by Ian Beck

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What if Victorian London were an amusement park where the inhabitants were actors hired to entertain visitors from the twenty-first century? Now imagine if Jack the Ripper was a planned attraction gone horribly wrong. Life inside the park, Pastworld, is all Eve has ever known. But then she meets a tourist in terrible trouble. Their adventure through this dark and dangerous theme park is sure to grab teens in paperback.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599906973
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 11/09/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Ian Beck is one of the UK's most popular illustrators of children's books and his work appears frequently in magazines and advertisements. In his early years he paid the rent by working parttime in the toy department at Harrod's. Later, he got involved in the record industry, and painted the cover of one of the most popular records of all time: Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. This is his first YA novel. Ian lives in London with his wife, Emma Stone, and their three children.

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Pastworld 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Pastworld is a "theme park" set in the Victorian times of London. The visitors, called Gawkers, get submerged in that lifetime. They must follow strict rules to keep to the authenticity. The story is about Eve, a girl who was shut away in a house in Pastworld and only let out with her guardian, who runs away to join the circus. She doesn't remember much of her childhood, but she dreams of being free. The story is also about Caleb, a visitor to Pastworld whose life is turned upside down when he's a witness to a murder. Before long, he is labeled as the murderer and his father is kidnapped right before his eyes. He is taken in by a pickpocket named Bible J. And then there's the Fantom. He is a serial killer with a gruesome calling card. These three characters are all involved in some way - a very shocking way! PASTWORLD was definitely...interesting. Working for Disney, I saw that this was about a "theme park" and was excited. But I wouldn't exactly call Pastworld a theme park; it's just a city set in the past. You could definitely tell this book was written by a guy, since it was really gory. I wasn't expecting that, but it didn't turn me off from my reading. Sometimes, I didn't really care about the characters. While I wanted to care about Eve, I didn't feel like there was enough about her for me to feel sympathetic about. That being said, this was a good science fiction/mystery book. I spent a lot of the storyline trying to figure out what was going on, and I would say that about two-thirds of the way through, I finally figured it out. And it was a good twist! I feel that the ending wrapped up too quickly, as I would have liked to have read more about what happened at the end scene with the Fantom and Eve. Still, a good read overall, though.
Weeble4444 More than 1 year ago
The summary for this book doesn't give it justice. I bought the book and read it in about two days. If you start reading this, you just can't stop. You fall in love with the characters so fast and really understand them as well. I picked up this book looking for something different. Well, I got something different and better. Kudos to the author!
alexia561 More than 1 year ago
Was well worth it, as I think it's a very original story, with a twist I should have seen coming but didn't! One of the things that I enjoyed about the book is that each chapter is narrated by a different character. We have excerpts from Eve's journal, then the next chapter might be from Caleb or Bible J or a policemen, then back to Eve. The different voices weren't hard to keep track of, and I thought having several different viewpoints only enhanced the story. Found the whole idea of turning an old section of London into a giant theme park for the rich remarkably believable, and thought Beck was able to keep the story moving along nicely even when switching from narrator to narrator. Don't want to give away too much of the plot as there were a few nice surprises along the way, but I will say that I liked most of the characters and that the unlikable characters were all villains. Gave this book a 4/5 rating. Thought the writing was very well done, the characters were all well developed, and the plot was original and compelling. I've seen a few comparisons to The Truman Show, but I didn't think they were similar at all. I don't think that this was too violent for a YA book, as video games are much more violent and bloody. All in all, I'd recommend this book!
vernefan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Steam punk Victorian London Horror ThrillerIn the year 2048, London has created a theme park called Pastworld, in which the whole city of Victorian London is rebuilt under a vast dome. Life as it was in the 1800s is recreated for tourists to experience, complete as if time stood still. Visitors arrive via large airships that float above the dome and lock on to a hatchway that deposits them into an environment where they will experience history as they could never have imagined. Tourists must pay costly ticket fees and pass tests of authenticity to enter Pastworld. They must dress in period clothing and carry nothing inside that is from the future. This is a high security environment, and tourists breaking the law will be subject to criminal justice as it was at the time. If you are unlucky to be found guilty of any crime, you will be tried and jailed if not hung for your misdeeds. Complete with automatically timed fog, night twinkling stars, sunrise and sunset, visitors to Pastworld feel every nuance of Victorian life and will not believe they are within an artificial world. Authentic vendors, street merchants, clopping horses pulling carriages on cobblestone streets beneath gaslights, pick- pockets, prostitutes, and rag and bone men, all walk the streets as paid residents providing the show. Nightly thefts, muggings and even staged murders complete the picture as one blends into the past of London as if that era never ended. We readers along with the tourists, also enjoy, or are horrified by, a black cloaked mysterious killer, a Buckland creation gone horribly wrong that was intended to allow a first hand encounter with a Jack-the-Ripper-like madman called the Fantom.The main plot of this wonderfully creative story revolves around a girl named Eve. She is a pretty blond blue-eyed young woman raised by a man named Jack who cares for her and protects her. She is never allowed out alone, and must never venture into Pastworld without him. She oddly has no memories of her childhood and lives in fear, as Jack warns her often that there are people out to harm her. Feeling constricted she one day runs away to join the circus, and soon realizes, all within Pastworld is not what she was taught. Her circus friends give her a rude awakening as they inform her that she is living in a faux world. Jack never told her the truth, that this London was a sham, and that another world outside the dome existed. The other side of this tale regards a father and son who arrive as visitors. Lucius Brown, an original imagineer of Pastworld who created a lot of the early mechanisms and side effects for the park, is here on a mission to contact Jack about an urgent threat to Eve and to the success of Pastworld. His son Caleb never knowing the details about his father¿s early work here, soon learns the cold hard facts as within their first day, his father is kidnapped and he himself is accused of murder. Many mysteries are served up to the reader as to who Eve is. How she is tied to Caleb and linked to some extraordinary and horrifying experiments from the early creation days of Pastworld, will have you flipping the pages quickly as this story is quite inventive and engaging. The lives of Caleb and Eve become seriously threatened. Much chaos, murder and mayhem have them fighting for their lives against the Buckland organization and from the famous Fantom who is hunting them down. This is a creative and marvelous blend of The Phantom of the Opera, Ridley Pearson¿s Kingdom Keeper, and Herve Jubert¿s Dance of the Assassin. I loved this entertaining novel and hope the author pens more for a series of other Pastworld themes. Part Victorian mystery, part horror, part Sci-fi Steam-Punk, this was 100% fun.
