The Unlikely Time Traveller

Third Time Lucky

The Unlikely Time Traveller is the third book in Janis Mackay’s time-travelling trilogy. There is a nice logic in having had a time traveller come to them in the first book, and having travelled backwards themselves in the second, they travel forward in this final one.

I don’t think Janis Mackay has written a mediocre book yet and The Unlikely Time Traveller doesn’t disappoint. My only quibble is that the friends are planning to sleep out overnight to watch the Aurora Borealis “the most spectacular ever and the best place to see it is here – in the Borders.” While I suppose it’s not completely impossible to see the Aurora Borealis in Peebles, it would certainly be unlikely ever to be the best place to see it. A comet or meteor or astronomical conjunction maybe, but this one seems a bit of a strange choice. Janis requests artistic licence on this point!

But let’s not get bogged down with that. Fans will have been wondering what Saul and his friends have been up to since securing ownership of the land where their den lies. In The Unlikely Time Traveller, Saul and co. are planning a sleepout, but sleeping outside isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Robbie, for one, prefers his home comforts and is just a wee bit afraid. But Robbie is always the one who gets it wrong, who is laughed at – and we know how cruel children can be. So to prove that he isn’t a big fearty, Robbie launches himself 100 years into the future.

At school, there has been a discussion in class about what the future might hold, whether climate change has ruined the planet, or whether we’ve been taken over by robots and now Robbie is going to find out. But he has left behind an ingredient that he will need when he wants to return, so Saul (the Reluctant Time Traveller!) has to follow him. And when Agnes finds out that both her friends have gone, she can’t resist following too.

What do you think the world will be like in a hundred years time? Hi tech or low tech? Desert or healthy? Will we all have taken off into space to desecrate another planet or will we have learnt how to live sustainably? Will we be selfish survivalists or more humane and more sensitive?

Janis Mackay knows. And now you can find out too!

The Unlikely Time Traveller is published as an eBook by Floris Books.


Age Guide: 8-12 years.


Published by

Suse Coon

Suse Coon started life training to be an architect but ended up as a fashion buyer then civil servant. After some time out to bring up her family of three, she returned to what had been a hobby and entered the field of freelance journalism. After becoming regional correspondent, then editor of the orienteering magazine CompassSport, she formed Pages Editorial & Publishing Services. In this guise, West Lothian Life was launched, while Suse maintained a level of freelancing and wrote the award winning children's novel Richard's Castle. In 1999, Suse bought over CompassSport and found her time taken up pretty well exclusively with the two magazines. In 2004, West Lothian Life was expanded to form Lothian Life, however, the workload was too great. In 2006, CompassSport was sold and Suse concentrated on the web version of Lothian Life. Her hobbies include gardening, orienteering, sea kayaking and Tai Chi.

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