When Days Tilt by Karen Ginnane

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Magic, mystery and darkness – a gripping fantasy adventure for lovers of Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights.

New Australian Children’s Books: In this page-turning debut, one girl must figure out why she is the key to two worlds, before time itself falls under the control of the powerful and the greedy.

An historical fantasy adventure for teens set between Victorian London and a darker parallel city.

It’s 1858, and there are two queens on the throne. Victoria reigns over London, the biggest city the world has ever known. But London has a secret shadow city, called Donlon, where another queen, the Green Witch, rules her own domain – time.

London is in turmoil. The Thames is at the height of the Great Stink; a blazing comet is searing the sky; technology is moving so fast it seems otherworldly; and the city is exploding with more people than it can hold. Darwin is about to publish his theory of evolution and humanity’s very place in the world is in question. On top of all this, people are disappearing into thin air. If they return, it is with empty eyes and torn souls, never to be the same again. Ava, a fourteen-year-old Londoner, feels trapped by the limited life of a young Victorian woman and by her watchmaking apprenticeship with her father. Her predictable world is turned upside down when she discovers that the body in her mother’s grave is not her mother, but a stranger.

When Ava goes in search of her real mother and her true identity, she is thrust into the dark world of Donlon and must fight a battle to save those she loves and the future of both worlds . . .

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Magic, mystery and darkness – a gripping fantasy adventure for lovers of Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights.

New Australian Children’s Books: In this page-turning debut, one girl must figure out why she is the key to two worlds, before time itself falls under the control of the powerful and the greedy.

An historical fantasy adventure for teens set between Victorian London and a darker parallel city.

It’s 1858, and there are two queens on the throne. Victoria reigns over London, the biggest city the world has ever known. But London has a secret shadow city, called Donlon, where another queen, the Green Witch, rules her own domain – time.

London is in turmoil. The Thames is at the height of the Great Stink; a blazing comet is searing the sky; technology is moving so fast it seems otherworldly; and the city is exploding with more people than it can hold. Darwin is about to publish his theory of evolution and humanity’s very place in the world is in question. On top of all this, people are disappearing into thin air. If they return, it is with empty eyes and torn souls, never to be the same again. Ava, a fourteen-year-old Londoner, feels trapped by the limited life of a young Victorian woman and by her watchmaking apprenticeship with her father. Her predictable world is turned upside down when she discovers that the body in her mother’s grave is not her mother, but a stranger.

When Ava goes in search of her real mother and her true identity, she is thrust into the dark world of Donlon and must fight a battle to save those she loves and the future of both worlds . . .

About the author

Karen Ginnane

Karen Ginnane is an Australian author for middle grade and young adult readers. Her debut historical fantasy adventure novels When Days Tilt and its sequel When Souls Tear are part of the Time Catchers series published by Penguin Random House.
Karen has been variously employed as a freelance copywriter, a marketing director for Paramount Pictures in London, a grain weighbridge operator in rural WA, a swimming teacher, a life model, a deckhand in Chile and an English teacher in Japan. She’s also taught creative writing, published short stories and in 2020 received an Invited Residency to Varuna National Writers’ House for When Souls Tear.

Karen runs a tour operator business with her husband, who is a Londoner, and lives in Melbourne with him and their two children. And two cats.

Industry Reviews

THE CHILDREN’S BOOK COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA: ‘READING TIME’

Fantasy is not my go-to genre. But you don’t have to be a (fantasy) aficionado to be thoroughly captivated by this impressive debut title. This imaginative historical fantasy has something for everyone: mystery, magic, secrets, time snatchers, alternate worlds and more. Ginnane deftly combines well drawn characters, masterful world building and a highly original plot with family at its core for a thoroughly entertaining, insightful and satisfying read.

​For teens and adults hungry for more, Time Catchers Book 2 (When Souls Tear) will be out in May 2022. But first, I have a whole genre to catch up on.

​Reviewed by Maura Pierlot

READINGS FOR KIDS, CARLTON
This exciting historical fantasy debut is full of magic, politics and technological details, and is the perfect book to challenge young readers looking for a complex and absorbing adventure.

​- Leanne Hall

STELLA GLORIE, THIRTY BOOKS REVIEW
This is such an assured book from a debut author! I loved it. A big congratulations to Karen Ginnane on the release of her novel ‘When Days Tilt’; she’s created an amazing world, story and wonderful young characters to see through a series.

GREAT ESCAPE BOOKS
Rarely does a novel so completely captivate you. Beautifully crafted, this stunning debut from Australian author Karen Ginnane brings two new great heroes into our world. Great for confident reader ages 10-12 years. ​Facing epic moral dilemmas, Ava and Jack find they must question themselves at every turn in the magnificently crafted world-bending novel. A must read for your daughter or son. Great for confident readers ages 10-12 years + (I read it as an adult and adored it.)

​- Nicole

THE BOOK MUSE
This is one of those books that gets under your skin, and captures the imagination.

​What a book this was! I read half of it in one sitting. I loved what it did with stepping into other worlds, and the interlinking of every character, as they each have their place in the story. I hope the second book comes out soon, as I’m keen to see what happens next. This is a great book for readers aged ten and older, and I can see it becoming popular.

​- Ashleigh Meikle

C.G.DREWS – PAPER FURY
A creative whirlwind of an adventure. The imagination will truly sweep you off your feet as you tumble into this tale of alternate dimensions, secrets, and plucky teens hurled into situations where they need wits and bravery to survive. The world building is crafted with such detail, you can’t help but FEEL like you’re in the 1800s. Donlon gave me Alice in Wonderland and steampunk vibes!

Published: 2 July 2021
ISBN: 9781760895037
Imprint: Penguin
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336

Audience: Children
For Ages: 11+ years old

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