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Ancient Fire (Danger Boy, Episode 1) Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 24, 2004


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 8
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (May 24, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763621528
  • ASIN: B005Q7DPUY
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,090,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Williams makes his publishing debut with this inventively twisted time travel tale, the first in the Danger Boy series. In 2019, 12-year-old Eli begins his narrative just after his move to Sonoma, Calif., with his father from their hometown of Princeton, N.J., where his father, Sandusky, experimented with "spacetime spheres." There he successfully changed the electrical charges of particles so that he could accelerate them through space and move them backward through the air and through time. After Eli's mother disappeared in an explosion while working on a related experiment, Sandusky abandoned his project, took Eli and headed west. Yet his villainous boss tracks him down at his new residence and insists that he carry on his work with Eli as the subject of his experiments. "I was going to be twirled around in time and history, like a smoothie in a great big cosmic blender," notes the boy. Eli's first-person narrative alternates with those of two other youngsters he meets in his time travels: Clyne, a good-natured dinosaur from another planet who gathers information for a school assignment, and Thea, last librarian in Alexandria, the ancient Egyptian city, accused of being a witch. Williams introduces some provocative ideas about relativity within the context of these distinct and credible characters' narratives. He smoothly conveys the novel's rather complex goings-on, which involve some intriguing machinations about altering the course of history. Kids curious about what lies beyond the Fifth Dimension ("the passageway that connects different universes and different times to each other") will find this a rewarding excursion. Ages 9-12.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-Twelve-year-old Eli Sands is just a normal kid living in the year 2019. Life gets complicated when he becomes involved with a time-travel experiment run amok. His scientist mother disappears and Eli is accidentally sent back to the ancient city of Alexandria in the year 415 C.E. where a riot is taking place. There he meets Clyne, a highly evolved young dinosaur from another planet, and 13-year-old Thea, daughter of Hypatia, Alexandria's last librarian. When he returns to his own time, he is given the code name "Danger Boy" by an ultra-secret government agency that expects him to continue as their time-travel "weapon" for reasons of their own. Add to this mix a plague to be cured, someone who just might be a ghost dropping cryptic hints, and a chase through Alexandria's necropolis, and you have the first book in what looks to be a fast-paced and exciting series. While some readers may be put off by the first-person, present-tense narrative, the historical details, cliff-hanger ending, and eerie X-Files sensibility will make this an easy book to recommend and will leave readers awaiting the next installment.
Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Hi--

I'm the author of the "Danger Boy" time travel series, and other fiction, including the Hollywood "horror historical" "GhostDance: Showdown at Carthay Circle." ... I'm also a journalist, covering the warp and woof of showbiz and its discontents here in L.A. (where I find myself currently based, on the madcap, troubling/fascinating edge-of-the-Pacific).

I also teach wordslinging, write the occasional comic or play, and have some other work in the pipeline. Stay tuned. I also find myself raising a son or two, and trying to hike a trail or three when I can. I'm still trying to figure out what it is the coyotes and crows are attempting to tell me.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 20 customer reviews
I GAVE IT A 5 out of 5.
Luis Ruiz
It kept me in suspense and on the edge of my seat most of the time.
ouizee47
I read this book along with a 5th grader in my class.
Liz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dee In SoCal on November 30, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
While I feel quite certain that any teen who checked out this book (literally or otherwise) would become a Danger Boy fan immediately, DB truly is not limited to that age group. It will be equally enjoyed by adults!

For example, if you're an old Twilight Zone or Isaac Asimov fan who's pondered dimensions beyond those we can see and touch, Mark London Williams' imagination will catch your fancy.

Since I'm an old Mathie from way back when, I enjoyed the contemplations on what time actually *is*. The notion of "all time" existing "all at once" is quite Mathie in its origins. The time-dimension concept goes hand in hand with the mysteries of Moebius bands and the like. Williams gave me fun puzzles to ponder.

