Wow – what a book.
I only picked it up to read the blurb…
which lead me to flip open the front cover and read the first page…
which resulted in me finishing the whole book in one weekend.
Not that I should be surprised. I’ve loved every single one of Mark’s books. And yet, when this was described to me as ‘YA sci-fi’, it didn’t overly pique my interest.
Here’s the thing though. It is sci-fi and the protagonist is 15, so it is sort of YA, but not as I thought it would be.
There are no sparkly vampires, no werewolves, no impending doom or sadistic presidents. Just a bunch of D&D playing 15 year olds, one of which has just been diagnosed with cancer.
Add a dash of time-travel, a dollop of 80’s nostalgia – and we have ourselves quite a find. The book felt fresh and unique. Nick and his group of friends are all very different but their relationships are the heart of the novel. The D&D scenes and how it is linked to the time-travel thread is very well done. Also, I’ve now said the phrase ‘quantum physics’ without being laughed at – twice. Seriously, if I’d read this when in school, I might have had more interest in physics.
So – to all those out there that didn’t give this a go because there aren’t any wizards or mages, think again. There is a lot of magic contained within this book for those who want to find it.
And believe me, you do want to find it.