The Time Cavern Home

Delightful, wholesome, and intelligent reading for young and not-so-young adults

Sandy Nathan, National Award Winning Author of Numenon

I remain charmed and delighted after finishing Todd Fonseca's The Time Cavern. As other reviewers point out, this is the story of two youngsters, a brilliant boy who has recently relocated from the city to the country and an adventurous farm girl. Tom Sawyer-style, they embark upon adventures that lead them to very unexpected places. I don't want to reveal more of the story, though, given the title, it's no surprise that a time cavern is involved. It's a great read, and the ending is an amazing surprise.

This isn't simply a sci-fi thriller, though both terms describe it. The author sets the tale in Amish farm country, unfamiliar territory to this reader. The gentle Amish culture provides a backdrop for the story, adding a haunting dimension. It's also farm country--more unfamiliar territory for me. The only thing I knew about corn was how to eat it; the story teaches us about threshing and combines and other rural mysteries as part of the farm cycle.

Charming is the only word I can think of to describe this book. The Amish element, the two cute kids, their families, the old barn, and, of course, what they discover in the woods is a compelling blend. I'm looking forward to the sequel.

The values dimension of this book must be emphasized. When I was in graduate school in counseling, we counselors-to-be would sit around with our professors and talk about the decline in social values that we saw in the mass culture around us. We'd wring our hands and moan, "What's it all about?" The state of mass culture has gotten more alarming since my school days.

This book embodies personal health. It stars two bright, inquisitive kids from intact families. Both families have moms and dads devoted to strong and positive parenting. They know where there kids are. Or at least they try to: Those kids are a handful. The book weaves its spell with no violence, monsters, explosions, strong language--and not a single vampire! I'd recommend it to all YA fans and their parents. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Wisdom and Eternal Youth Collide

Dee Marie, author of Sons of Avalon

On the surface, "The Time Cavern," appears to be an average, YA Sci-Fi adventure tale. The plot initially simplistic: A young boy (Aaron) and his tomboy girlfriend (Jake), discover an ancient mystery of the universe, a time machine. Yet, the story is more than a fiction-adventure for young boys (and girls). It is also a learning tool. For, nestled within the pages of his story, Todd Fonseca subtly weaves an abundance of life-lessons.

I was pleasantly surprised to find "The Time Cavern" overflowing with factoids involving astronomy, science, history, religious acceptance, and family tolerance...all intertwined into an intriguing tale of mystery, discovery and suspense.

One of my favorite chapters involved a brief, but heartfelt, father-son talk...climaxing with ten-year-old Aaron's realization that he indeed needed to take responsibility in his being grounded. Sprinkled throughout the book, precious gems of knowledge and wisdom are as abundant as the hidden clues propelling Aaron and Jake's quest to solve the ancient mystery.

I highly recommend "The Time Cavern," for parents that are looking for an intellectual story that neither talks over the heads of its readers, or talks down to them. It is easy to tell from Todd Fonseca's tale, that he possesses the wisdom of the ancients, and the soul of eternal youth.

Time Travel so Good I Almost Forgot to Bring the Helium

Eric D Knapp, author of "Cluck: Murder most Fowl"

The Time Cavern is a concise, well-written, and endearing story. It's highly suitable for young adult readers: it was mature and clever, yet not overly complex. As an adult, I also enjoyed the book quite a bit -- it reminded me of the Encyclopedia Brown books I used to read when I was a kid, where the hero won the day through intellect and keen observation.

The story is one of exploration and friendship, as Aaron and Jake investigate the source of mysterious voices on the wind, and become entangled in the associated legend of an Amish boy who disappeared one hundred years ago. The story takes place in the quiet farmlands of Amish country, and Aaron learns about the Amish as he plays junior detective. The two friends' adventures are challenged by everything from the rural expansiveness of the country (how does a ten year old kid get all the way into town to look up a census report?) to various riddles involving chemistry, astronomy, mechanics, and history. While the plot might seem a bit obvious to an adult reader, there are definite twists to keep younger audiences enthralled. The characters are well defined and extremely likable, and reading the book invoked a feeling of tense exploration, just like what Aaron and Jake must have felt as they first entered the Time Cavern.

