Book Review: Limited Wish by Mark Lawrence
I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.
Mogsy’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Book 2 of Impossible Times
Publisher: 47North (May 28, 2019)
Length: 222 pages
I’m loving the quick release schedule for these books, because it meant I was able to jump right into Limited Wish almost immediately after finishing One Word Kill and I was definitely looking forward to continuing the story of Nick Hayes and his friends. Following the events of book one, our protagonist has beaten his diagnosis of cancer and is now enrolled in the prestigious Mathematics program at Cambridge, following in his brilliant late father’s footsteps. It is 1986 and Nick is looking forward to beginning a new chapter in his life as a university student, but still he maintains close ties to his mother and his group of D&D friends at home. Of course, things haven’t exactly been the same between them anymore, not since their brush with time travel, and considering what they’ve all been through, that’s not too surprising.
As it turns out though, Nick’s adventures are far from over. At school, he meets a fellow student who seems strangely familiar, though he’s pretty sure he’s never seen her before. Comprehension dawns as he realizes that his past shenanigans must have caused several disruptions through time, and now life as he knows it is in danger of unraveling unless he can get the gang together again to fix the very fabric of reality—with the help of some unexpected and impossible allies to boot.
Oh, reviewing a time travel book is always so frustrating, because how do you explain the best parts without spoiling things? Multiple possibilities, mind-bending paradoxes, uncanny precognition, communications from the future…this book has it all. I think it’s safe to say if you enjoyed One Word Kill, then Limited Wish will appeal to you for all the same reasons, but with the stakes even higher this time, the difference is that you will likely get hooked much faster and much harder. No small amount of credit is also due to Mark Lawrence for this, for as always, he writes in a style that is easy for readers to grasp and to grow addicted to, so you just can’t help but keep turning the pages. Even the driest and most complex of theories seemed straightforward and superbly, unendingly fascinating in his hands, and as a result, I finished Limited Wish in about a day. It’s also a fast-paced and rather short novel, so that helped as well.
Again, the characters stole the show in this one. Nick Hayes as a protagonist is likeable and sympathetic, to the point where you almost have to resent the author a little for putting this sweet kid through the wringer. Though if you’ve read Mark Lawrence, chances are you already know his characters are no strangers to hardship, given his penchant to throw seemingly impossible obstacles before them. It’s what makes reading his books so worth it. Limited Wish hooked me in because I already felt close to Nick, and it was both joyous and heartbreaking to see him be presented with another challenge. Like One Word Kill, this sequel strikes a fine balance between the entertaining action and the emotional, poignant gut-punch moments. It makes you really feel for Nick, simultaneously making him a character you want to cheer for, as well as to wrap around in protective arms in order to shield him from all the pain and uncertainties of life. At the same time, the story is also full of these wild and incredible scenarios that make you wonder what you would do if you were in the protagonist’s shoes, coming face-to-face with people from his past and present. That is to say, despite its moodier moments, this is a really fun read that contains plenty of lightness to balance out some of the life-altering confusion and angst.
So what else is there left to say, besides I can’t wait to see what else this series has in store for us! I’ve been a fan of Mark Lawrence for a long time, but the last couple of years has seen his writing and storytelling evolve to a whole new level, with the proof of that happening right before us in the Impossible Times trilogy. Bring on the third book, I say, because I’m loving it. With Dispel Illusion due out before the end of the year, I’m just glad the wait won’t be too long!
More on The BiblioSanctum:
Review of One Word Kill (Book 1)