Tag Archive | Archaeology

Greg’s Second Adventure in Time by C.M. Huddleston

Gregs Second Adventure in TimeSource: Author’s family
Format: Kindle
Rating:  5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

Greg is BACK! Back in Time in Greg’s Second Adventure in Time. As Greg once more time travels, he journeys to our nation’s colonial period where he explores our country’s new frontier, encounters hostile Indians, meets famous Americans, and helps win the American Revolution!

I really enjoyed this second adventure with Greg.

This time around Greg travels back in time to the Siege of Boonesborough in 1778. Huddleston deftly depicts life on the frontier. The mix of nationalities who moved into the americas in those early years, the clothing, the fighting between the newcomers and the original nations. Once again, one gets a lot of detail, enough to learn from, but this isn’t a dry historical read. Huddleston brings the characters to life, especially when seen through Greg’s eyes.

What I really found interesting in this account – which is stated to be historically accurate – is the similarities between frontier life in the early states and in South Africa during the early-to-mid 1800s. Although some fifty years later in the case of South Africa, much is the same. Forts, Stations, fighting for freedom from Britain, amongst others. Life too was very similar, as was travel by ox wagon. Though I’ve previously read books on the early years in America, this was the first time that I really saw similarities between the two.

I also enjoyed the analysis on time travel theories near the start of the book, and it was good that the question of HOW Greg is able to time travel was answered.

Now I want to know what Rose and Mom have been up to. Please!

All around, an entertaining and educational read that I am sure will be accessible to younger readers.

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Greg’s First Adventure in Time by C.M. Huddleston

Gregs First Adventure in Time

Source: Author’s family
Format: Kindle
Rating:  5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

Archaeology, time travel, and a moose hunt combine to force 12-year-old Greg to face his fears and find his strengths. Greg explores a world that existed more than 3,000 years ago with his new Native American friend Hopelf. While Greg learns about Native American ways of life, how to hunt and fish, and just to survive, he is always searching for a way back home.

This book is a departure from my normal reading fare, but fits squarely within time travel. It is juvenile fiction, with some educational value in terms of archaeology and history.

The concept is simple. A boy, Greg, is helping his archaeologist mother on a dig when a trowel and a quartz spearhead connect and he travels back in time. What follows is the tale of his experiences as he spends two weeks with native Americans in the past, particularly with a young man Hopelf, who is due to be married in the winter (it is late summer to early autumn during the story).

The writing is clear and vivid, which I really appreciated. The story is a masterclass in archaeology and native American history, but concepts are kept simple and accessible, good for children to read. Moreover, the story doesn’t get bogged down in terminology, but keeps moving at a good pace, good for holding interest.

I really enjoyed the story, and hope to keep it around long enough for my daughter to read when she is old enough.

My Name is A’yen by Rachel Leigh Smith

My Name is A'yenSource: ARC from author
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

They’ve taken everything from him. Except his name.

The Loks Mé have been slaves for so long, freedom is a distant myth A’yen Mesu no longer believes. A year in holding, because of his master’s murder, has sucked the life from him. Archaeologist Farran Hart buys him to protect her on an expedition to the Rim, the last unexplored quadrant.

Farran believes the Loks Mé once lived on the Rim and is determined to prove it. And win A’yen’s trust. But she’s a breeder’s daughter and can’t be trusted.

Hidden rooms, information caches and messages from a long-dead king change A’yen’s mind about her importance. When she’s threatened he offers himself in exchange, and lands on the Association’s radar. The truth must be told. Even if it costs him his heart.

This has to be one of the best début novels I have read. The concept is impressive in its complexity, and Smith’s writing is very clear, minimising confusion as one learns new concepts and is introduced to a society and people group that is entirely alien.

A’yen, the main character of the book, is introduced to us as a slave-with-no-owner who has been kept in ‘holding’ for just over a year. We soon learn that his previous owner, and lover, was murdered and died in his arms. His outlook on life as we meet him is bleak, to say the least. Most importantly, he no longer believes that his people have a homeworld.

He is soon purchased by Farran Hart, an archaeologist in search of A’yen’s homeworld. Together they embark on an expedition to a planet on the Rim that sees to fulfil the promises told in the legends of A’yen’s people. A planet A’yen previously visited with his former Master.

What I really like about this book is that it is, while clearly being a romance, not your conventional romance-format story. While the romance itself faces challenges, the tension in the book comes from an unrelated source.

It didn’t take long for A’yen to worm his way into my heart, which made this book a very tough read at times. There were numerous occasions when I was threatening Smith with all sorts of dire consequences if I had to read any more of the book (which, yes, I DID have to read!). What that means in simple terms is that she is a first-rate author; she gets you to love who you’re meant to love and resent/hate/loathe/despise (pick your emotion) those who you’re meant to… take your pick. And I love a book with a well-drawn villain – much as I frequently wish to punch them in the snoot. While it isn’t your conventional relaxing, easy read, it is a very rewarding one. All the characters have depth, and there are even a few surprises along the way for good measure.

I appreciated the lengths to which Smith went in building the cultures, society and worlds the book depicts. Here are no info-dumps, but instead tidbits that are easily digestible and tangible, building up images in the mind.

Overall, this is – despite the tough subject matter (slavery, physical and emotional abuse) – an accessible read with a lot of heart and a huge amount of depth. There is clearly much more to this than one book, and I will look forward to each of Smith’s future works.