Adam of Albion (A Head of Time)
Neil McMahon

We all know people who act like they’ve been everywhere and done everything, right?
Well, Orpheus really has.
And if you thought your older brother could be a pain, wait till you meet this talking head—literally—who’s way, way older than the Pyramids.
When 14-year old Adam Keane gets sent to spend the summer with his rich relatives in England, he never dreams that one night soon, he’ll end up in a creepy old graveyard, hiding from gun-toting thugs. As if that isn’t bad enough, Adam sees them shoot a young man who’s running from them.
But it turns out that dodging bullets is just the beginning. Adam tries to help the wounded guy and ends up with his daypack, along with the mysterious object inside it—
Which turns out to be Orpheus, a handsome, miniature man’s head who’s really a cyborg supercomputer—and who can time travel.
Next thing after that, Adam and 13-year old Artemis, a brash, brilliant little feminist Goth, are careening through centuries and across continents—running for their lives on a Mission Impossible.
Along the way, Orpheus clues them in on the back story. He was created by an advanced civilization that sank into the sea in a disastrous war, thousands of years before recorded history began. Since then, he’s roamed all over the globe, living by his wits through countless hair-raising adventures.
His computer brain makes him an off-the-charts genius (which he’s quick to tell anyone who’ll listen), but he’s entirely human in all the ways that matter. He can be cantankerous and bossy, but he’s also fun and funny, smartmouthed and sly, and overall, way cool. He claims that he’s known pretty much every important person in history and been at every important event, and let’s just say he’s not shy about bragging on it—although his stories sometimes do seem a little hard to believe.
But Orph is also heartbroken. His true love, Eurydice—a beautiful, glowing, emerald green ankh who fits inside his skull—was stolen from him during the Third Crusade. Not only does he miss her terribly, but she’s the power-pack that supplies his life force. Since losing her, he’s been running on empty, and now, even empty is almost gone. If he doesn’t reunite with Eurydice soon—
He’ll die.
Suddenly, the thugs show up again with their guns, ready to kill in order to steal Orpheus. He and the two kids have no other choice and no chance to prepare—they must plunge through time and space to the Holy Land in the year 1192 A.D., landing right in the middle of a brawl between the soldiers of King Richard the Lionheart and the Sultan Saladin, ruthless Knights Templar, and a mysterious group of female Assassins called the Sisters of Isis. Danger, treachery, and fast action abound as they fight and scheme to find Eurydice, and save the lovable little head’s life.

Adam of Albion (A Head of Time) book cover

This is great fun YA, perhaps contrived in spots but a cracking yarn for younger teens. Writing good, action theatrical and solidly done throughout.

Published by Sean Randall

I am an avid reader, technologist and disability advocate living in the middle of England with my wife, daughter and pets.

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