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Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite
The Siege of Masada by Jodie Lane is a time travel novel, but with the twist that Gwyn has no clue that time travel really exists outside of science
fiction books and movies. One day, after being shoved aside by a woman who was being chased by some men, Gwyn picks up a pocket watch that had been dropped by the chased woman. To her shock, the watch transports her back to the first century, right to the siege of Masada - or rather the soon to happen siege. Gwyn is captured by the people of Masada, but convinces them that she is on their side. She uses her knowledge of history to warn them of the looming danger, and the people of Masada believe she has been given visions from God. For a while, Gwyn is safe - but she wants nothing more than to return to her own time. She does not know how to use the time travel device though, and the Romans are laying siege to Masada. From her history studies, Gwyn knows that there won't be a happy ending. And she's on the side of the losers. How will she get out of this?
The Siege of Masada by Jodie Lane was an enjoyable read for me. Gwyn is a main character with believable reactions, and the plot has some interesting elements within it - which I cannot talk about without giving away too much. Just know this: Gwyn has to make some tough decisions. I was never bored and enjoyed the journey with Gwyn (well, she probably didn't enjoy her journey that much, but you know what I mean). The ending chapter of the book also shows that there is potential for more books with Gwyn. Some questions remain unanswered. I have my suspicions about one thing, but it will be up to Jodie Lane to confirm or destroy them with a sequel.
 

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Reviewed by Ashley Tetzlaff for Readers' Favorite
The Siege of Masada by Jodie Lane is an imaginative mix of contemporary, historical and science fiction. Australian girl, Gwyn, takes a university
break with her family in Israel during 2011 AD. But not for long. A run in with a timepiece spirits her back to 76 AD and the siege of Masada. Using her knowledge of history to her advantage (much like Hank Morgan in Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court), Gwyn escapes death from Sicarii and Romans alike, only to end up in 2623 AD where evil powers seek to use her timepiece for their own advantage. It takes an alliance with aliens and humans alike to bring the story to the satisfying ending it deserves.
Wow! Wow! Wow! I picked up Jodie Lane’s Siege of Masada expecting a simple yet engaging historical fiction tale of ancient times. I was blown away by the deft weaving of current time (2011 AD), ancient time (72 AD, 76 AD) and future time (mostly 2623 AD). I enjoyed the travels and tensions of the current day, learning the history of the past in the best way EVER, and the weirdness of the sci-fi world. Gwyn is a very likeable main character, and it is really cool how the timepiece enables her to speak Hebrew, Latin, and Alien. It is also interesting to see parts of the story from other people’s point-of-view: Agent Michelle, Gaius, Adi, etc. Siege of Masada caught my interest from the very beginning and held it till the last sentence. Lane uses her words extremely well and does it with a non-US touch that is endearing (mucking about, chuffed, sodding, winkle, etc). The descriptions are delightful and, as a writer, my brain loved to linger over them and savor their flavors. Mmmm! If there is another book by Jodie Lane, I’d get it in a heartbeat!
I’d recommend the book for Young Adults and above since there are instances of adult language and sex for those concerned about such issues and a younger audience.
 

