Time Stoppers by Carrie Jones
Summary from Netgalley:
Annie Nobody thought she was, well, nobody, living in a nowhere town where nothing goes her way. Day 1 at her newest foster home proves to be dreadful, too . . . and things get even worse when she’s chased by something big and scary that definitely wants to eat her.
Luckily for Annie, not everything is what it seems, and she gets swept up–literally–by a sassy dwarf on a hovercraft snowmobile and taken to Aurora, a hidden, magical town on the coast of Maine. There, she finds a new best friend in Jamie Hephastion Alexander–who thought he was a normal kid (but just might be a troll)–and Annie discovers that she’s not exactly who she thought she was, either. She’s a Time Stopper, meant to protect the enchanted.
Together, Annie and Jamie discover a whole new world of magic, power, and an incredible cast of creatures and characters. But where there’s great power, there are also those who want to misuse it, and Aurora is under siege. It’s up to the kids to protect their new home, even if it means diving headfirst into magical danger.
There are many things to like about this book. The plot is a fantastical ride of adventure, with magical snowmobiles and skis, talking cats and other creatures from fairytales and myths, like trolls and dwarfs and elves. There are some scary parts as well,including an evil book that has to drink your blood before answering your questions. Also a new frightening monster that looks like a crow, but freezes you with its feathers. I also like the concept of a magical village and Aurora sounds like a great place to live, even with all of its issues. On the whole I really like the book
But I had a couple of issues. The two main girl characters really annoyed me. Annie was a little too downtrodden and didn’t believe in herself even when others complimented or encouraged her. I found her a bit pitiful and didn’t sympathize with her as much as the author wanted me to. I know she had a hard life in foster care and that played into her character a lot, but it was just harped on a little too much for me. I think kids will relate to her though and she did get less annoying as the book went on and her confidence grew a very, very small amount. Hopefully I will grow to like her in the next book. The other girl character, Eva, who shares in their adventures is a dwarf and she really annoyed me every time she opened her mouth. I started skimming over her dialogue because I had enough of her. I think the author meant for her to be funny, but I just didn’t read it that way. Again I think some kids will like her, but I’m not sure about that.
The two boys I liked very much, especially Jamie. I found him sweet and very brave. He had similar issues as Annie, but he just wasn’t annoying about it. I think his role will be bigger in the next book and I can’t wait to see what power he ends up having. I also liked Bloom, the elf, even though his interactions with Eva annoyed me. He was sometimes the voice of reason and at times funny. In this story he is supposedly the last of the elves, which is sad.
Even with the issues I had with the girl characters, I enjoyed the book. I would recommend it to tweens who like good fantasy adventures with lots of fun magical creatures but some evil creatures as well.