The Order of Time by Scott P. Southall is an engaging children's fantasy with believable characters and strong hints of adventure. It follows Anastasia and Edward Upston, eleven-year-old twins who attend the elite Blake Academy and who love exploring the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. When they have a run-in with a weird, freaky character, a person who looks like he belonged to another time, the twins eventually unearth a more disturbing truth: their friend and mentor, Dr. Alfred Gregorian (Dr. G.), the curator of the Smithsonian, a wrinkly man who radiates kindness, belongs to a Secret Society known as the Order of Time. A disruption has occurred in the past and it threatens the present, so Anastasia and her brother must travel back in time and try to fix it. But ancient Egypt is filled with danger and enemies—assassins, unforgiving gods, corrupt high priests, and more. Can they succeed and make their way back to the present?
This is a fantastic tale that will appeal to fans of adventure, time travel, and fantasy, and a story that is well-written for young readers. The twins make a wonderful pair, and while they have their unique personalities, they share a powerful bond that is deftly explored in the narrative. Scott P. Southall writes in prose that is enchanting and accessible and weaves powerful descriptions in the story. The journey to the past is an exciting one and while I marveled at the excitement that accompanies the two lead characters, I also worried about their fate as they move from one danger to the next. The concept of time is skillfully developed, and time appears to be like a character in the story. The Order of Time is fast-paced, featuring compelling characters, a great setting, and a cleverly written plot. It is a delightful read for fans of young adult fantasy and time travel.