A Pair of Docks
by Jennifer Ellis
I received a free eBook edition of this novel in exchange for a review. This does not in any way influence my opinion of this book. As a bookseller, it is important to me that my reviews are completely honest, as many of my customers have access to my reviews.
A Pair of Docks is an excellent sci-fi/fantasy read for ages 9 to 99! It is completely appropriate for children, containing no material or language that parents would object to, yet compelling to read as an adult. The story is well-written, with a great plot and cast of characters. I like that the narrator, 14-year-old Abbey Sinclair, is a strong young female.
Indeed, all the children in the book, including Abbey’s autistic neighbor Mark, are described in sufficient detail that I could identify somewhat with each of them. (It is their personality traits rather than their physical attributes that are so well-portrayed. For me, this is the most important aspect of a character.)
The adults in the novel are a bit of a mystery to the children, and hence to the reader. As the novel progresses, the reader discovers more about them, but even at the end, it is difficult to know who among them can be trusted! That none understands the rules of traveling into potential futures demonstrates adults don’t always have all the answers.
The plot is extremely imaginative and quick paced. Combining physics and magic, it explores the possibility of alternate universes and theories of how time works. It brought me back to my days as a child reading Madeleine L’Engle’s series beginning with A Wrinkle in Time.
That I compare Jennifer Ellis with this well-known recipient of the John Newbery Award Medal is no coincidence. I believe that A Pair of Docks is equally worthy of such an honour.
(This review has appeared elsewhere.)