Before the Storm, by Sean McMullen

For all the smoke, confusion, blood and death before her eyes, the sight of the youth that the others kept calling BC drew Emily’s eyes more than anything else. He shouted the precise orders, led the way, and sprayed fire from his strange rifle as they ran. Dark figures appeared at the end of a corridor, figures that fired pretty sparkles of light that began to cut down BC’s soldiers. BC stood his ground, shooting back at the attackers as one more of those beside him fell.

It is 1901 and Australia has just become a nation. Soon, the new Parliament will be opening for the first time. For Emily and her younger brother Daniel, this event is not terribly significant. Their lives will not be changed in any way. Unless, of course, they fall into the Yarra and are saved by a stranger who changes everything.

Fox S3 and his commander, BC, are also in Melbourne in 1901. What is different about them is that they are from the future, a future where the world is at war, and life revolves around the preservation of the British Empire. Fox and BC have travelled through time to 1901 to prevent the events which began the never-ending war. To do this, though, they need the help of Emily and Daniel and their dodgy friend, Barry the Bag.

Before the Storm is an absorbing time-travel adventure which combines Australian history with futuristic science to take readers on an action-packed ride. There is plenty to contemplate along the way, including the changing roles of women and the realities of war.

This is the first title of new imprint, Ford Street Publishing, and a strong beginning to this list.

Before the Storm, by Sean McMullen
Ford Street, 2007