2 September 2015

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

The blurb: No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, every time Harry dies, he always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes - until now. As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. 'I nearly missed you Doctor August,' she says. 'I need to send a message.' This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

Rating: 5/5

This is one of those books that, while reading it, you're constantly marvelling at how clever the author is. Although time travel isn't a brand new concept, this story is a great reinvention. Imagine being born again and living as a young child already knowing everything bad that will ever happen to you? It's not surprising that the first few times this happens to Harry, he struggles to adjust.

The first part of the book is mostly covering Harry's background, and the story of those like him, collectively known as kalachakra, so expect a bit of a slow start. The real story doesn't kick in until a bit later on when, on his eleventh death bed, Harry is visited by a young girl who tells him the world is ending, more quickly with each life, and he must find out how to stop it. The narrative does jump around quite a lot as you can expect from a time travel story, but because the concept is explained quite thoroughly in the first part, I found it was quite easy to keep up with. The story covers a lot of interesting themes too, such as the acceleration of technology and it's effect on the planet, and the difference between right and wrong, a good or a bad life. It's most definitely a thriller, as Harry races against time to stop destruction, using each of his next lives to further investigate the threat. If you're looking for a real escape of a book, I would definitely recommend this.

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