Sam Miracle’s life has always been unusual. He lives in a foster home in the Arizona desert with 11 other boys, has unbendable arms due to an accident he doesn’t recall, and experiences powerful daydreams in which he always dies. Life only gets stranger when he learns his daydreams are true and only a time-traveling priest has kept Sam from being destroyed by the villain Sam is destined to stop. Outlaws of Time: The Legend of Sam Miracle by N. D. Wilson is a Wild West fantasy mixed with plenty of time travel and adventure.
Although the story contains scenarios similar to other time travel stories, such as the villain going back in time to kill a younger version of Sam (The Terminator) and Sam repeating events in his life over and over again so he can find a way to succeed (Edge of Tomorrow), the story is very unique, and even the parts which are reminiscent of other time travel stories have many differences.
The team of friends, old and new, that joins Sam to protect him and help him beat his nemesis “El Buitre” is a motley cast of characters. At first, Sam’s “Ranch Brothers” from the foster home just look after him and find him when he wanders off into the desert during his daydreams, but when an outlaw comes to kill Sam, the foster boys are prepared to stop him so their friend can escape. Gloria, or “Glory” as Sam dubs her, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Spalding, who run the foster home St. Anthony of the Desert Destitute Youth Ranch. Glory proves a steadfast and brave friend, ready to take on time travel, villains, and whatever other surprises await her and Sam. Father Atsa Tiempo is a mysterious character who can travel through time. He is Sam’s oldest friend, and his mission is to keep Sam alive so Sam can kill El Buitre, an outlaw who can control time like Father Tiempo and plans to use this power to conquer the world.
Sam, as the only person who can stop El Buitre, is caught right in the middle of all the dangerous, twisting action. Sam’s friends are ready to sacrifice themselves over and over for him, but Sam doesn’t want to keep running away to live to fight another day. Will he ever be quick enough to stop the Vulture? Will he ever live to try? How many of the people Sam cares about is he willing to lose along the way?
N. D. Wilson has written another novel that will take readers on a wild ride, not through Henry’s Kansas from 100 Cupboards or Charlie’s swamps from Boys of Blur, but through the deserts, cacti, and danger of the untamed American west.