Forty-two-year-old accountant Max Thorning stumbles across a code in a bizarre, obscure book about time travel, and buys a plane ticket to Athens, Greece, where he meets an alien, who proposes to send his consciousness back to any previous point in his life. Max steps into the Time Weaver and once again becomes his sixteen-year-old self… but this time, he has the experience and weight of memories of a grown man. He sets out to change his destiny, struggling to balance the memories of two parallel lives, haunted by memories of the wife and children that he left behind in his first life.
The book contains some great ideas and intriguing themes. Max constantly tries to use his foreknowledge of events to better his own life, and those of his friends and family. But while he may be able to predict the stock market and date the girl he never had the courage to ask out, he cannot know the repercussions that his interference will have on the people closest to him, creating new conflicts within his family even as he tries to resolve or prevent the ones he remembers.
Through Max’s effect upon a life that seems to spiral ever more outside his expectations and beyond his control, Life II reaches toward some emotionally and morally deep places, but without always fully exploring them. Partly, this is because of the time span of the book – as Max attempts to engineer his new life over a span of years, the story necessarily becomes a series of highlights. Overall, the reading difficulty makes the book seem targeted toward a young adult audience. The potential of the story is also sometimes restricted by flat characters, stilted dialogue, and simple prose. But for any fan of time travel stories, those elements are worth wading through in order to fully consider Max’s dilemma.
|Page Count||643 pages|
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|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|