Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books (September 29, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1599900408
ISBN-13: 978-1599900407

Rating: 4/5
Source: Library

Book Blurb:What if all of London were really an amusement park – a whole city returned to Victorian times to entertain visitors from the twenty-first century? That’s the wildly original premise of Ian Beck’s Pastworld, a high-stakes mystery set in a simulated past.

Eve is a lifelong resident of Pastworld who doesn’t know she’s living in a theme park until a mysterious threat forces her to leave home. Caleb is a visiting tourist who finds the lawlessness of the past thrilling – until he suddenly becomes a fugitive from an antiquated justice system. And in the midst of it all, in the thick London fog a dark and deadly figure prowls, claiming victim after victim. He’s the Fantom, a creature both of the past and of the present, in whose dark purpose Caleb and Eve will find their destinies combined.

My Review:I first saw this book mentioned by Carrie over at Carrie’s YA Bookshelf. It kept popping up on various blogs, so put my name on the list to borrow it from the library. Was well worth it, as I think it’s a very original story, with a twist I should have seen coming but didn’t!

One of the things that I enjoyed about the book is that each chapter is narrated by a different character. We have excerpts from Eve’s journal, then the next chapter might be from Caleb or Bible J or a policemen, then back to Eve. The different voices weren’t hard to keep track of, and I thought having several different viewpoints only enhanced the story.

Found the whole idea of turning an old section of London into a giant theme park for the rich remarkably believable, and thought Beck was able to keep the story moving along nicely even when switching from narrator to narrator. Don’t want to give away too much of the plot as there were a few nice surprises along the way, but I will say that I liked most of the characters and that the unlikable characters were all villains.

Gave this book a 4/5 rating. Thought the writing was very well done, the characters were all well developed, and the plot was original and compelling. I’ve seen a few comparisons to The Truman Show, but I didn’t think they were similar at all. I don’t think that this was too violent for a YA book, as video games are much more violent and bloody. All in all, I’d recommend this book!

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13 thoughts on “Book Review: Pastworld by Ian Beck

  1. Ryan – Love it when a book exceeds your expectations!

    Yunaleska – It was a fun read, wasn't it? Will take a look at your review so we can compare notes.

    Sheila – Im starting to keep track of where I find interesting books so I can give credit where credit it due. Finding new books is one of my favorite parts of blogging!

  2. Pam – Hope your daughter liked it! Maybe you could talk her into doing guest posts someday? Why should Sassie have all the fun? πŸ˜‰

    Steph – Think you will like this one! Found it to be a fast read, but well worth it. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  3. You are the third of the blogs I visit and trust to enjoy this book. I am going to have to get this one too. I have it on my list to get and read.

    I have learned an addition piece on the book from your blog here. So thanks for the great review and I will have to bump it up closer to the top of the list.


  4. Melissa – Thank you for such a nice compliment! πŸ™‚ Looking forward to hearing what you think of this one once it gets to the top of your list.

  5. Shannon – That's the danger of reading book blogs…you always find more books for your wishlist! *L*

    Marie – I'm looking forward to it! Thanks! πŸ™‚

  6. Oooh! First off, cover envy! Mysterious and intriguing….then the story line is definitely unique! Have not heard of another book with a similiar premise….might be adding this to my own TBR….thanks for sharing!

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