This action-packed adventure story flies through time and space at great speed. Esha Verma is the narrator. In fact, the book is a copy of her own inventing journal (complete with notes, doodles and even the odd ink splodge), giving young readers a window into the world of a bold and brilliant young scientist.
Esha is an unstoppable source of weird and wonderful ideas (her self-cleaning spectacles are especially popular) and her ambition is limitless. With the help of her apprentice, Broccoli (unfortunately named after the bubble of snot that lingers below his nostril), she manages to construct a time machine! This should be the most amazing day of her life and should win her the young scientist competition – but she soon finds out that time travel is actually rather strictly regulated and that she is in trouble with The Office of Time (T.O.O.T). Also, her annoying sister has accidentally sent herself, and the machine, back to the Cretacious period.
This sparks a race against/across time as Esha and Broccoli join up with T.O.O.T to find her sister and the time machine and prevent the destruction of the world as we know it. There are plenty of laughs along the way as well as a fantastic pace. There’s no time for boring explanations of how the time machine was made or how time travel works, for example. Esha and her companions are far too busy for that: escaping the venomous spit of prehistoric reptiles or arguing with one another about whose idea for escape is the least deadly.
Though it is funny throughout, the silliness detracts from the drama and excitement of the story, occasionally. The story relishes classic time-travel tropes (Dr Who fans won’t be disappointed) but avoids stereotypes, and all the characters are utterly original. The presentation as genuine pages of Esha’s journal is very effective. Readers will feel privileged to share her thoughts and will love how brave and self-assured she is – and will hope that she has more adventures to come.