JCShoffitt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I feel bad that it took me so long to read this one. It was picked out for me as part of the January 'Buddy Books' challenge and I was super excited to read it. The idea was so cool- I mean turning London into a Victorian era theme park?? And there's a creepy murderer on the loose?? That's awesome!! Unfortunately, the idea was better as just that: an idea. I started reading Pastworld and thought that it was just a little slow to get rolling. So I kept reading. And kept reading. And then read Matched. And then read a little more Pastworld...then read Vampire Academy...and then a little more Pastworld. You get the point. I just could NOT get into the book. It seemed like there was a ton of dead story that was trying to weave together a couple different plot lines, but it just feel totally flat. I forced my self to keep the faith and wait for Beck to finally get to the point, and he finally did on page 282. If you are reading this and have a deep burning urge to read Pastworld, then skip the next few lines because I'm about to spoil the whole book for you. The Fantom is essentially a genetically engineered Jack the Ripper (named Adam) and Eve is a genetically engineered 'perfect victim' created for him to hunt down and kill over and over again as the ultimate Pastworld spectacle.The part that drives me CRAZY is that this book could have really been spectacular if Beck had lead with the whole Jack the Ripper thing and built the story out from there. As the reader, it would have been much more interesting to know that this Jack the Ripper incarnate was out after a girl who was totally clueless. But that's just my opinion.I wasn't a huge fan of the author's writing either. It seemed choppy and read almost like a machine gun fire of words: 'He walked into the room. Then he saw her in the corner. She was looking at him.' The most interesting quote in the whole book came from Buckland, and he was only present for 20ish pages in the whole book. "I fear the forces of reaction are biting at our heels."Overall, I found Pastworld to be a total snooze. It's pretty bad when it takes me 3+ weeks to make my way through a book...especially when I manage to read 4 others in the same amount of time.
adpaton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After a devastating pandemic, London in the mid 21st Century has been transformed into a vast living theme park, a recreation of the Late Victorian city, teeming with hansom cabs, thieves and tourists. Eve knows only London and believes the simulation to be reality until her guardian Jack is cruelly slain by the sinister Fantom, a serial killer, and she barely escapes his clutches: fleeing for her life, she gradually discovers she has hidden powers.The story has a wonderful premise, is full of thrills, intrigue and colourful characters, but ultimately this `mystery of the near future¿ proves disappointing ¿ the writing simply isn¿t up to the standard of the plan.
callmecayce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fascinating novel about a world post-pandemic where London has turned into a Victorian themepark. It's a little bit dystopian and a little bit steampunk and a lot enjoyable.
lilibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the near future, an-all powerful corporation has set up a recreation of old London, circa 1800, which is run as a theme park. Tourists, called Gawkers, get the chance to see how people lived then and interact with them. But old London is a dangerous place, both for those who live there and those who visit.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hmmm eve and caleb? Where have I heard that before?
CillianRune More than 1 year ago
The story was original, it wasn't baddly written but it was extremely predictable. SPOILER! Eve and The Phantom screamed AUTOMATONS! from the start, the ending was rushed, and the part that bothered me was that Pastworld was supposed to be 100% Victorian, however, they did allow clockwork animals and the aircrafts hovering inside the dome...
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Ryan_G More than 1 year ago
I have never been a big YA fan until fairly recently so I was a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of YA books I've either won or bent sent for review so I was a little hesitant to read this book. I figured I would hang onto it for a while then read it sometime in the future. However, after reading the first 5 pages I was pretty hooked. I recently discovered "steam punk" books about a year ago but this is the first time I've ran across a YA book in the genre. Now some may say it's not really "steam punk" because it doesn't take place in Victorian England. Since this takes place in a setting that is for all purposes Victorian England and it involved genetic engineering, robotics, and modern science, I think it qualifies. I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It plays around with the whole concept of family in quite a different way. What make a family and the relationships between family members are equally explored throughout this book in such a way that it makes you think about what the future has in store for the human race. The character development was strong and stayed front and center for most of the book. The character of Eve is a fascinating one to me for she seemed to grow as a character but still managed to stay two dimensional to me. I'm not sure if this was intentional or not but it somehow works with the story. My only qualm about the book was the character of The Fantom, the new Jack the Ripper. I felt that there was so much more to explore with this character that was simply ignored in the book. I wish we could have had a little bit more of him and his development. Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a solid YA, "steam punk", of SciFi novel.
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