On an even deeper level, I saw Williams' work as a way to look at a theodicy and other questions of good and evil. Even the naming of the characters (Eli, Thea) - shorthand for God - tease us into thinking about topics not usually associated with YA science fiction.

But don't let that scare you off. Danger Boy One can be enjoyed on a purely childlike (but never childish) level too. It's good old-fashioned fun in a futuristic setting.

Once I picked it up, I simply could not put it down.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joy Bryden on October 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This first book in a wonderful series brings a fresh and fun look at relativity as we join 12 year old Eli in a time travel adventure sure to engross young readers, and their parents as well!

Eli travels backward through time and history via inventions of his scientist Father who is pressed to use his son thusly by ruthless people he had worked for. That his Mother is missing in space/time adds more tension and drama.

Eli endears us with his pluck and quick mind as he narrates his adventures.

Williams makes the complex plot plausible and always easy for us to willingly accept. He adds charming companions for Eli, who sometimes share in the narrative. There is a friendly and bright dinosaur from another planet, and Thea, from ancient Alexandria, who has been accused of being a witch!

This wonderful book is must reading for kids 8-13. My Grandson can't wait for more from this author--Danger Boy is a terrific series!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Liz on March 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book along with a 5th grader in my class. It was a really enjoyable read for him, although I found myself liking it much less than he did. To him, the pace was exciting; to me, it was a little too fast. I did enjoy Eli's point of view and the story about Thea, the girl he meets in the past, but I had trouble getting as engaged in the story as he did (which may actually be a testament to its ability to snag young male readers!) Here is his review:

My name is Bryan and I really like the Artemis Fowl books. I wanted to read the Danger Boy books because I like to read about time travel and history. I really liked Danger Boy. It was a really exciting book. I wish it was longer. I felt like I could be Eli, because he thinks about a lot of the same things that I think about.
If I could change one thing about this book I would make it longer. I gave this book five stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Mom on October 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
My nine year-old son rates this as his favorite book. Mark Williams does a fantastic job of discussing time travel as seen through the eyes of a boy. Eli, the "danger boy", reacts to things as a kid his age would, not as the typical adult protagonist. The idea of a dinosaur doing time travel as a part of a homework assignment was one that my son enjoyed very much.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ouizee47 on May 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked this book so much that I went to the library and had them order 3 more in the series. It sort of makes me think of a cross between Whit and Wisty the warlock and witch by James Patterson series, maybe a little Indian in the Cupboard, and possibly the Tesseract. Not "quite" up there with the Harry Potter books, but not too terribly far behind! It kept me in suspense and on the edge of my seat most of the time. Then again, I'm STILL a Toys R Us kid! and I don't WANT to grow up!

ouizee
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J on January 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is absolutely great! It captured my attention and I was so excited that I demanded my Mom go online and buy # 2 in the series because the library didn't have it. I usually like to read only science books, but this is one fiction book I really enjoyed. I want everyone in America to read it so they will be able to talk about the book with me! The only flaw I found was that the book was so interesting I read it too fast and the fun was over too soon. This would make a great movie!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Janet S. Wong on November 29, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I'd been meaning to look at these Danger Boys books for a while. Being a local children's author in Princeton, I'd heard that these characters had a Princeton connection and wanted to see what that was all about--but every time I looked for Book 1 at the library, it was gone. With this series now on the Kindle, it took me all of about 3 seconds to get it. So great to see these books as e-books--and they definitely work well with this format. For instance, I wanted to learn more about Hypatia, mentioned in chapter 8 as a librarian of Alexandria, and so I clicked on her name (and up popped info about her as an astronomer and mathematician)!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In my opinion, I think that this is a really great book. I started reading it... but I couldn't stop! It kind of sucked me in starting by my eyes, then my nose got burried in it, soon it was like I was in the book!! "Danger Boy's"more than just a page turner to me and if you haven't read it yet then you're misssing out! I don't mean just the first one. It's about time travel in 2019 whith a boy named Eli and a dino; Clyne, don't forget a girl from I don't when, Thea. Anyways, it's a pretty great book.
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