The Young City - Synopsis

The Young City

“I do not discount my good fortune, Miss Watson,” said Aldous. “I was as surprised by the portals as you were, but as my men explored, we quickly realized that we were the only ones who knew they existed. It was a perfect opportunity for profit, and so I came up with my brilliant trade scheme.”

“Brilliant trade scheme?” Rosemary echoed. “You find a doorway into the future and you trade for trinkets? You didn’t once think of going into a patent office, looking up the files, coming back and inventing the paper clip or something and making a mint?”

Aldous looked away. “I did not think it proper to interfere with the future to such a degree.”

“You just didn’t think of it, did you?”

“Quiet!” Aldous snapped.


Rosemary Watson and Peter McAllister think their future is clear: they’re finally heading off for university. They’re thinking about finding apartments, picking courses, living like adults.

But what happens when the future becomes the past? While helping Rosemary’s brother move into an apartment in Toronto, Peter and Rosemary fall into an underground river and are swept back in time, to Toronto in 1884. It’s a struggle to survive and adapt to the alien culture of the late nineteenth century. Peter and Rosemary are forced to work together, to live together, and to become the adults they’ve only been pretending to be.

As the days stranded turn to weeks, then months, Rosemary and Peter begin to wonder if they’re really ready for a future together - and what they will do if they can’t get back.

Then someone brings them a watch, powered by a battery, made in Taiwan.


The Young City is a young adult fantasy for ages 12 and up. Click here to read an excerpt


James Bow is the author of two previous books in the Unwritten Books series: The Unwritten Girl and Fathom Five. A transit enthusiast, urban planner, and freelance writer, he lives in Kitchener, Ontario.