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Pastworld by Ian Beck

If you could visit Victorian London would, you? Caleb, a seventeen-year-old boy, regretted his answer to this question the day he was asked it. Ever since Caleb has arrived in Victorian London Caleb has to run away. He is not safe anymore. He cannot stay here. How can he leave if there is no exit to this “Pastworld”? This shows the adventure Caleb has while visiting Victorian London. Pastworld, an extremely well written novel by Ian Beck, is a really great read.
Pastworld, shows what life was like in London during the Victorian age. This book may seem in the past but it’s not. The future city of London creates a theme park of the Victorian age like Plimouth plantation in Massachusetts. The book starts off with Eve, a native of this theme park, who is unaware that this Victorian London is a simulation. Eve runs away to the circus and learns the secrets her father kept from her all these years. The book then shifts perspective to a visitor from the outside world, Caleb. He and his father run into Jack, Eve’s dad. While Jack is talking to Caleb’s father, three ragged men murder Jack. Caleb flees the scene with the knife in his hand; people yell and scream “murderer”. Will Caleb be executed for his alleged murder? Read more to find out.
In the book Pastworld I had many likes and dislikes. One reason I liked the book was its very strange genre. Since it is based on the Victorian age you would think it would be historical fiction. Surprisingly, it was put in the science fiction genre. It is based on a theme park in the future, the year 2048, which resembles the Victorian age of London. I found this one of the main reasons why I picked this book. A characteristic of the novel I didn’t like was the “gloomy” feeling everything had. Of course since it was “based” in the Victorian age you would expect such dullness. If the author maybe made it “brighter” it would be better.

Pastworld offers a very strong message. The message is to think before you act. When Caleb is making his choice to live in the Pastworld he didn’t read about the dangers and rules that caused him to be accused of murder. This also happened with Eve when she was running away because her father was too over protective and she never asked why. It was because of the dangers of the outside world which Eve learned the hard way. This book shows us that we should think before we make life-changing decisions.
If I were to rate this book I would give it 5/10 stars. If it were maybe less depressing I would have enjoyed it more. The novel was also a bit too slow for me. The author went into extreme detail about things, but I would have enjoyed it more if the book had a faster pace. The novel is a great read for someone into mysteries. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Sherlock Holmes because Pastworld resembles it quite well.
To conclude, Pastworld is a great read for anyone interested in Victorian London. Despite being in the fiction genre it really does present great facts about the Victorian era. At first it might be hard for you to wrap your head around the futuristic-past idea but it really makes this book quite unique. If you are looking for a mystery, Sherlock Holmes type book, and don’t mind slow, gloomy writing this is for you!



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