Faber John Lives…Somewhere in Time


A Tale of Time City, by Diana Wynne Jones – In this story, a girl named Vivian Smith is being sent away from London during World War II because of the air-raids. She doesn’t end up in Narnia, however, but instead in Time City, a futuristic place that transcends time. Vivian finds herself in the company of two young Time City residents named Jonathan and Sam and an android named Elio, trying to save the magical Caskets that are necessary to renew the ailing city. Along the way, they visit several different eras of history, and as usual in one of Jones’s stories, nothing is really what it seems at first. Really, the part at the end where the villains are revealed came across as a little corny, since they fell into the old cliché of bragging about exactly what they’d done so far and what their future plans were, but some explanation for the convoluted plot was certainly needed. Honestly, I often forgot about plot points that were brought back later on. It would probably be worth a re-read if I didn’t have so much else in my to-read queue. The design of Time City and the hints about future events in our world, including the rise of the Icelandic Empire after the deadly Mind Wars, were very creative. And since I like to draw connections, the idea that an egg-shaped device was necessary to operate some of the time locks reminded me of the Time Egg in Chrono Trigger. Probably not intentional, but you never know. I guess Jones’s books would have to have been at least somewhat known in Japan, since there was an anime version of Howl’s Moving Castle. Regardless, I found myself thinking of Chrono Trigger quite a bit after that, but I suppose there are pretty much always going to be parallels between time travel stories. Definitely an enjoyable read.

This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Chrono Trigger, Diana Wynne Jones, Video Games and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Faber John Lives…Somewhere in Time

  1. Mention the butter-cream-ice-cream-stick things. I totally forget what they’re called, but I want one. It might be at the top of my list of fictional-foods-I-totally-really-want-for-real.

    • Nathan says:

      The butter-pies? The name doesn’t sound all that appetizing, but the description really does. Unfortunately, they apparently won’t be available until the forty-second century.

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