One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Fast-paced, engaging and well written story that combines Ready Player One, Stranger Things and Back to the Future into one intriguing story about four teens who play D&D together. Mark Lawrence proves that he is capable of dominating any genre (be it fantasy or science fiction) with his relatable characters and action packed plot.
Manly but Sweet
‘Of all the worlds, in all the universe, he walks into mine.’ Mia wrapped the Casablanca quote around Everett’s many worlds interpretation and gained another level in my esteem.'
Absolutely brilliant quote! A super sweet moment between our main guy and his possible love interest that shows the depth of Lawrence's story. He gives us well rounded out characters that have fears, loves and react in a way most humans (especially teenage boys) are likely to given the (extreme) situations portrayed in One Word Kill.
Dungeons & Dragons
It's far from new to integrate a D&D campaign into a story. Most of the first Dragonlance novel were based off actually played out D&D campaigns of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (near death rolls and all). It's nice to see the comeback that board gaming has made with shows like The Big Bang Theory and Stranger Things highlight the fun (low tech) activity it can be. One Word Kill is a great addition to this group of media. There's a camaraderie that anyone whose played a campaign of D&D with friends can appreciate and I think Lawrence captures this very accurately here.
Plot, Magic and Story
I don't want to say too much about any of these three elements as I would never be able to describe or give justice to the imagination and writing style of Mark Lawrence. I also don't want to give away any juicy surprises!
This is my first time reading a full novel of Lawrence's and there is no doubt that all his novels on my shelf have just vaulted up in reading priority. With an elegance and excitement that is hard to parallel, Lawrence draws us into his world and ensures we must play by the rules.
Few would dispute that Lawrence isn't one of today's top fantasy writers leading into the release of this series. I suspect many will now put him in the science fiction category as well. Overall I'd be surprised to learn that any fantasy/science fiction reader completely hated this book. Some may not be an enamored as others (there are a lot of geek references); but there is a lot to like here. This is a series worth getting into and a strong start in sci-fi for Lawrence.
Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
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