In a nutshell: wonderful, creative, and inspiring!

Character: 5
Creativity: 5
Plot: 4
Setting / Descriptions: 5
Entertainment: 5
Suitability to Audience: 5

Overall rating: 5 stars

An additional note for time-travel enthusiasts (I'm one myself, having written my own time travel novel) -- the Time Cavern introduces us to what might just be the most original time machine concept ever - not to give anything away, but if you're a nut about time-travel, this is worth for that alone.

The Time Cavern is a Journey You Won't Soon Forget!

Reviewed by Shannon Yarbrough for The Lulu Book Review

As the story unfolds, the reader is introduced to a ten year old boy named Aaron who is camping on his own for the first time. Of course, all ten year olds have a wild imagination and long for a sense of independence, so Aaron immediately begins to worry about the sounds he hears outside the tent. He also senses that he is being watched. Fonseca dedicates the book to his own son, also named Aaron. As I nestled into the story, I imagined the author creating this story as a bedtime tale for his son. If that is the case, the author has done an excellent job of transpiring his story to the page.

Aaron decides to investigate the noises outside the tent, but before doing so, he records his thoughts in a notebook. Here, we learn that Aaron is actually camping in the backyard of his new home, in which his family just moved into the day before. The beginning of the story is set up as a nice metaphor for the entire book. You may be frowning at the thought of yet another time travel story based on the title alone, but the young protagonist leaving a big concrete city and moving to the corn fields of Amish country makes for a nice set-up in my opinion which many young readers can relate to.

Fonseca has a talent for appealing to a young audience in the use of his subject matter….independence, moving to a new home, making friends, being afraid, exploration, and the use of the imagination, etc. Outside of the young boy’s adventures the author also uses a nice mix of dialog to keep his story moving, evenly exposing the reader to other characters including Aaron’s parents.

Aaron soon forms a friendship with a neighboring girl named Jake, who tells him his house is haunted. This sends Aaron into a frenzy to investigate the noises he’s been hearing, along with the mysterious eyes he sees in the old family barn. While exploring the barn, Aaron finds the page from a diary of a young boy who lived over 100 years ago. The writings on the page echo the mysterious feeling Aaron has been experiencing…"hearing your name being called by the wind."

The next day, Aaron seeks out Jake to ask her about what she had said about his house and what she might know about the mysterious wind. He shows her the diary page he found and the two begin a journey they will not soon forget as they set out to solve the mystery of the Amish boy who wrote the diary entry, the howling wind that whispers your name, and an ancient cavern filled with even more secrets.

Todd Fonseca’s book is an adventure story that both kids and adults will love. It feeds the imagination, just as the tale itself builds upon the eagerness of its characters to solve the mystery. Fonseca’s main characters, Aaron and Jake, are believable and come alive on the page through their real-life dialog and eagerness to learn the truth. The author does a great job of keeping the momentum going with nicely paced conflict and interest, which will definitely keep the pages turning.

"'s my hope: This book is ripe for developing into a television series - Mr. Fonseca has simply scratched the surface"

Yale Jaffe, author of Advantage Disadvantage

"Imaginative, clever, well-paced ...While reading The Time Cavern I was totally transported back to my childhood"

Gary Tenuta, author of The Ezekiel Code

8 of 10 Stars

 The Time Cavern, although set in present day, has an eerie futuristic feel. The well paced movement along the storyline kept me interested all the way through.

 AKubis, reviewer for Flamingnet young adult book reviews

[The Time Cavern] reminded me of Madeleine L'Engel's sci-fi/science-themed children's books - an intelligent youth literature combination of adventure, fantasy and science.

Aileen Cho - Associate Editor, McGraw-Hill

The wonderful world of The Time Cavern creates a step back in time for adults and a whole new world to discover for teens.

Sondi Miller, author of How Do You Sign an E-Book? And other paperless conundrums

The Time Cavern is a great adventure for younger readers, with a unique setting that is at once interesting and educational, and not at all boring.

The Compulsive Reader