The Time Museum
The Time Museum is an enjoyable, rollicking adventure story that I couldn’t put down. Matthew Loux captures the same sense of summertime exploration and amazing discoveries that he portrayed in the Salt Water Taffy series, but now, his group of characters is more inclusive and wide-ranging.
Delia Bean is too smart for her classes. She’s expecting to be bored over the summer, until she finds out that her favorite uncle Lyndon is secretly a time-traveling curator of the Earth Time Museum, which contains artifacts from the entire history of the planet. He invites her to apply for an internship, which thrills her. The other candidates range from across time: Michiko, from a Tokyo 200 years in the future; Titus, from ancient Rome; Dex, a smart Neanderthal; Reggie, a genius scientist experienced with robots; and Greer, an aggressive Scottish lass.
Loux’s figures are rubbery and loose-limbed, which makes them well-suited for action and expression. The setup is very Alice in Wonderland-ish, except Delia chases a kiwi bird (which she knows is non-native to the area) to the museum gates, where she finds a world full of astounding discoveries. Loux fills The Time Museum with imagination and excitement, particularly when the kids visit the dinosaur era.
Even the trip to Delia’s dorm room is full of amazing visuals, as Loux draws (in more realistic style) the best museum ever, with statues, natural history exhibits, and mummies. And some of it’s just cute, like the library retrieval robot kitties. I also like the way Loux has a variety of challenges for the kids — he emphasizes physical as well as mental training, plus teamwork, creative problem-solving, and cooperation.
He’s not afraid of the concept, either, directly engaging the ideas of causality, time loops, and anachronisms, in ways that keep the story moving and involving. Thankfully, this is planned to be the first book in a series. If the next book blends adventure, humor, and characterization the way this one did, it’ll be a must-read as well.
The Time Museum is due out February 21. It can be ordered from your local comic shop with Diamond code DEC16 1697. (The publisher provided a review copy.)