Time Sphere, by Murray C. Morison

I was recently offered the second of Murray C. Morison's Timepathway books, and having said yes please, I went out to buy the first one.  Happily, I enjoyed it and can recommend it with no qualms whatsoever. Time Sphere (Lodestone Books, 2014) is a an especially good one for kids on the younger end of YA--it looks old enough to be clearly not a book for "kids", but the plot and age of the main characters (young teenagers) make it friendly for those still not interested in romance or independence.

Rhory's adventures begin with a trip to the British museum.  There he meets Shoshan, a teenaged priestess from ancient Egypt, who has sent herself forward in time as best as her abilities allowed to make contact with him.  They forge a link through the pathways of time, and use their connection to work toward balance and order.  The followers of the God Set back 5,000 years ago in Egypt, and the sinister secret society that's their modern counterpart, seek to disrupt their efforts and unleash chaos.  And so Rhory finds himself with his life in danger.

In the meantime, there's still school, and its concomitant bullies to be dealt with (in this case the bullies are trying to coerce Rhory into being a mule for their drug ring; a seemingly minor episode that ends up having repercussions).  Alongside the mystery of the time-slippage there are ordinary things, like friendships, and very sadly, a tragedy.  It is satisfying reading, with tension and humor and good characters nicely mixed.  Neither the fantasy nor the realistic overwhelms the other.  Instead, they work beautifully together, rooted in a very nice sense of place--the small town in England where Rhory lives is as solidly written as just about any fictional town I can currently think of.  As the story unfolds, the town becomes part of the metaphysical fantasy, as the mystical place of England and the power of their connections becomes important to the story.

The book begins by interspersing bits from Rhory's and Shoshan's points of view, but by the end it's almost all Rhory, and the feeling of unbalance this gave me is really my only substantive criticism.  Shoshan is pretty much left in a backwater for a long part of the book.  Another point of view character is a young Greek boy with a passion for story telling who also makes a connection to Rhory's time and who also has a role to play in the final confrontation, which takes all three of them to Shoshan's time to confront the forces of Set. It's a dramatic and fierce confrontation, though not one with great quantities of gore (which is just fine with me).  And then Rhory is back in his own time, returning to a very satisfying ending in which the bullies and the secret society bad guys get their comeuppance.

Though there is actual time travel back to ancient Egypt, the mystical experience of connections across time is more important to the story than the excursion part of the time travel.  The fantastical elements are rooted in mysticism, and  the reader has to accept and go with the flow.  It works, though.  I really do recommend it to 13-year-olds who are growing tired of magical swords, who want a more thoughtful, real-world rooted, fantasy adventure.  I don't recommend to all adults unilaterally, because I have a feeling that not all adults can suspend disbelief as well as I can (when so moved), but I do also recommend it to people who enjoy the same sort of books I do.

So now I can look forward to book 2--Time Knot, which comes out on June 30, 2017, with a properly anticipatory heart!


  1. Hmmm. I'll have to see if I can find it, but I cannot get my students to read time travel books, no matter how I try. I think there should be a moratorium on bullying and school elections in MGLit. Both are hugely overdone.

  2. Thanks for the review. This doesn't quite trip my trigger but my granddaughter might like it.

  3. Sounds like a great book -- my kids love that time in history so we'll have to look this one up.


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