- Limited Wish (Impossible Times #2).
- Mark Lawrence.
- 222 pages.
- Science Fiction / Time Travel / Fiction.
- My Rating: Hell Yeah Book Review.
One choice. Two possible timelines. And a world hanging in the balance.
It’s the summer of 1986 and reluctant prodigy Nick Hayes is a student at Cambridge University, working with world-renowned mathematician Professor Halligan. He just wants to be a regular student, but regular isn’t really an option for a boy-genius cancer survivor who’s already dabbled in time travel.
When he crosses paths with a mysterious yet curiously familiar girl, Nick discovers that creases have appeared in the fabric of time, and that he is at the centre of the disruption. Only Nick can resolve this time paradox before the damage becomes catastrophic for both him and the future of the world. Time is running out—literally.
Wrapped up with him in this potentially apocalyptic scenario are his ex-girlfriend, Mia, and fellow student Helen. Facing the world-ending chaos of a split in time, Nick must act fast and make the choice of a lifetime—or lifetimes.
Limited Wish finds sixteen-year-old mathematics genius, Nick Hayes a few months after the ending of One Word Kill and now trying to navigate the perils and pitfalls of university life at Cambridge University. I won’t go into any further detail about the story as the blurb does a good job of highlighting what Limited Wish is about and well, like Nick trying to unravel the mysteries of paradoxes and time travel it is a story that you will want to unravel for yourself.
As the narrator, Nick is a tremendous character. He is the heart of the story, the soul and we see events unfold through his eyes. He runs the gamut of hardship and Lawrence sure puts him through the wringer. He is awkward, determined, introverted, clueless around girls, hopeless at romance, highly likeable, will be relatable to many and you can’t help but feel sympathetic towards and root for him.
Once again there is plenty of humour in the book with Lawrence seemingly able to find the perfect place to add it to the story to help lighten the darkness and make you smile. The banter between Nick and his D&D playing group of friends is again excellent. I did, however, feel that there is slightly less banter this time around but that is to be expected as they are all now carrying the weight of the events from One Word Kill with them.
I’ve never played it but I love the D&D aspects of the book and how what is going on in the groups D&D game seems to mirror what is happening in Nick’s life. Lawrence is a fantasy writer, it has been his bread and butter and you can see his ability to write fantasy in the D&D sessions as the table-top fantasy setting comes to vivid life on the pages of Limited Wish.
There’s lots of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey (yes, I quoted The Doctor the geekiness is strong today) stuff in Limited Wish, science, paradoxes, multiple timelines, tears in the fabric of time, time echoes and the time travel element of One Word Kill is expanded upon. Things are getting more complicated and the stakes are higher. It is all very complex subject matter and yet, it is written in such a way that it never goes flying completely over your head or leaves you confused. While you might not understand all of it, you understand enough and Lawrence manages to make it easy to follow even if you don’t grasp everything.
The character count in Limited Wish is higher than in the previous book but it is still very much Nick’s story with Nick being ably supported by his group of friends. There’s a depth to Nick, a maturity that belies his young age as he battles with both his health and everything else that life throws at him. The characterisation by Lawrence is stellar, the new characters introduced all have a role to play and with the returning characters, it was a pleasure to once again be reacquainted with them all. Especially Simon, who is even more awkward and socially inept than Nick.
The villain in Limited Wish is evil personified. A truly sinister, cold and calculating character. In One Word Kill, the bullies and the bad guy were menacing but in Limited Wish Lawrence takes things to the next level and really ramps up the threat factor.
The 1980’s setting of the story comes to life upon the pages. Nostalgia and pop culture references abound, it is awesome, it is wonderful, enough said on that.
For me, Limited Wish didn’t quite manage to recreate the magic of One Word Kill. However, it is still a terrific book that I loved reading. I just felt that the overall emotional impact of the story was slightly lessened as nothing could compare to Eva from One Word Kill. Poor little Eva was enough to make even the coldest heart thaw. She was only a minor character but she had a huge impact on both the reader and on Nick (which has reverberated into Limited Wish). Yes, I know that am being rather finicky as there is still plenty of emotion to be found within the pages of Limited Wish and there is even a surprise reappearance by a character that is truly moving.
I read Limited Wish over the course of a couple of days as it was impossible to put down and I found it to be a thoroughly engaging, enjoyable and addictive read with some surprising twists, relentless pacing throughout and an exhilarating finale.
Lawrence nicely wraps up the part of Nick’s story that is told in Limited Wish. The ending, which I really liked and which has echoes of the One Word Kill ending (which made me smile at the nod) left me eager for the November release of the third and final book in the Impossible Times trilogy Dispel Illusion and to find out what is next in store for Nick.
At just over 200 pages Limited Wish is a short book and one in which Lawrence packs a hell of a lot into those pages. It is a mind-bending story that is action-packed, funny, poignant and full of heart.
Purchase Limited Wish (Impossible Times #2).
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