“If you could stand still in time, you would feel it hissing around you like wind made of sand. If you had wings made for that wind, you could soar above the swirl of history as easily as a crow circles a hayfield. You could float just beyond the edge of every now; you could spread your time-gliding wings like two cold shadows over always. Priests would shiver when you passed. Dreams would scatter. Dogs would howl. Slow ghosts would trail behind as you peered down into moment after moment, searching for your prey, searching for the one boy you had lost, for the boy who had been hidden in sometime.
If you had those wings, if you did those things, you would have a name to match your evil.
Are you the Vulture? El Buitre?
No. Nor am I. But I have seen him. Seeking.” *
Snakes, priests, gardens, Youth Ranches, dreams, cowboys, and two kids; a disabled boy and an adventurous girl. How do these seemingly unrelated things fit together to make an epic, time-jumping escapade that could determine the fate of all the people of the world… and of time? Find out in N.D. Wilson’s latest novel, Outlaws of Time: The Legend of Sam Miracle. It was published in 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books-which is an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers- and would fall under the time-travel or fantasy genres.
Outlaws of Time follows the story of a young boy named Samuel (Sam) Miracle. He is an orphan who lives at SADDYR (St. Anthony of the Desert Destitute Youth Ranch). His arms are disabled-he can’t bend either of his elbows-and he has dreams. Not ordinary dreams-like you dream when you’re asleep in bed-, but dreams that come to him when he’s awake. And they feel real. Like he’s seen them before, a long time ago, back in time. What’s more, no one seems to know, or remember where he came from. He just appeared. In time.
Some of Sam’s friends include Gloria Spaulding, a spunky, audacious girl determined to see everything she has a hand in to fulfillment; all his Ranch Brothers (boys who were sent to SADDYR to improve their behavior); and Father Tiempo, a priest who takes on many ages as he jumps back and forth from century to century in order to save Sam from El Buitre, the Vulture. The Vulture is a man who has collected almost all the world’s wealth; a man who controls-or thinks he controls-the people’s destinies; and a man who for hundreds of years has killed over and over again the one boy who can defeat him-and save everything treasured by mankind; wealth, peace, freedom, life…and time Itself-Sam Miracle. Sam’s friends must put themselves in danger in order to save this boy- and everything they love- from the evil El Buitre. But will they be too late?
N.D. Wilson’s books are written in a style very similar to the style favored by E. Nesbitt and C.S. Lewis, a style that speaks to you as an individual, not as just an anonymous reader. However, Wilson’s books are meant for a wider and older audience than Nesbitt’s and Lewis’ children’s books were. His use of detail is excellent; he uses quite a bit of it, and you can see the objects and people he is writing about just as he saw them. The dialogue in the book is quite good, he uses modern-day words and writes them with incomplete sentences just as if someone was actually talking nowadays. The story flowed well and you will never be bored while you are reading it. Outlaws of Time is written with easy to read language, but the concepts are hard to grasp, therefore I would rate it a medium read.
I highly recommend this book for 12+! It is intense, but not graphic. Some people may have a hard time getting the timelines and concepts straight, but you just have to let your imagination run free in order to fully understand and comprehend this impressive time-traveling tale, with its gripping storylines, characters, and phraseology. 4 out of 5 stars.
*Excerpt taken from Outlaws of Time: The Legend of Sam Miracle Prologue by N.D. Wilson; published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2016