It’s 1986, Nick has just been diagnosed with cancer, someone is following him, the local psycho wants to get friendly with a knife, and his newest friend Mia is in trouble and he has to find a way to help her. So typical stuff for a 15yr old.
“We were a tribe who had always felt as if we were locked into a box that we couldn’t see. And when D&D came along, suddenly we saw both the box and the key.”
Lets get the obvious out of the way. Mark Lawrence is fucking brilliant. He has stepped away from fantasy and straight into sci-fi so smoothly I wonder if their is anything he can’t do. Science has definitely played a heavy role in his world building in his previous series, but here it is at the forefront.
His ability to write characters that you truly care about is phenomenal. Whether it be my favourite psychopath (team Jorg for life), or a young girl, discarded by those who were meant to love her, or a group of nerdy boys who like to play Dungeons and Dragons on the weekend, Lawrence makes you care for them, laugh with them and want to fight with them. Shit he can even make you scared of them. His characters have so much depth, there is always more to find out, they are so real. His characters are memorable. You might forget bits and pieces of the story after a while but you will never forget the characters and how they made you feel.
In One Word Kill, Lawrence uses this enormous talent to make you love the 80’s and Dungeons and Dragons just as much as it seems he did. While we have a kick ass story happening, this whole book felt like an ode to the 80’s. Whether it be the pure friendships, the way Dungeons and Dragons brought this group of kids from very different backgrounds together or the old movies and music. It seemed like such a fun, innocent time. The whole book has a sweet, pure, nostalgic feeling about it, and it’s thrown up against a plot which is anything but. The plot has a dark feel, with the threat of death and violence constantly in the air.
I’m not a big fan of books with time travel in them, most authors can’t even get close to making it sound plausible, and I end up confused and frustrated. Not Mark Lawrence, the man is a genius for sure, because I could mostly follow the logic, I didn’t understand the science speak but I never felt dumb. I was reading all this intricate information going “yep, this could be it”.
It’s not an overly long book, but it’s a book that you take you’re time with, enjoying the intricate, well written story that has been produced. For some – parts might be like a trip down memory lane, for me it was a wishing I could have experienced that type of friendship and connection with such a variety of people from a younger age. Finding people that share your passion, who you can truly geek out with. There is so much to the story, but the friendship and passion the group shared was my highlight.