The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry AugustThe First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
Published by Redhook on October 21st 2014
Pages: 405
ISBN: 0316399620
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four-stars

No matter how old he is when he dies..he always goes back to the beginning.

As Harry August nears the end of his 11th life, he is approached by a little girl who says “I nearly missed you, Doctor August,’ she says. ‘I need to send a message” and so begins the story. The story of a man who lives, who dies, who lives the same life again, but with the knowledge of each life he has lived before. Whew! Got it. He is born, he lives, he dies, he is born (same parents) and lives the same life, with the knowledge gained from all of his previous lives. In one of his lives he learns that he is an Ouroboran, which is basically the name of a person who is born over and over again with the knowledge of past lives. He also learns that he is not alone in this and that there are others out there like him (Kalachakra). He learns that they have formed a sort of club called the Cronos Club.

How does a man learn from his past, to live in the present, to change a past event in order to prevent a future that cannot be allowed? Mind Fuck!

With dying and being born all over again….well this book could feel like Groundhogs day. It could also feel incredibly tedious. But it DOESN’T. This book is SERIOUSLY unique, well thought out and crafted. Harry’s internal dialogue is insightful and witty. This book is so many things all balled into one: a thriller, a mystery, science fiction, time travel, etc. It also explores if you had to live the same life over and over again would you make the same choices? Befriend the same people? Have the same job? Love the same person? Become a parent?Or would your past knowledge lead you down a slightly different path? How does knowing what is to come affect a person- not just things in your own life…but what if you knew there was going to be a war, what if you could save a life, what if you took a life? When you have a task to carry out..how do you accomplish this over many lifetimes?

This did slow a little bit for me in the middle but then it picked up again. Overall, I might have given a higher rating if the book had approx. 30-40 pages edited out. The thought and imagination that went into this book was fantastic.

four-stars

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