Book Review: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
I found this read on Goodreads while perusing for a book to fulfill my reading challenge prompt of “a book involving time travel”, which seemed somewhat of stretch for this category once i finished the book but, c’est la vie!
Harry August lives the same life over again and again. No I don’t mean this figuratively, I mean this quite literally. He is always born at the turn of the century, lives his life, dies, and is born again in exactly the same manner to live his same life again. Always retaining the memories of his former lives, he is quite an exceptionally smart man after a few lives (although he did go quite mad in his second life not knowing wtf was going on). He soon discovers the Cronus Club, it’s members kalachakra or ouroborans as they are known are like himself, living in the endless cycle of birth, life, death. In his eleventh life, a small child comes to him on his deathbed with a dire warning:
“The world is ending…The message has come down from child to adult, child to adult, passed back down generations from a thousand years forward in time. The works is ending and we cannot prevent it. So now it’s up to you.”
So upon his rebirth into his twelfth year, Harry tasks himself with finding out who is altering the worlds timeline, and plot a way to restore it to order. Can Harry out smart the aberration, or is the world doomed for destruction?
Overall I enjoyed this read. I will say that it took me at least half of the book to really get into it though. The beginning did seem to drag, focused mainly on the many previous lives before the warning. And while it was interesing, it didn’t really seem (at the time) to play into the larger plot line. Once things got rolling, it was entertaining to watch the game of wits transpire between Harry and our mystery villain (no spoilers!). The concept was neat, and I enjoyed Harry and reading about all of his previous lives. Made me wonder what I would do with an endless amount of time at my disposal. Would I learn new languages and earn various degrees with each new life, or play the lottery and live each life as one of leisure? (I’m still undecided at the moment, probably a little both seeing as I have all the time in the world!) Interesting and fun, if a tad slow, but one that I would recommend none the less.
Until next week my book loving friends!