“I never expected to die in a punt chase.”
Following on from One Word Kill (so if you haven’t read that go and avoid any people-who-survived type spoilers!!), Nick Hayes, 16-year-old mathematics genius, now knows that he has about 25 years to invent time travel before coming back to meet himself last month. So, he decides it’s time to stop pretending to be ‘normal’ and accept early admission to a posh University filled with upper class nobs, where he can try to dumb down his explanations to his new maths professor. He also has to try to reclaim the girl that he was trying to save in the first book, but who is understandably a little freaked out by all the ‘destiny’ with their relationship.
Much as I enjoyed OWK, it didn’t quite hit all the buttons I would have hoped for. Still, I was looking forward to this sequel to see where the story would go. And I was not disappointed! In fact, LW is the story getting much more into its stride, and as a result I enjoyed it even more.
Time travel has always been one of my favourite plots in speculative fiction, and I very much like how it’s handled here. The characters feel a lot more grown up, too, despite the passing of mere months. And with different expectations after book one, the gentle nods towards the ‘period’ (hey – I lived through it, it’s not exactly the Victorian age!!) made me smile rather than being disappointingly light. There is a great deal of amusement, I thought, from the mention of modern band names and how nonsensical they would be in the 1980s – Lady Gaga? Red Hot Chilli Peppers? Fnarf.
I also loved the way the D&D game reflects the events in real life for the kids, without being overly forced. This takes a while to show up, as in the first book, but is a nice little touch.
Recommended, and bring on the third installment already!
NetGalley eARC: 222 pages / 21 chapters
First published: 28th May 2019
Series: Impossible Times book 2
Read from 11th-19th May 2019
My rating: 8/10