Note: Even though this is Book 2 in the series, it can be read as a stand alone.
Ben has decided to continue on with his time travel explorations. He’s been traipsing around with Mim Quickly, Dr. Quickly’s daughter. But before he knows it, he’s tricked into entering a competitive race, the Chronothon! Each competitor is matched up with a guide and they all vault through time, hunting out their specific hidden items at each stop, each hoping to be the winner. Alas, there’s a lot more going on with the Chronothon than just a simple time travel race.
I had a lot of fun with this story. I love this take on the Amazing Race. Ben has learned some great skills in the few months he’s been time traveling and this race will need all his tricks and wits. Even before he can get started, his assigned guide is murdered and he’s suspected of it! But the race must go on, so he gets a new guide (Viznir, who packs practical stuff like snacks).
There’s one weak spot in this entertaining story. It’s the ladies. Fresca from book one has a tiny cameo. Mim is a ridiculous woman who spends much of the story in a jealous sulk; the rest of the time she’s relegated to love interest & doesn’t get to do much else. There’s some new ladies introduced, out of whom Kera is the more interesting. I hope she gets a bigger part in the next book. I like her attitude and weapons. Mim grew up time traveling and yet the author hasn’t used her character for much. Such a shame. That’s a missed opportunity.
We have tons of new characters in this book. The other competitors include the kid Jonah and his dog Barley (yay!), the Ivans (two copies of the same guy), a tattooed green skin alien named Bozzle, and several others. There’s also several new bad guys like Ariella (who lured Ben into all this madness) and the time purists who don’t get names until near the end. Ben’s life is threatened more than once during the adventure. The scariest moment was when he tangled with the circus freak! Eeek! Yes, a real paid circus freak who lives and travels with a circus.
I loved the time traveling dog and his kid. Such an excellent addition to the story. This tale would have a been a bit less great without those two characters. Jonah’s special ‘organism gun’ brought a lot of humor to the story. Awesome! Can I have one of those guns? <img class="emoji" draggable="false" src="https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/11/svg/1f609.svg" alt="