Monday, May 19, 2014

Life II by Scott Spotson

Life II
Author: Scott Spotson
Publisher:  Amazon 
Pages: 633
Release Date: February 5th, 2013
Source: Received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Upon discovering a 1958 book titled "Account of Time Travel on Earth Using Wave Theory," 42-year-old Max Thorning's life is thrown into chaos. Seeking answers to the book's cryptic clues, he discovers Dr. Time, a seemingly benign alien who has control of the Time Weaver, a remarkable device that can command any scene from the Earth's past. Dr. Time offers him a choice to go back into Time, to any point in his lifespan that he can vividly recall. The catch: he can only bring his memories, and can only live the future one day at a time. Follow Max's dilemma as he goes back to his 16-year-old self and tries to forge his destiny into a new one called Life II.

Of all the stories I've read about time travel, Life II beats them in my opinion. It has a somewhat realistic, heartfelt, and unique look at all the "what-ifs" you would face if you suddenly had the chance to go back in time. Rather than following a renegade time-traveler, and focusing entirely on an action packed plot, Life II follows one man as he gives up his old life for a chance to start again, and then lives with the consequences of that experience.

What I like about Life II is there is no returning to the future: once you go into the past, there is no turning back. This gives a sense of finality and commitment to time travel I think many stories are missing. I also like that this story focuses not just the science-fiction aspects of time, but on the reality of time itself. Max is left distinctly aware of the value of every minute, and regardless of the consequences, it emphasizes the need to embracing the time we're given. While the book may be slower to some people, I found it refreshing. It's not going to fill your need for action, but leave you looking at your own life and wondering what you would have done in Max's shoes. 

I like that Max isn't perfect, and he does go off the rails for a while. He doesn't relive his second life perfectly, but he learns and grows in his own way. The book is long, but filled with different characters and a rather well rounded plot. This is a book that makes you sit back and consider your own life as a whole, and learn to embrace it, good and bad. I appreciate a book that lets me think a little, and Life II certainly delivered. 

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