Publication Date: February 5, 2013
In Life II by Scott Spotson, Forty-two-year-old, Max Thorning finds a mysterious book written in a number of languages regarding time travel. It becomes his obsession and he tracks an alien named Dr. Time to Athens, Greece. Dr. Time shows Max a method of time travel that he would never have imagined existed and offers him the rare chance to live his life over. When Max returns to his 16-year-old self how will he live his second chance at life?
The author, Scott Spotson, gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.
If you could go back to any point in your past, what point would you choose? Spotson puts a new twist on a plot line that has been used frequently in film and literature. If you had your life to do over again, what would you do differently? Max heads to his 16-year-old self and makes choices that he knows impact the timeline of where his life is plotted to go. More interesting to this reader, Max and I are of an age. I’m a couple of months older than he and I relate to his character is an experience of era and progression.
The start of Life II drags considerably. Thorning finds the book and begins his quest for its origins and gives us an idea of what will be sacrificed in what we know will come and it is laborious. Had I picked this novel up on the bookstore shelf and read the first ten pages, I would have put it back. Complicating the matter is that Max is not easy to like. Early on he gets angry with his wife so petulantly asks a friend to attend the theater with him in her place. At that moment, he seemed ridiculous to this woman who is also married and the same age as the character. The commitment to review kept me reading and I’m glad that I did. Once Spotson settles into the story, the narrative becomes engaging and interesting. Spotson goes where all time traveling stories go but adds a layer of unique perspective. Max gets a bit of a smack in the face to his outlook but Spotson doesn’t offer him a miracle change that is something of a credit to Spotson’s consistency.
Consistency in a very complex story line seems to be Spotson’s strong suit. Subjective matter aside, Spotson’s style, once he gets going, is quite fluid and flawlessly done. I’m not the person to ask if the scientific aspects are logical. This is science fiction so I have to think there’s a lot of creativity involved but it has the ring of truth (beyond the truly far-fetched aspects) and that has to be difficult to accomplish. I have a lot of respect for anyone who puts the kind of work Spotson clearly did into his novel. That said, I’m not sure that I would go back for a second read.
If you like intelligent science fiction novels, Life II may be the novel for you. Pick it up and let me know what you think.
Read an excerpt and pick up Life II by Scott Spotson on