The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
A review by editor Shelley Timms
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is a time travel story with a difference. He lives, he dies, and then he starts over again; in the exact same place he was born, and with all of his memories from his previous lives intact.
When a young girl visits him on his deathbed and delivers a terrifying message, Harry must spend his lives trying to stop the world from ending. As each of his lives end, the impending apocalypse nears closer. Throughout the entire book one question looms: Will he be able to save the world?
This book was awesome, but pretty confusing at times. I found it hard to get my head around the concept of kalachakras (the technical term for Harry’s kind), but I eventually started to understand and got really into the inventive plot line.
It was interesting to see how other kalachakras spent their lives, and Harry’s travels throughout time gave insight into other character’s experiences with their gift. One character just spent his life fighting in wars; Vietnam, the Balkans, Afghanistan… Once he dies he just grows up and signs up to fight again.
I feel as though the book dragged a little, with some chapters getting dull and seeming like unnecessary fillers in between the main story line. It would have benefitted from being about 50 or so pages shorter, I believe. The plot twist was amazing, but could have definitely happened sooner. That being said, I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves sci-fi or time travel, as I have never read anything quite like it before.