Frozen in Time Ali Sparkes Published by Oxford ISBN 9780192727558 Novelists invent many ingenious ways of getting parents out of the way so that teenagers can find themselves in a situation that leads to a good story. In Frozen in Time, Ali Sparkes comes up with a particularly good one. Ben and Rachel's mum and dad are professional magicians and they often go on tour, leaving their offspring with eccentric Uncle Jerome in his house with a convenient overgrown garden. The scene is set for adventure. One rainy day, Ben and Rachel come across a metal cylinder buried in the wet garden. They dig it out of the ground, and discover it is a bomb shelter. They are amazed to find two frozen figures inside which, when Rachel accidentally presses a button, come alive. What follows is all rather far-fetched, but Sparkes' clear story-telling makes this a riveting read. The two new teens are Freddy and Polly; they were put into cryonic suspension by their scientist-father back in 1956. Why he did it and what happened to him afterwards form one of the many mysteries that the four children must investigate. The novel has an intriguing plot - a mix of comedy, science fiction, adventure and mystery. Much of the humour comes from how the 1956 teens adapt to the modern world. Frozen in Time is first and foremost a science-fiction adventure, and it is up there with the best. Highly recommended.