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Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite
The Siege Of Masada by Jodie Lane is an exciting children’s/YA fantasy novel. Seventeen-year-old Gwyn finds herself trapped in the past when she
discovers and accidentally triggers a time travelling device called a chronokinetor. The Romans are preparing to besiege a Jewish city and Gwyn is torn between saving herself and warning her new friends. Meanwhile, in a future time zone where things are very different on planet Earth and aliens from other worlds interact with humans, time travelling agent Michelle must travel back in time to find her missing chronokinetor, and eventually her path crosses with Gwyn’s. The two then find themselves caught up in the manipulative political deeds of Commissioner Hera. Can they stay safe, thwart the commissioner’s plans, and prevent history from deviating from its essential course?
The Siege of Masada is a thrilling and imaginative tale that combines historical events with science fiction. The plot is well crafted and moves at a good pace with plenty of suspense and twists and turns as the story unfolds. The length and vocabulary level make it an excellent book for confident readers or teenagers. I loved the great variety of characters – the modern/present day Gwyn and her family with their everyday concerns, the Jewish community/city dwellers from two thousand years ago with their very different way of life, futuristic and mysterious Michelle, and alien beings from a future world. Gwyn herself is a likable and brave young woman and readers will warm to her. Her concerns are just what any teenage girl’s concerns would be – for her friends, her own safety, and how much of a relationship should she have with a boy to whom she feels attracted. Jodie Lane knows how to keep readers hooked and guessing and doesn’t give too much away too soon. I loved the way the story switches back and forth between Gwyn’s time in the past and Michelle’s time travelling and the way the two are gradually brought together.
This is a thought-provoking story too – Gwyn’s predicament at not being able to change history to save the people she has befriended and Michelle’s knowing that past events must not be disturbed or else all their futures will be jeopardized. Jodie Lane is an excellent writer, blending her characters’ lives and situations together in a highly entertaining story that will keep you guessing, and one that eventually reaches a satisfying end.
 

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Reviewed by Paul Johnson for Readers' Favorite
On vacation with her family in Israel, while exploring the ruins of the ancient fortress of Masada, Gwyn stumbles across a strange device discarded by
a fleeing woman. Suddenly she travels back two thousand years in time to the bloody siege between the Romans and fiercely patriotic Jewish defenders. But what must she do? Realizing her only option to stay alive is to attempt to blend in, she also knows that she must somehow escape before the siege comes to a head.
In the year 2623, Michelle, a Time Space Agent, is trying to escape her enemies and recover her lost time device to complete her assignment to ensure events of the past, particularly those of Masada, were not altered. But what she doesn’t know is that she may also be a pawn in a dangerous future political plot. Michelle’s and Gwyn’s timelines hurtle towards each other while time may be running out for both. Somehow they must work together to accomplish the goals for each; completing a mission and returning home. Now, how can they get it done?
What could be better than a well written time travel novel, particularly one written as historical fiction, two of my favorites. The idea and development of this story was excellent. The story could target sci-fi fans as well as young adults. The past's action sequences were well designed and the futuristic scenes were good as well. The dialogue between the different factions was spot on, exactly what you’d expect. Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable read.
 

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Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi for Readers' Favorite
Gwyn had just joined her parents in Israel for a holiday. As they toured the country and visited places of historical significance, Gwyn - a
history major at university - could not help but dream about how amazing it would be to go back in time and see life as it was back then. Among other places, the family visited the ruins of Masada where Jews committed mass suicide in a final act of defiance against the invading Romans. After what seemed to have been a brief delirious moment involving disappearing people, Gwyn discovered a clock-like metallic item abandoned in the bushes. With her curiosity getting the better of her, she found a secluded place and attempted to open the 'clock.' Little did she know that she was opening the proverbial Pandora's Box. What could be more exciting for a history nerd than a trip 2000 years back in time to one of the most significant historical events of all time? Well, Gwyn 'wakes up' in Masada just at the brink of the clash between the Jews and the Romans. She has no comprehension of how she got there or of the value and power of the clock now embedded in her hand, and of the trouble brewing in a time period many centuries ahead of her own. Will she use her knowledge to change history or will she let it run its unfortunate course? This is either going to be the adventure of her life or her worst nightmare.
Ladies and gentlemen, strap yourselves in for an epic ride across time periods in this thrilling tale of time travel and political conspiracies in The Siege of Masada. Jodie Lane put together one hell of a compelling story. The Siege of Masada is flawlessly delivered with elaborate and captivating detail to make it a one of kind read. Even without looking at the dates, I could easily tell when the story moved from one time period to another through the realistic details; the dried dates, bread and oil meal was indicative of much earlier eras while the synthesized food is definitely ahead of our time. Through the memorable characters, compelling plot, and richly detailed settings, the story comes alive in a thrilling and beautiful way. An epic start to a series guaranteed to give you time travel envy.
 

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