One Word Kill – Mark Lawrence

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One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Thomas Allen & Son
Published: May 2019
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Time Travel, Friendship Dynamics


This is a cool, nerdy book. I don’t remember the last time I said that about a book, but despite some atrocious events that happen in the story, I would have liked to be part of Nick’s crew and play Dungeons & Dragons with him and his friends.

It’s not an easy book to get into, and I’m sure some of you won’t want to get past chapter two because of the writing, but if you stick with it you will most likely come to appreciate Mark Lawrence’s distinct style and Nick’s mature voice as well as dry humour.

Because it’s so short, things happen rather fast. Nick’s illness is discussed on the very first page, Mia is introduced early on, Demus makes an appearance within the first fifty pages and the story gets even more intense from that point on. I enjoyed the sense of urgency.

But because the focus is on the action and the author doesn’t always take the time to elaborate on some situations, preferring to keep the mystery intact, there is a lack of attention paid to the relationships between characters. We know Mia is important from the very beginning, but I personally did not ship her with Nick. There is no romance between them. No real chemistry, I think. Mark Lawrence just did not convince me there.

I am convinced, though, by the science fiction aspect. The time travel and Nick’s need to save others and himself. The ending especially makes me really want to pick up the sequel right this second. Not perfect… but getting there, perhaps.


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