Book Title: Second Lives
Author: Scott K. Andrews
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton 2016
Source: Bookbridgr, sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review
Page Count: 357
Genre: Science Fiction
Summed up in one word: Timetastic... a made up word I know but true none the less
First Impression: I was a bit nervous reviewing #2 in a series without having read the first entry. This didn't affect my enjoyment of this novel one bit, I definitely need to read part one now (Time-bomb #1) but Second Lives stands very well on its own, brilliant!
Summary Of The Book:
With previous events, horrors and injuries still fresh in their minds and bodies, the time travellers reconvene in a hospital in the future to recuperate and discuss their options. These young travellers have already been through the wars but their enemy won't stop until their all dead so they need to get ahead of the game.
Meet Kaz, Jana and Dora, all from different points in time, all sharing the same wonderful gift, the ability to travel to any point in time. Dora is from the 17th century originally but has spent the last four years training to become a warrior. Jana is a beautiful and fearless character who has something that the enemy wants. Kaz is a strong headed boy, affected by tragedy at a young age he tries his best to protect his friends. Enter Quil the faceless villain who wants the gang dead no matter what, we meet the Quil from the future who along with her husband travels to the end of time to trap and end everyone's lives. We also meet the Quil from the past, before she met the time travellers, hoping to change her mind and end all the fighting.
Second Lives is a roller-coaster of a journey, taking the group to the last point in time to meet Professor Kairos who has a plan to change the events of the past to change the future. Armed with what they learned spending time with the professor the time travellers head to Beirut to try and stop Kaz's mother dying in a car bomb. They go to Mars to prevent one of the most tragic events in the history of mankind. Finally they go back to their enemy's past to try and change events and stop all death and suffering as a result.
This is a satisfying, enjoyable story that will grab you, blast you through time and leave you wanting more. This is going to be a trilogy (yay!) and I can't wait to read the other two instalments.
I am really glad I crossed paths with this novel as it was very impressive. The story was great, starting off small with the story line of Kaz's mother, which was emotionally charged and well put together. Then growing bigger with the Mars piece of the plot, action, tension and violence takes place here in large quantities. Then the big finale, what Andrews had been threading and weaving through the chapters, Quil and her evil master plan, such a nail biting and courageous plot and I enjoyed every minute of it.
The format of the book was small chapters set in various time settings across several characters. Each chapter heading is a countdown to one of the several events in the books and I thought this was cool. The hopping between characters was organised and was in no way disorientating and flowed really nicely. My only problem with the story/format is that a few of the actions or abilities available to the characters were a bit convenient to the plot. For example the 'mind writer' that lets people script other peoples thoughts and actions, this kind of thing does not hurt the effect of this novel, I just think it was an easy way to control the outcome of certain events with very little explanation.
The characters in Second Lives were incredibly well written. The whole gang had something to offer, Andrews creates such a chemistry between these time travellers that when someone hurts them, it hurts you too. Quil is the show stopper here! Her future self is brutal, conniving and unforgiving. Along with the husband who just wants to please her, she tries her best to get rid of her only true enemies. I loved the married couple villains, very refreshing and original. Younger Quil is very suspicious and still very powerful, the gang try and reason with her but will it eventually help? Only reading this book will tell you this.
There is plenty of great science fiction flaunted within these pages and it all helped explain the goings on within the plot very well, At no point did I shout 'Oh come on!!' loudly at the animate object that is this book, apart from the aforementioned wonder cures that are lightly scattered here and there. With a plot loosely based around the theory of Schroedinger's Cat and Quantum Mechanics I was very pleased with this aspect of the material.
Overall it is a great effort by Andrews, this is a hard hitting and addictive piece of fiction, you will not be disappointed. Join the gang on their nightmarish war on the past and the future and see if they all have it in them to bring peace across time itself.
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