The First Fifteen Lives of Harry Augustauthor: Claire North
pub info: Redhook, 2014; 432 pp
genre: time travel / science fiction
why I'm reading it: It's this month's selection for one of my book clubs, though I already had it on my to-read list because it looked so good
Harry is cursed (if you like) with a repetitive life--that is, when he dies, he is immediately reborn into exactly the same body at the same time, and his life begins again. Forever. When Harry learns that others like him may be responsible for bringing about the world's end, he decides to act--and that changes everything.
So yeah, I'm aware that the premise is very like Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, which is a stunningly great book--probably the best I read last year. The story, though, couldn't be more different. The style is less literary, which I don't mean as a bad thing; the author just takes a very different voice from the Atkinson book. In both novels, the main characters ponder what it means to have foreknowledge of the future, and whether that compels one to "fix" things. This book is a real page turner, with a strong main character and fascinating storyline. I'm loving it.
Author Claire North has also written under the name Catherine Webb, which she used when writing YA fiction, as well as Kate Griffin. She wrote her first novel when she was 14, for which I have forgiven her. Pretty much.