THREE GO BACK
By Tom Johnson
YA SF/Educational Adventure
In the 24th century, when travel is by teleportation vehicles, and the affluent live in bubbles floating thousands of feet above the ground, three young girls prepare for school as one presses the teleport button. At the exact same time, a massive magnetic storm from the sun strikes the Earth, disrupting the mechanism and turning their teleportation vehicle into a time machine.
Instead of instantly materializing at their school, the girls find themselves thousands of years in the past, at some point during the Ice Age. Time and time again, they attempt to return to the 24th century, only traveling farther back in Earth's past with each press of the button. With the batteries draining from each jump, they are stranded in each epoch for short periods of time, in which they experience the danger and excitement of fantastic adventure in ancient surroundings.
Previous novels by this author have fascinated me, and I was not disappointed with this one. There is a wonderful mix of adventure and camaraderie among the characters as they discover their world's past history first hand, and observe ancient life in the raw flesh. As they constantly go further back in time, the girls begin to fear they may never return to the world they once knew, and the reader turns each page in anticipation of some new thrill or danger.
This is a unique adventure for the Young Adult, with an educational content seldom found in stories for this age group. As I read this exciting tale, I discovered a thrill for an older generation of readers as well. Perhaps some of us do want to go back!
Terry Roberts, Reviewer (SF/Etc At A Glance)