Years ago, I had the privilege of reading and reviewing Melanie Bateman’s first book: The Time Key. I absolutely loved it. I was really excited when Melanie asked me to read and review her newest book, Traveler (Book 1). This new book does not have the same protagonist, but he is mentioned more than once as a family member, which made me itch to read The Time Key once again.
I read most of Traveler while snuggling my new baby who was in the NICU at the time. I eagerly gulped the book up, chapter by chapter. I may have gotten sleepy sometimes due to lack of sleep, but definitely never lack of interest.
I didn’t realize until the end of the book just how much research Melanie had done about World War I. I’m thoroughly impressed by her commitment to accuracy, even in a fantasy novel.
My e-copy of the book didn’t have illustrations, but I have seen them on social media, and know that readers will really appreciate Melanie’s artistic talents, all which really bring the characters and scenes to life.
I don’t want to give any details of the book away, so I will speak in general terms. I loved the main character of the book, Mark, his best friend, Bill, and his Mark’s sister, Minnie. I cared about them and their fates. There were many other characters as well, some evil, some mysterious, even other-worldly. You will have questions about many of these characters, some of which get answered, and others we won’t have the answers until later books, which is partly frustrating, but mostly just makes me excited for the next book release.
I feel like I need to read the book again because it is not written in chronological order, and depending on where the characters were, they may have been in another time. This can sometimes be confusing, but I understand why the story jumped back and forth, and the confusion I believe at times was on purpose so that we would feel a little like the characters felt about where and when they were.
As I said, the book has many cliffhangers, and sometimes new knowledge leads to more confusion, but I am confident that readers will get more clarity in the other books. Melanie is a writer whose attention to detail is meticulous – something I learned from reading her first novel.
This book will eat at your emotions. There are romances that just can’t be, senseless death and carnage due to the war, sad consequences to kind acts, issues of trust, and so much more.
I highly recommend this book. Just have a pen and paper nearby and be okay with not having all the holes filled or questions answered this go around!
About the book:
Strange things happen when you walk into strange woods.
Which is what Mark Gilmore, a World War One medic on the Western Front, discovers when his unit enters Passerelle Wood in the summer of 1916. He enlisted to escape his past, but in Passerelle, that will be harder than he knows.
Tasked with finding a company that vanished without a trace, Mark’s unit plunges into a forest known for countless disappearances. But Passerelle Wood hides danger, secrets, and a time-warping fate for anyone who steps foot inside.
When Mark rescues a young child—one that seems to have appeared from thin air—he crosses paths with forces he couldn’t have imagined. Now, he’s on the run from the men hunting the child, the time-twisting consequences of Passerelle, and the secrets of his past that he came to France to forget.
About the Author: Melanie Bateman is a freelance illustrator whose passion for nature and pretty pictures will sometimes translate into written stories. When she isn’t daydreaming, she enjoys being a mom.