Wednesday, May 15, 2019

One Word Kill

One Word Kill (Impossible Times, #1)

One Word Kill was fun. It starts out quite serious, however, with a leukemia diagnosis for the protagonist Nick. He's due to begin chemo therapy just as he meets Mia, a new addition to the regular Dungeons & Dragons game he and his three other (only) friends play. Mia's kinda Goth and there's an instant connection, but Nick has a lot of other stuff going on. In addition to chemo and the bullying he endures at school, not to mention the other problems that go with adolescence, it turns out that Nick is being stalked by a dark stranger. But who is it- and why does he look familiar? 

I liked this one a lot, and it's fairly short to boot. It's the first of a trilogy, and all of them will be out this year. How cool is that? This is a story about parallel universes and time travel, and leans heavily into the multiple timelines theory of time travel. Every time a decision is made, more or less, an alternate timeline is spawned. Nick finds that the time travel doesn't just concern him, however- the stranger needs his friends, as well, for whatever he has planned, and Mia is the focal point. At some point she faces great danger- and Nick can help her. 

The story is set in the 80's- bonus!- and it was a different era then, in a lot of ways. LGBT issues, the acceptance (or stigma) of D&D, the music- all of these are examined, and it's a fun, heady mix. In some ways this almost felt a little too fast, since I've gotten so used to longer books, but at the same time the story moves, and I appreciated that. Mia is awesome, and frankly so is the whole group. It's a slightly stereotypical 80's gaming group, in some ways, and Stranger Things has definitely affected how gaming in the 80's is portrayed, I think, but this was mostly effective.

I was a little unsure of the true purpose of the stranger, and what his motivations were. I liked the uncertainty, and the looming sense of peril throughout. And how often do you get a book where Power Word Kill is referenced? And actually plays a role? If you know what Power Word Kill means, by the way, this is most definitely a book for you! 

As with all time travel stories the subject matter is kinda heavy, but I thought the author did a great job of keeping it from getting out of hand. I feel like I'm getting to be an old hand at time travel stories now! I've read a ton this year alone. This is definitely a stellar addition to the list though, and I highly recommend this if you want a fast paced YA time travel story with a lot of heart.

31 comments:

  1. the time traveling and the timelines is kind of interesting. This seems to have a lot going on. Glad to hear it was fast paced.

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  2. I'm definitely reading this at some point, when my TBR is a little lighter๐Ÿ˜ And now I have to go Google power word kill!

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  3. I just finished this one myself. Wow, what a mind trip. I agree time travel can be a bit hit or miss, but I think he handled it well too.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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  4. A time travel story... set in the 80's??? Where has this been all my life?! I was kind of already on board as you were describing it but then those two key words sealed the deal. I have no idea what Power Word Kill means but I think I'm going to find out. You've convinced me I need this one, Greg!

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  5. This sounds utterly fascinating greg -- thanks for the heads up!

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  6. Sounds really good. I love when I don’t have to wait years for a trilogy. That way I can still remember what happened!

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    1. Exactly! I love that all three are this year

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  7. Great review! This sounds fantastic! Time travel is always something I'm eager to read about! I didn't know all the books would be available this year. Really want to read Red Sister and Prince of Thorns as well.

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    1. Yes it is definitely making me want to read his other stuff!

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  8. I loved the book of the ancestors series so I confess that I'm really curious about this one

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  9. I like the idea of the 1980s setting. I can reminisce my teen years!

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  10. I've been really curious about this one! I only just recently realized how short it is also, so that somehow makes me more intrigued. I'm glad you had a good time with it, it does seem like a lot of fun. I'm always hesitant with time travel, but I like the sound of this--and I love parallel universes. Nice review!

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    1. It's a good book! And the next one is either already out or will be very soon!

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  11. Time travel can definitely go either way for me, but this sounds like a fun read.

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  12. I really enjoy books set in the 80s! I'm not 100% in love with time travel books, but I have liked a few! I read one last year, um, A Thousand Stars? No. Please hold that thought while I check... A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray! Hah, I was close. Gray put an interesting twist on time travel and I was curious to learn more. I guess I need to finish the series.

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? ๐Ÿ’ฌ

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  13. LOVE the sound of this! And when I went to add it to my list, apparently I already own it so. YEP that sounds about right ๐Ÿ˜‚ I don't think I have ever read about time travel in the 80s, and WHY NOT, that sounds amazing!? Also it is only 201 pages and wow that is my kind of book.

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  14. This one has been on my radar for a while and I really like the cover.

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  15. My Kindle's been plugging this one at me for weeks! XD I wasn't sure, but it did interest me. Reading your review has nudged me a bit and I think I'll give it a try.

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  16. This sounds really good - and I'm not usually into time travel stories.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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  17. That's great to hear about the time travel being done well. I struggle with that element a lot. I've only seen time travel done well a handful of times.

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  18. A really enjoyable book review and glad you enjoyed it. Also great to hear the whole series is slated to come out this year:)

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  19. Sounds like an interesting read and I'm glad you mentioned Stranger Things because I was definitely getting that vibe when you were describing the 80s setting. I like the sound of it.

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  20. I don't really care for time travel stories, but an '80s setting is intriguing. ๐Ÿ‘✨

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  21. You know I'm a sucker for time travel stories, and it's really awesome that the whole trilogy is coming out this year!

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  22. I do enjoy a time traveling story and it is great when the entire series is available...no waiting.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  23. This does sound stellar. I will have to grab this one too! You know I do like time travel!

    Mary

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