Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Escape from the Past Review Tour

"...will grip the reader's total attention from beginning to end. Very highly recommended for school and community library..." -Midwest Book Review

" entertaining and fast-paced read that guarantees to thrill any young reader's/gamer's wish to be a hero in faraway time." -Historical Novel Society

When nerd and gamer, Max Anderson, is lured into trying an experimental computer game, he doesn’t realize he's playing the ultimate history game, time-traveling into the past...anywhere...anytime. Survival is optional. To return home he must decipher the game's rules and complete its missions--if he lives long enough. To fail means staying in the past--forever.  

Now he’s trapped in medieval Germany, unprepared and clueless. It is the year 1471 and he quickly learns that being an outcast may cost him his head. Especially after rescuing a beautiful peasant girl from a deadly infection and thus provoking sinister wannabe Duke Ott. Overnight he is dragged into a hornets' nest of feuding lords who will stop at nothing to bring down the conjuring stranger in their midst.

NOTE: The book is only $0.99.

Something moved ahead. There at the edge of a clearing cowered the man in rags holding his right elbow. He trembled and now that I was closer, I saw blood dripping from his wrist. The three riders had surrounded him, their blades pointing toward the man’s neck. One rider dismounted, his face shadowed by a half helmet and curled brownish beard, his hands covered by steel gauntlets like lizard scales. The other two sat motionless, waiting. I tried to get a better view of what the horsemen were doing when I looked down.

And froze.

I stood on the gnarled root of an oak tree. Surely I imagined things. But those were definitely my Nikes I’d forgotten to take off when I returned home. I moved my foot. Leaves crackled. A twig snapped. Something terrible had happened, something I couldn’t wrap my mind around. I blinked and looked to my right. Trees and undergrowth were losing themselves in the gloom. I remembered the mouse in my right hand, but when I lifted my arm, my fingers came up empty—except for the smear of something sticky on my palm. Blood. I was bleeding.


The bush next to me was covered in blood. Not mine, I realized with relief. Disgusted I wiped my shaking hands with a fistful of leaves and turned to look behind me. The woods stretched into darkness—shadows within shadows nearly black.

My room was gone.

My Review:
3 stars

I liked the concept of the story, and the overall plot grabbed me from the beginning and never let go. On top of that, realistic descriptions of life in medieval Germany, detailed descriptions of the time travel/transportation technology, and interesting side characters helped bring the story alive.

However, I had a hard time connecting with the main character, Max. Whether because there was very little time to get to know the character since the story starts so abruptly or just a lack of explanations, I had a hard time grasping the character. For example, he conveniently knows uncommon details about history and natural medicine, but there’s no explanation as to how/why he learned that knowledge. So instead of being a character development moment, it comes across as a convenient plot device.

I also felt like there were numerous holes in the plot, partially due to so much happening so quickly, lackluster dialogue, and missing context. I kept wondering if there was a book before this that I missed that would have contained some of those missing explanations and backgrounds that would have helped this story make more sense.

Overall though, this. As someone who has a hard time getting into YA reads, I still enjoyed the story, as it was an interesting story with a fun premise. Would recommend it to YA fans.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

Author Bio and Links:
Annette Oppenlander is an award-winning writer, literary coach and educator. As a bestselling historical novelist, Oppenlander is known for her authentic characters and stories based on true events, coming alive in well-researched settings. Having lived in Germany the first half of her life and the second half in various parts in the U.S., Oppenlander inspires readers by illuminating story questions as relevant today as they were in the past.

Oppenlander’s bestselling true WWII story, Surviving the Fatherland, won multiple awards, including the 2017 U.S. National Indie Excellence Award. Her historical time-travel trilogy, Escape from the Past, takes readers to the German Middle Ages and the Wild West. Uniquely, Oppenlander weaves actual historical figures and events into her plots, giving readers a flavor of true history while enjoying a good story. Oppenlander shares her knowledge through writing workshops at colleges, libraries, festivals and schools. She also offers vivid presentations and author visits. The mother of fraternal twins and a son, she recently returned to her home, Solingen, Germany where she lives with her husband and old mutt, Mocha.

Pinterest: annoppenlander

Buy Links:
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  1. Thanks for sharing your book with us. I think we all enjoy hearing about new books we previously didn't know about. Also, thank you for the giveaway.

  2. Thank you for sharing your review :) Will definitely rec this one to my nephew

  3. What's a relaxing day like for you?

  4. What inspired you to become a writer?

  5. For this book what came first, the plot or the characters?