Chad A. Clark is a great friend but that is not the only reason I’m giving a positive review of his latest venture, The Curse of Worthwood Castle (2023), he is an amazing author as well. Whether it be through short stories or novellas, Chad knows how to hit the mark. With The Curse of Worthwood Castle, Chad tries his hand at YA fiction, and I won’t say its success was beginner’s luck as Chad is far from an amateur author.
The story follows three main characters – two of the latter whom are siblings. They are named Arthur, Jenny and Hitch. They get stuck in a time travel loop which is decades apart in scope. Not only do they have to figure out how to get back to their time period, but they also have to face a mysterious organization, as well as take on an enigmatic and seemingly evil character, Nisar (yes I got a character named after me!).
Time travel is nothing new but Chad brings his original spin to the narrative. The writing is super fast-paced and you never get bored during any segment of the storyline. I also loved the twists along the way. The three major characters are extremely likeable, and the antagonists are quite dreadful but rightly so.
Chad mentioned The Hardy Boys as one of his inspirations, and as someone who grew up reading such stories, I could find traces of that series within The Curse of Worthwood Castle. I also hadn’t read YA fiction in a while so it was nice to return to the genre with this tale. There are also a lot of pop culture and literature references which I feel that 80s kids can relate to.
To end with, The Curse of Worthwood Castle carries elements of many successful time-travel tales, but that mash-up is what makes it an epic narrative in its own right. It is the best book I have read so far in 2023, and I hope it reaches your “Best Read” list of the year as well. Don’t skip over this one.
Grab your copy here.