Skip to main content

The Navigator

Review

The Navigator

"There was something different about the afternoon." From the first sentence of THE NAVIGATOR, author Eoin McNamee takes the reader on a thrilling adventure traveling through time. The plot twists and turns are exciting, and characters throughout the book are believable and engaging. Even the villains are humorous and surprising.

Owen, the main character of THE NAVIGATOR, is an unlikely hero. He always has been different, and not just because of his father's suicide or his mother's wandering aimlessly around the house. Owen is drawn to the harbor, where the river meets the sea; yet, he fears the water's touch. He finds comfort in the Den, a room dug into the hillside near the river, but he also feels someone watching him and whispering about his father's suicide. The walls of the Den are decorated with objects found around the river and in Johnston's scrap yard. Johnston is an evil, greedy man whom Owen fears and avoids.

While in the Den one afternoon, Owen gets the unshakable feeling that someone is watching him from across the river, near the abandoned Workhouse. When Owen investigates, he meets up with a small man dressed in a faded uniform. Back across the river, Johnston's scrap yard is expanding, and Owen sees a figure in white emerge from the fields and raise a hand in the air.

"The Harsh!" the small man exclaims. A dark flash covers the sky and plunges everything into blackness. "It has begun," he says.

The little man, who is the Sub-Commandant of the Watchers, ushers Owen to the Workhouse, which is on an island in time and the center of the Resisters of the Harsh. At the Workhouse Owen learns that the Harsh wish to unleash eternal solitude on Earth. The world Owen knows no longer exists because the Harsh have turned back time.

Owen meets the Chancellor, Samual, Rutgar, Dr. Diamond, Pieta, the Contessa and Cati, the sub-commandant's daughter. Cati tells Owen about the Wakeful, the guardians of time who have awoken from the Sleep. Owen also meets Wesley, who is one of the Raggies, a group of abandoned orphans who aid the Resisters in their battle to defeat the Harsh.

Owen misses his mother and wants to see her again. Cati tells him, "If we stop the Harsh, you will get your mother back." In an attempt to find his mother, Owen sneaks back across the river. Cati follows him. Near Johnston's scrap yard, the Harsh unleash their frigid weapons, which almost kill Cati, but Owen saves her and they return to the Workhouse.

Once again, Owen feels like an outsider. Some of the Watchful, especially Samual, are suspicious of Owen because they believe Owen's father betrayed them. The Resisters also suspect that there is a traitor in their midst. When the Resisters learn that Owen is afraid of water, he becomes their prime suspect because the Harsh cannot cross water.

To prove himself, Owen battles alongside the Resisters and the Raggies to defeat the Harsh, find the Great Machine in the north and stop time from flowing backward. Along his journey Owen discovers the truth about his father --- and the truth about himself. Maybe Owen isn't such an unlikely hero after all.

Written on the last page of THE NAVIGATOR are the words "End of Book One." I'm hoping there will be more adventures to follow soon.

Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt on January 9, 2007

The Navigator
by Eoin Mcnamee

  • Publication Date: January 9, 2007
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
  • ISBN-10: 0375839100
  • ISBN-13: 9780375839108