Review: Second Lives (Timebomb Book 2)

secondlives1By Scott K. Andrews

Hodder, out now

Can the three time travellers change history?

“Flow charts. Colour-coded flow charts. Endless bloody colour-coded flow charts.” That was author Andrews’ comment on our review of the first in this mindbending trilogy, and I’m sure that the flow charts needed to go into overdrive to make sense of the developments during this second book, which makes Back to the Future II’s time travel shenanigans seem like a Janet and John storybook. Although Andrews reminds us of the various plotlines at the start of the book, there’s no way that this is going to make sense unless you’ve read Timebomb and while some of the questions left unanswered at the end of that do get resolution in this, a whole parcel of new ones are set up.

We catch up with our various characters at different times in their lives, and it’s to Andrews’ credit that pretty much all the time you’re clear where they are relative to their own futures and past (and where it’s not clear, there’s a good reason). We also meet family members for each of them, some of whom are not quite as we expect – or end up that way.

If all this sounds rather vague, that’s deliberate – Andrews pulls a number of surprises on characters and readers and you become invested enough in the characters and their missions not to want them spoiled. If you enjoyed the first book – and if you want a use of Schrodinger’s Cat that’s considerably better explained and used than in Blake Crouch’s recent Dark Matter! – then you’ll find this doesn’t disappoint; if you’ve not yet read Timebomb, read that first then dive in here.

Verdict: Wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey dialled up to 11. 8/10

Paul Simpson

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