Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Bob Kat, for an honest review.
Genre: Young Adult/Fiction/Adventure/Mystery
Plot: Change the past, Save the future.
Four high school friends are able to do two things no one else on the planet can do . . . talk with dead people and time travel to the past. However, Kelly, who lost her phone during their last adventure, is temporarily grounded. She worries that her new friends will time travel without her, leaving her all alone in her new home in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida.
But they surprise her on her birthday and soon they are back in Scott’s lab, listening to the old radio that Thomas Edison had invented and called “The Telephone to the Dead”. As they slowly turn the dial Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey hear hundreds of sad, lonely voices of souls that have passed but apparently never moved on, pleading for help. When they first discovered the radio in Kelly’s aunt’s garage, they had been touched by the cries and pleas coming from its speakers, but they had no way to go back in time to help them. That is, until Scott reveals an invention of his own . . . a time travel app. They’ve already tested it twice, with both trips being very successful, but not without danger. Even though they returned with a few scrapes and bruises, and even a gunshot wound, they are eager to go on a new adventure and help solve a mystery.
A young woman’s voice comes through and asks them to find her twin brother, Jesse, who had run away to the circus in 1927, then disappeared and was never heard from again. Going back and living with a circus sounds like fun. Plus an old book written by his sister provides a glimpse into the past . . . as well as a photo of Jesse, a photo that grabs their attention and sets the girls’ hearts racing.
They land in a cornfield in Wichita Falls, Texas as the circus is setting up. It doesn’t take them long to discover that circus life is not all glamour and fun; it’s a lot of hard work. As usual, they jump in and quickly find jobs, places to sleep and new friends. But most importantly, they find Jesse. Now all they have to do is keep him alive.
For Zoey and Jesse, it’s love at first sight. It’s a first romance for both of them and their love blossoms as they travel from city to city. Zoey knows she’s too young to settle down and that Jesse is from a different time and culture, but her feelings for him are strong. Her and her friends’ time travel mission has taken on a new dimension. Should they be successful and save his life, will Zoey be able to let him go? Is it possible for him to come to 2013 with her? Is it possible for her to stay in 1927 with him? Ultimately, can she give up everything she has in the present for true love in the past?
Opinion: This is book 3 in the CUL8R series by Bob Kat, and these books are just getting better and better. Not only does each book have a new adventure that our four main characters go on, but the danger only grows with each installment.
Kelly, Zoey, Scott, and Austin are about to embark on another time traveling adventure, and this time they are going back to 1927. After the four teens hear a woman named Josephine pleading for her brother Jesse to be found over their Spirit Radio, they decide to embark on yet another task to save someone from an unfortunate fate. Not only are they going back to 1927, but they are going right into the heart of the circus life that dominated entertainment in that era. But soon after the four arrive in 1927 and find Jesse, things turn for the worse when feelings start to develop between Zoey and Jesse. Now not only do the teens have to worry about how they are supposed to save Jesse’s life, but they also need to ensure that Zoey knows the risks of bringing Jesse back with her to 2013.
First of all, what a very unique place for our time travelers to go to next…the circus! I found this setting to be very interesting and entertaining, especially when it came to the difference in lingo between 1927 and 2013. As this is the third time that our main characters have time traveled together to save someone’s life, they are quickly learning how to adapt to their new surroundings to get to the bottom of their mystery. I feel like each character is also becoming more memorable as the series goes on, and I find myself becoming very attached to each one…even Zoey! The reader gets to really know Zoey on a more intimate level in this installment, and that is because of how hard she falls for Jesse. I thought their romance was absolutely adorable, but from the beginning I was feeling sad in preparation for what might happen between them. I think the ending was just perfect for both of their stories, and the way the authors wrapped it up felt just right. However, I did think that Zoey would be having a harder time with everything than she did. I mean she IS a teenager, and this IS her first love. Her emotions should be all over the place and feel way more dramatic in my opinion, but I will admit…how annoying would that be?!?
Not only is there a romance between Zoey and Jesse, but the feelings between Austin and Kelly start to grow as well. Of course, I was waiting and WAITING for the two to finally explain to each other how they feel. I found myself wanting them to get together so badly throughout this book, especially because they both have obvious feelings for each other but think the other doesn’t…UGH! Typical teenagers, gotta love em 😉 The story line in this book had a nice steady flow, but I did find that the ending felt a bit rushed. I wish I could have seen the “villain” doing a bit more planning and for there to have been more buildup for the ending. But that aside, I found the circus to be a great place to take our characters. There was a perfect role for each teen to play there, and I loved that the writing moved around to each of their point of views instead of just staying on Kelly.
This series is a fantastic young adult read but definitely has some mature themes and scenarios that the characters go through. As I have ALREADY read book 4 in the series, Rest In Peace, I can honestly tell you that this series only gets better. Not only was I searching FRANTICALLY for book 5, but I had to email the authors and ask where I could find it! Thought there will be a bit of wait for book 5, I know I will be waiting for its release! Once again guys, if you haven’t given this series a chance then you need to! It is a great teen YA read but is great for any readers that love this genre as well.