Title: Beyond the Door
Series: Time Out of Time #1
Author: Maureen Doyle McQuerry
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: March 2014
Source: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads
With his love of learning and the game of Scrabble, Timothy James feels like the only person who understands him is his older sister, Sarah, and he’s fairly certain nothing interesting will ever happen to him. But one night, while his parents and sister are away, the door opens, and mythical creatures appear in his own living room! Soon, a mystery of unparalleled proportions begins to unfold, revealing an age-old battle of Light against Dark, and Timothy must embark on a quest to prevent the Dark from controlling the future and changing the past. But he can’t complete the quest alone. Timothy has to team up with his sister and the school bully, Jessica, to face an ancient evil, and in the process, this unlikely trio discover they are each more than meets the eye.
REVIEW BY JACK – YEAR 8
Beyond the Door is based on Celtic mythology. It tells the story of Timothy, his new friend (and ex-bully) Jessica and his protective elder sister named Sarah. They meet many varied mythological helpers such as Gwydon the wolf, Greenman of the woods, Cerridwyn who they know as Mrs. Rosemary Clapper and Julian the librarian who becomes the storyteller. Together they face the foes of Herne the Hunter, Balor the one-eyed and the dictatorial, imperious master of the market.
The part of the story I liked most is when Nom (a half rat, half human creature) leads the children to the market and the second part of the story. At this point Timothy, Sarah and Jessica do not know where they are going, or why, and are bombarding Nom with questions which go unanswered. It is fascinating to watch them puzzle over what they are doing. My favourite character is Gwydon because he is always remains nobly and faithfully beside Timothy. He is also, before he became a wolf, supposed to have led an army of trees and been King Arthur.
This book was fantastically engaging and a good twist on some little-known mythology but there were just too many characters. It was very difficult to track them as they are all individually complex and have their own adventures during the book. Particularly during the introduction of all the mythological characters it was hard to remember each individual character. I think that the book would be improved by possibly getting rid of Greenman and putting his attributes into Gwydon, among other things.
So, this book is mostly fantastic, but has the one character issue. Therefore I will give it 4/5 stars. It isn’t something I would probably recommend it to friends unless they were very into mythology. However, I will read the sequels if I see them.