Thank you NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA Childrens for providing an e-Arc in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Annie Nobody thought she was, well, nobody, living in a nowhere town where nothing goes her way. Day 1 at her newest foster home proves to be dreadful too…and things get even worse when she’s chased by something big and scary that definitely wants to eat her.
Luckily for Annie, not everything is what it seems, and she gets swept up–literally–by a sassy dwarf on a hovercraft snowmobile and taken to Aurora, a hidden, magical town on the coast of Maine. There she finds a new best friend in Jamie Hephastion Alexander–who thought he was a normal kid (but he might just be a troll)–and Annie discovers that she’s not exactly who she thought she was, either. She’s a Time Stopper, meant to protect the enchanted.
Together, Annie and Jamie discover a whole new world of magic power, and an incredible cast of creatures and characters. But where there’s great power, there are also those who want to misuse it, and Aurora is under siege. It’s up to the kids to protect their new home, even if it means diving headfirst into danger.
A combination of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, with a little Roald Dahl thrown in for good measure, Time Stoppers is a fun, light little fantasy perfect for 8-12 year-old readers. Twelve-year-olds Annie and Jamie are classic underdogs who readers will root for. They’re both treated cruelly by the very adults who are supposed to protect them yet they’re sweet, honest and courageous in spite of it all. The magical world-building is imaginative and beautifully descriptive and Carrie Jones does a great job setting up the mythology for this and future books in the series. She also adds in life lessons about the importance of friendship and believing in oneself. The only criticism I have is that the action slowed down a little in the middle and there were a few things that were a bit repetitive. Overall though I think Time Stoppers is a promising beginning to a new fantasy series.