ARC Review: THE TIME TIDER by Sinéad O’Hart (Middle Grade Monday)

I received an eARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.

Title in white on blurred drawing of a girl on blue
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: MG
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: standalone


Book cover for THE TIME TIDER: title in gold on blue above a girl holding a glowing gold phial

Mara and her dad have lived in their van for as long as she can remember. Whatever her father does to scrape a living has kept them constantly moving and Mara has never questioned it. That is until she uncovers a collection of notes addressed to ‘the Tider’, an individual responsible for harvesting lost time from people whose lives were cut short.

But before Mara can question her father he is taken by a dangerous group who want to use his power for evil. With the very fabric of time and space at stake, it’s down to Mara and her new friend Jan to find him before it’s too late… 

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


THE TIME TIDER is the second book by Sinéad O’Hart and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The story is action packed and full of fun with this engaging take on time magic. I liked that there were real consequences to not sorting out the duties of a time tider, but that solving that potential end of the world situation wasn’t what this book was about. Instead, it’s a far more personal story about a girl trying to discover her father’s secrets – and find him when he goes missing. There are larger stakes at play, but they are far from the focus.

This is a contemporary fantasy standalone about shadowy organisations and the harvesting of time for good and ill. I liked how the book explored all the possibilities of the magic, from the good (not letting everything be sucked into a void when time goes wrong) to the bad (selling to others), and also the role that organisations could have in that setting. What sort of oversight should there be? Can oversight of (magically) powerful individuals work without their cooperation (so what do you do if the powerful people don’t want to cooperate?)

It is hard out who to trust in this book. The entire society of those who know about the magic are secretive by nature, and Mara’s dad is secretive to the point of paranoia. Plus Mara’s dad’s paranoia has rubbed off onto her, so she has to unravel those truth and lies to work out what’s happening before she can decide who to trust. It makes for a mysterious feel and need to think hard about everything.

While the book wraps up and is (so far as I can tell) a standalone, there definitely is space for another book or so, and I would not object to another!

Read my reviews of other books by Sinéad O’Hart:


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