, I'd say the author might possibly have been stalking me.  This book had some of my all-time favorite novel elements, all thrown into one.  The medieval setting (which was highly awesome).  Intrigue (the he's-plotting-to-get-the-throne with double, triple, and quadruple agents kind of thing).  Time travel, brother-sister stories, attempting to solve the mysteries of history, action, adventure, suspense, page-turning excitement, bla bla bla.  So, as you can see, I loved that aspect of it.

That being said, I really don't think it improved at all on the first book.  I felt like the characters were actually a bit flatter in this one, if that's possible.  The whole thing was rushed, and the plot was squeezed into too tight a space.  It should've been longer, still with a really fast-paced plot, but not so...breakneck.  I didn't really get a chance to breathe.

Another thing that's bothering me is JB. The kids started out calling him "Janitor Boy", because they didn't know his name.  Then they just shortened it to JB.  But yet they keep calling him that to his face?  And other people who knew him before the kids did call him that, too?  It doesn't make sense.

Even though this sequel wasn't quite as good as the first one, I'm still going to snatch up the final book in the series.  I'm really eager to discover what happens next, and I'm especially curious to find out who Jonah really is.  And besides, time travel is just plain cool.

Reviews of other The Missing novels:
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