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Day of Deliverance: A Jack Christie Adventure

Review

Day of Deliverance: A Jack Christie Adventure

Jack Christie and his best friend Angus are no ordinary boys attending Soonhope High. Only recently, Jack and Angus learned that the high school is a cover for a secret organization working on time travel in its labs on the school grounds. Moreover, many years ago, Professor Tom Christie, Jack’s dad, was an important member of the team that designed a time-travel machine called the Taurus. Professor Christie wanted to use the Taurus to travel back in time to correct historical acts such as wars that he felt had been detrimental in human history.

Professor Christie and his supporters, such as Dr. Pendleshape, formed a society called the Revisionists, which perfected a way to estimate all the future implications of a certain course of action through the use of advanced computer simulations. However, the Revisionists’ view of changing history selectively did not sit well with another group of scientists, who called themselves VIGIL and believed that any meddling in history was foolish and dangerous. The conflict between the Revisionists and VIGIL caused Jack’s dad to flee into exile many years ago, leaving six-year-old Jack and his mom behind.

Now Jack has cast his lot in with VIGIL and is working to prevent his father from using a second Taurus, created in secrecy, to change history. In the events recounted in DAY OF THE ASSASSINS, Jack and Angus traveled back in time to 1914, where Tom Christie was trying to prevent the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the event that triggered the First World War.

DAY OF DELIVERANCE is the story of the boys’ second adventure, which takes place six months after their return from their first time travels. In this instance, Jack and Angus go back in time all the way to 1587 London, to a time of great religious and political upheaval as well as a time of great creative flowering in England. The Catholics and Protestants were embroiled in a bitter religious conflict, which was enmeshed with a political struggle for control over the kingdom. Queen Elizabeth I, a Protestant queen, sat on the throne of England. There were many plots afoot to overthrow her and install a Catholic monarch in her place, many of these backed by Catholic Spain, then the global superpower.

Jack and Angus have arrived in 1587 via the Taurus, their goal being to discover and thwart the Revisionists’ plans to intervene in the historical events taking place then. Initially they land in Fotheringhay where they witness the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, a cousin to Elizabeth and a contender for the English throne. As they watch Mary, a Catholic, being martyred for committing acts of treason against the English state, the boys find themselves in danger of a quick beheading as they are mistaken for spies and pursued.

The boys’ quick thinking and good luck bring them out of that spot of trouble, and into contact with the Fanshawe Players, a wandering troupe of unsuccessful actors and performers. The boys pretend to be scholars traveling to Cambridge and join the troupe on their journey. Jack, Angus and the Fanshawe troupe run into plenty of adventures and misadventures together, most notably meeting William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe and other luminaries of the English Renaissance. In fact, the fateful meeting between Fanshawe and Shakespeare changes the English language forever, with an impact that is felt to the modern day.

But peril lurks around every corner as the friends find themselves pursued by Spanish killers, who have been set upon them by a treacherous acquaintance. Jack and Angus finally discover the real purpose of the Revisionists’ trip back to 16th-century England: Dr. Pendleshape wants to murder Queen Elizabeth I, as well as aid the Spanish Armada in their naval attack against England. Dr. Pendleshape and the Revisionists have embarked upon a course of action to destroy English power and install Spain as the world’s only superpower, in the belief that having only one global power controlling the entire world would lead to more peace. Now Jack and Angus must fight to save the Queen, the English navy, and even the English language itself, all the while trying to escape safely back into their own time.

DAY OF DELIVERANCE is a suspenseful and entertaining journey back to an important time in the history of England and of the world. Author Johnny O’Brien draws on his expertise as a history teacher to create a believable and engaging view of London in the 16th century, pointing out details such as the absence of modern background noise, the lack of available sanitation, and the day-to-day life of common people, as well as plausible glimpses into the lives of famous historical figures. Jack Christie is a very relatable hero --- a regular schoolboy caught in, and coping with, circumstances beyond his control rather than a slick James Bond type of hero who always has all the answers. His latest adventure delivers on all counts!

Reviewed by Usha Reynolds on September 14, 2010

Day of Deliverance: A Jack Christie Adventure
by Johnny O'Brien

  • Publication Date: September 14, 2010
  • Genres: Adventure, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Templar
  • ISBN-10: 0763650757
  • ISBN-13: 9780763650759