It is an honor to be part of Mark Lawrence’s blog tour for his latest book: One Word Kill!
Ready Player One meets Stranger Things in this new novel by the bestselling author whom George RR Martin describes as “an excellent writer.”
One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence
Published by 47North (an imprint of Amazon Publishing) / £19.99
HB / £4.99 PB / e-book £3.98 / Audiobook £20.12 / 1 May 2019
In January 1986, fifteen-year-old boy-genius Nick Hayes discovers
he’s dying. And it isn’t even the strangest thing to happen to him that
Nick and his Dungeons & Dragons-playing friends are used to living
in their imaginations. But when a new girl, Mia, joins the group and
reality becomes weirder than the fantasy world they visit in their
weekly games, none of them are prepared for what comes next. A
strange—yet curiously familiar—man is following Nick, with abilities
that just shouldn’t exist. And this man bears a cryptic message: Mia’s
in grave danger, though she doesn’t know it yet. She needs Nick’s
He finds himself in a race against time to unravel an impossible mystery and save the girl. And all that stands in his way is a probably terminal disease, a knife-wielding maniac and the laws of physics.
‘The ending is absolutely spectacular and wraps everything up perfectly. I loved the setting, the protagonist, the characters including the supporting and very minor players, the thrills and spills and emotions.’ Fantasy Book Review on One Word Kill
‘An enthralling tale about people challenged by dire adversity, and isn’t that at the heart of every great story?’ The Fantasy Hive on One Word Kill
About the Author
Mark Lawrence is married with four children and lives in Bristol with his family.
Before becoming a writer his day job was as a research scientist focused on
various rather intractable problems in the field of artificial intelligence. He has
held secret level clearance with both US and UK governments. At one point
he was qualified to say ‘this isn’t rocket science … oh wait, it actually is’.
He is the author of the Broken Empire trilogy (Prince of Thorns, King of
Thorns and Emperor of Thorns), the Red Queen’s War trilogy (Prince of
Fools, The Liar’s Key and The Wheel of Osheim) and the Book of the
Ancestor series (Red Sister, Grey Sister and Holy Sister).
I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
It seems Mark has done it again, and I can honestly say I really enjoyed this book. I think it’s Mark’s first foray into sci-fi, and I think he’s done a great job overall.
Reading this book has made me want to take up Dungeons and Dragons.
In all seriousness, this is a short yet brilliant tale of a boy with cancer that explores the perils and beauties of time travel, a friendship with his fellow group of oddball friends and a new girl, the journey fraught with danger. There is a really solid narrative at work here, playing with a strong cast that got me interested from the beginning. You can really feel the realism with the characters and their friendships, and the setting while quaint is well done as well. This is a very short book, but it feels a lot bigger, packing in a well-crafted world in a small package. That takes skill to pull off. You really feel their friendships in the book from the beginning – which makes the ending even harder to swallow.
The main character Nick gets the most attention, a boy who is struggling with cancer that feels all too real. Once again, this just shows off the skill of the book and making me care about the characters. It also plays on the power of time travel beautifully, with his future self coming back into his timezone. The reactions to all of it feels believable. The villain in this case is a ruthless, sadistic asshole from school who becomes quite the threat, which leads into a fantastic finale.
The ending twist is brutal and brilliant and leaves me with a smile on my face, but a pained one. Sacrifices are made. This is a short, sweet dessert that leaves me wanting more. Even better, it’s part of a series as well. I cannot wait for the second book.
Final score: 4/5. Well written, powerful and made me smile throughout. My only wish is it was a little longer, but that is just me being petty. It’s well deserving of a 5/5.