Escape from the Past: The Duke’s Wrath by Annette Oppenlander

Escape from the Past: The Duke’s Wrath by Annette Oppenlander
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade, Science Fiction/Fantasy (time travel), Contemporary, Historical
Length: Full Length (292 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Poppy

When nerd and gamer, Max Anderson, is lured into trying an experimental computer game, he doesn’t realize he’s playing the ultimate history game, time-traveling into the past…anywhere…anytime. Survival is optional. To return home he must decipher the game’s rules and complete its missions–if he lives long enough. Tofail means staying in the past–forever.
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Now he’strapped in medieval Germany, unprepared and clueless. It is the year 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.

Filled with realistic historical references and a lot of adventure to keep even the pickiest of readers happy, Escape from the Past: The Duke’s Wrath was nearly un-put-downable. I read it in just two days.

I adored our hero, Max (“Max Nerds”). He actually took to going back in time with a pretty level head, which is good since if he’d panicked at any time, he’d likely have been killed or worse (and, yes, in that time there is definitely “worse” than death). The author is honest about the time: the food, the stench, the lack of understanding about germs or medicine and more. It’s clear the folks not born into priviledge (or earning it, like the squires/knights) had a horrendously hard life. Max gets to see both sides of the coin as he moves through the era with his new friend Bero and the family that takes him in. He sees poverty and hunger, pain and abuse. He saves Bero’s sister with some good ideas on how to treat a wound, even without modern medicine, and teaches his new family how to forage for edibles in the woods.

I enjoyed learning more about the time period–typically when I read historical fiction, it’s not from this time so it was interesting to go somewhere new! I don’t understand the cover, despite how eye-catching it is, since it seems to imply there’s a time machine involved, and there isn’t. Also, Max talks, thinks and acts like someone much older. In fact, at the beginning, I thought it was an adult looking back on an adventure he’d had. Max’s friend, Jimmy, acted more like that age group but Max was exceptionally mature.

Despite that very small blip, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I wish it had been around when my own, history mad, daughter was younger. I would have given it to her with no reservations, and she would have loved it, too.


  1. James Robert says

    Thanks for sharing your book and I enjoyed getting to hear about it.

  2. Thanks for hosting!

  3. Bea LaRocca says

    Congratulations on this nice review, this sounds like an awesome read. Thank you for sharing the book and series info and for offering a giveaway.

  4. Thank you so much for reviewing my time-travel adventure. When I wrote it, I just fell in love with Max. He became totally real to me. Incidentally, I just visited the Klausenhof inn, the medieval pub, Max visits. It’s still there after all this time and it felt amazing to walk through its rooms. I welcome any questions you may have. Thank you!

  5. Great review

  6. Sounds like a good read.

  7. Victoria Alexander says

    Sounds like a very cool book, I love the blurb! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. Dale Wilken says

    The book sounds great.

  9. Mya Murphy says

    I love the colorful cover!! Eye-catching!!

  10. Thanks for the giveaway; I like the excerpt. 🙂

  11. What was one of your favorite scenes to write for this book?

    • Hi Kim, There are quite a few. One of them is when Max first lands in the Middle Ages and follows his new acquaintance Bero, the pig herder, into the family hut. It’s such a shock how the people live with hardly any food, a terrible outhouse and a bit of straw for the night. Thanks for asking!

  12. This sounds wonderful! I’m a long time fan of time travel stories.

  13. Christina Az says

    Will definitely recommend this one to my nephew! He loves time travel.

  14. Are you a full-time writer? If not, do the people you work with know you’re a writer?

  15. Christina Az says

    Thank you for the review.

  16. Christina Az says

    What proved to be your biggest challenge when writing this story?

  17. Christina Az says

    Do you write a specific amount of hours or words per day?

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