The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

Published: October 21, 2014
Publisher: Redhook
Genre: Adult Science Fiction-Time Travel
My Rating: 2/5

Harry August is on his deathbed. Again.
No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes.
Until now. 
As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. "I nearly missed you, Doctor August," she says. "I need to send a message."
This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow. 
When I read the synopsis of the book, I thought this is going to be one of those books that just sticks inside your head and will make you chew your mind pondering about the message of the book and what it delivers. The title is intriguing and the cover is mesmerizing. The reviews it has gotten made me feel ashamed for not able to appreciate the beauty of this book as other readers had claimed it was to be. Never have a book that sounds so interesting feel like such a chore. It started pretty well with a promising start that gives you the feeling that

the story will be magnificent. I was excited! But that feeling diminished as I arrived to the middle of the story. I felt it was sluggish and I struggled to read the next sentences. The story lacks the action that was expected coming from a story that's about a man with multiple lives who's trying to save the world from ending. You'd expect something of an action from that wouldn't you? But for all the dire consequences the human race will face comes the ending of the world were not significant enough to acquire an action from the characters involved. Most of the action involved were by talking. It's not the typical mindless chatter either, mind you. It was full of science and logic and never ending sentences. I was distracted half of the time. There was nothing engaging to the actions of the main character. I guess it was my penchant for reading fast-paced story that made me so hard to enjoy the complexity of this book. 

The main character, Harry August lives multiple life times and it always started the same way. There were others like him and they even have a club for it! Not that the club wants to do anything to save the world so boo on them.
It is interesting to see how August handles the numerous life times he has and how he tries to come to terms with it. 

This book does lives up to the expected complexity and doesn't fail to deliver mind-churning questions and some were answered in the equally mind-churning ways. But the mind-churning ways doesn't help when you were already struggling to enjoy the story and were now forced to comprehend the complex ideas aside to the already mind numbing slow moving story. A drop of rocket-science questions doesn't hurt now and then but this book has a penchant to drag on a long conversation that I just have trouble following. I am as equally troubled of that as of the notion that the reason that I cannot appreciate the story is because of my lack of science knowledge. But I don't think I would have trouble understanding the sciences behind the conversations if I'd tried hard enough. I guess what puts it off is that the conversation was lacklustre and put into consideration that I was past my bed time trying to finish the book.

The book picks up at about a few chapters near the end. I am not satisfied with the ending though. It felt 'incomplete'. It doesn't felt resolute.

Overall, I am disappointed. I was expecting so much more from this book. I was expecting actions, dramas and terrors. But all this book has brought me is exhaustion and disappointment. It might due to the fact that I am not used to read books of such pace. If you are more patient and have a lot of time on your hands then maybe you will like this book.
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