When fifteen-year-old nerd and gamer Max Anderson thinks he's sneaking a preview of an unpublished video game, he doesn't realize that 1) He's been chosen as a beta, an experimental test player. 2) He’s playing the ultimate history game, transporting him into the actual past: anywhere and anytime. And 3) Survival is optional: to return home he must decipher the game's rules and complete its missions—if he lives long enough. To fail means to stay in the past—forever.
Now Max is trapped in medieval Germany, unprepared and clueless. It is 1471 and he quickly learns that being an outcast may cost him his head. Especially after rescuing a beautiful peasant girl from a deadly infection and thus provoking sinister wannabe Duke Ott. Overnight he is dragged into a hornets' nest of feuding lords who will stop at nothing to bring down the conjuring stranger in their midst.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
Finally, a series from a boy's perspective - they're quite rare in young adult novels. I recommend this book to everyone. Annette Oppenlander did a good job combining the historical elements with the young adult genre.
The novel is set in Germany. It starts with Max living his normal teenage life in present Germany, and he ends up being transported in Medieval Germany, late 1400s, same city. His best friend's dad created a video game that takes the player back in time. The novel follows Max adventure and how he deals with being a XXI century teenager living in Medieval times. The story is told from his perspective alone, in the first person.
It is a fast-paced and grabbing read. I read it really fast. The novel is full of funny moments, as well as sad ones. There are also some battles and conflicts, which were really well written. The novel offers plenty of historical details about Medieval Germany, as well as descriptions of buildings and surroundings. It was really easy to imagine the setting and the times.
A really good novel. I liked it a lot. I will continue to read the series. I really want to know what happens to Max and with the video game.
What I liked:
ツ Twists and turns. In other words, adventures.
ツ Nice, entertaining characters.
ツ A great story.
ツ Easy to read.
ツ Historical elements were not slowing down the plot.
ツ The romance
~ Laura N. Enescu , Bibliofagista
Wow, wow, wow. I absolutely loved this book from the first page until the last . I was actually transported back in time and felt as though I was living every moment. If there was anything to criticize and this is really nit picking is that I wish the book had been longer. Congratulations on a fantastic book. ~ Greta Halliday, NetGalley
I loved this book. I connected with the characters straight away and felt that I knew each one of them. I couldn't put it down, and was disappointed when I finished. I shall definitely be reading the next installment. I'm passionate about history and I get so excited when an author introduces me to new historical facts. Annette Oppenlander has done just that. She has taken a wonderful story from history, added her own fictional characters and has written a fantastic novel. ~ Debbie Skerton, NetGalley/Goodreads
Escape from the Past: The Duke’s Wrath by Annette Oppenlander is a time travel novel for young adults. The device in this one is a video game. The video game transports Max from the present to 1471. He quickly figures out that this is more than a game, it’s real and he has to find a way to survive.
This is a very fast paced book. The author fitted in a lot of story in but none of it ever seemed rush. The descriptions were great, you can really get a feel for the time period and place Escape From The Past was set in.
Recommend for teens? Absolutely. ~ Melissa, Jessica and Gracie's Tree
Escape from the Past literally dragged me head-first into this amazing adventure. Honestly, I usually don't enjoy historically fiction, but this book is rad! I love the main character, Max, his story is really relatable and funny. I mean I totally got his back when he was getting dragged into the video game and his first thought was his mother and her reaction about seeing the video game.
I loved the whole concept of this book, I've never heard of anything like it. Being sucked into a virtual reality by a video game? AWESOME MUCH? I seriously loved Max's relationships with the other characters and also just his reaction to this insane place. Escape from the Past is written beautifully and I just love the story! Definitely a great YA book! Five stars! ~ The Book Adventures of Emily, Blog
When 15-year-old nerd and gamer Max Anderson decides to try his hand at the master level of an unpublished video game, he isn’t prepared for the ultimate gaming experience: being transported into the actual past. This turns out to be medieval Germany, 1471, and Castle Hanstein, near the village of Rimbach, and the Klausenhof Inn, which still exists today in present-day Germany. Without any clues about the game’s rules, missions or even how to return to his time, Max uses his ingenuity, whatever he remembers from history lessons about the places and time, and friendships with a peasant boy, a healer, a beautiful servant girl, a lady in distress, knights, squires, and the lord of the castle to help him survive and pick his way through ordeals and hardships.
The historical details in the novel are on the mark and describe just enough to reveal the conditions of medieval life as a peasant, servant, craftsman, lord, lady, squire, and knight. Max stumbles through in time and masters the game, but matures and comes out a changed young man. Geared to a young adult audience, Escape from the Past is an entertaining and fast-paced read that guarantees to thrill any young reader’s/gamer’s wish to be a hero in a faraway time.
