★★★☆☆: Spooky, dangerous, and delightful 1800s time travelling tale leaves a lump of intrigue nestled right in the heart.
I have been quite interested in the reasonably hefty catalogue of Penguin English Library classics, especially thanks to their very pretty covers (I'm a sucker for a good cover), and I recently read this spooky little nineteenth century sci-fi treasure. I hadn't read any H.G. Wells before, but I can definitely appreciate his strong voice and style here. He captures a very tangible sense of curiosity and fear as he takes the reader through lots of unfathomable, eerie moments and alternately shows glimpses of wide-eyed, childlike wonder.
One thing I can really appreciate is the concise feel of this book. It's well paced, with just the right level of suspense and emotional jolts and lurches. Time travel as a narrative concept has always fascinated me, but it's very easy to do it poorly or flippantly. This wonderful little book gives it the gravity (and even terror) it deserves without compromising on magic, excitement, and beauty.
I think it's a good classic to read if you're relatively new to them because the pacing is so well crafted and the concept is - yes, I'm really going to say this - timeless.