~ Historical Novel Society, https://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/escape-from-the-past-the-dukes-wrath/
When fifteen-year-old nerd and gamer Max Anderson thinks he's sneaking a preview of an unpublished video game, he doesn't realize that ee's been chosen as a beta, an experimental test player; that ee's playing the ultimate history game, transporting him into the actual past: anywhere and anytime; and that survival is optional: to return home he must decipher the game's rules and complete its missions -- if he lives long enough. To fail means to stay in the past forever. Now Max is trapped in medieval Germany, unprepared and clueless. It is 1471 and he quickly learns that being an outcast may cost him his head. Especially after rescuing a beautiful peasant girl from a deadly infection and thus provoking sinister wannabe Duke Ott. Overnight he is dragged into a hornets' nest of feuding lords who will stop at nothing to bring down the conjuring stranger in their midst. "Escape from the Past: The Duke's Wrath" is a science fiction time travel action/adventure novel that will grip the reader's total attention from beginning to end. Very highly recommended for school and community library YA fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Escape from the Past: The Duke's Wrath" is also available in a Kindle edition ($0.99).
~ , Midwest Book Review
A hugely entertaining and fast paced historical novel based on the absorbing idea of time travel. Max Anderson is playing a bootleg demo copy of a computer game when he suddenly finds himself transported back to medieval times – to the same German village where he lives but five hundred years earlier. Wearing jeans and trainers, he becomes known to the locals as Max Nerds, befriending the local swine-herder, Bero, and falling madly in love with his sister. Max has to adjust to the foreign smells (and stenches), oddly spiced food, language and attitudes of a feudal village. Being a likable and highly capable fellow, Max finds himself rising fast in society and becomes a guest of the brave local lord, Knight Werner. But not everyone likes Max and he makes powerful enemies who will stop at nothing to destroy him. “Escape From the Past” is superbly told and full of great characters who you will care for. ~ Rob Dearden, Amazon
15 year-old Max Anderson suddenly has to deal with the repercussions of his love of gaming when a mal-functioning computer game sucks him in and transports him back 600 years to medieval Germany. The town he knows so well is immediately different - full of peasants trying to survive in squalid conditions and an aristocracy vying for power and position. Max is forced to grow up quickly as he is thrown straight into a strange and brutal land, with no idea how he will get home again. With the help of local boy Bero, and his family, Max tries to help Lord Werner von Hanstein in his fight against those determined to oust him from power. Enduring captivity, torture and conditions that take him to the very edge of what he can endure, Max also experiences the awkward intensity of teenage love. He can't work out whether this is just a game or his life now...
A face-paced, thrilling adventure story, full of fascinating details about medieval life, Annette Oppenlander's Escape from the Past is a must read for teenage adventure and historical fiction lovers. ~ Sue Palmer, Amazon
New Author Annette Oppenlander presents a masterful story in Escape from the Past The Dukes Wrath. Max is a teenager typical of our times, thrust back into the medieval days of the fifteenth century. A true to life game is more of a time portal and Max soon must navigate as a reluctant hero through the life and death trials of peasant life, dukes, knights, romance and the bonds of friendship. The character of Max is compelling and thoughtful and artfully crafted historical fiction novel. The sights, sounds and smells of the period are as accurate as they get. I felt as if I was really back in the past. The story is extremely historically accurate, and learning was great fun. Never boring. The action is fast paced and never lets up. When I'm sad to have a book end, I know it was the best. More of Max follows in this series through the intrigue of its game designer and other's trapped within the game. ~ David Kestenman, Amazon/Goodreads
Annette Openlander’s Escape from the Past is a breath of literary fresh air blowing over the dystopic landscape of YA fiction. The novel offers the proverbial “something for everyone,” from a fascinating gamer’s puzzle, to the romance of real history all presented with well-crafted prose. The characters are three dimensional, relatable, and the action well paced. Sure to please. Can’t wait for the next one. ~ Michael Burnam, JHP Author
The first thing I noticed about Escape from the Past was the incredible pace. There's no dragging; right away, you're sucked deep into the storyline. As a main character, Max is very relatable and realistic. The author does a fantastic job of blending two worlds, one that we know, and one far less familiar. It's a fabulous adventure, and I can't wait for more! ~ Mary Johnson, Goodreads
I enjoyed this book. I would recommend it and am looking forward to reading another one in the series. ~ Oliver aged 13, NetGalley
"Fast-paced compelling YA debut." ~ Giselle Green, #1 bestselling author of A Sister’s Gift
"A wonderfully crafted romp to the time of lords, ladies, and knights. Cool gaming experience is an understatement as young Max finds himself in the 1400s as he's beta testing a new video game. History is made, intrigue abounds, and the bonds of friendship are forged as a modern-day boy bravely navigates the past. Are you Max enough to play the game?"
Lee Ann Ward, author and former Senior Editor of Champagne Books ~ Lee Ann Ward, author and former Senior Editor of Champagne Books
"Escape from the Past is chock-full of the tiny details that make a story feel realistic and immersive, from the leather ribbons used to fasten shoes to the slimy gruel that formed the bulk of the peasants' diet. I particularly enjoyed how Oppenlander shows the dramatic contrast between the way peasants and the aristocrats lived in the Middle Ages.those who love historical fiction or medieval fantasy will certainly enjoy Escape from the Past." ~ Mike Mullin, author of the Ashfall trilogy