Limited Wish (Impossible Times #2), Mark Lawrence

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The dice were rolling. We just had to wait and see how they fell.

It’s the summer of 1986 and reluctant prodigy Nick Hayes is a student at Cambridge University, working with world-renowned mathematician Professor Halligan. When he crosses paths with a mysterious yet curiously familiar girl, Nick discovers that creases have appeared in the fabric of time, and that he is at the centre of the disruption. 

* * * *
4 / 5

In my humble opinion, Limited Wish was a much better book than One Word Kill. It benefits massively from a more interesting setting, a more comfortable relationship with the book’s already-known characters, and a more complex and less predictable time  travel conundrum.

Mathematics is its own language. The language of everything. It doesn’t need someone to explain it. It explains itself and leaves almost no room for ambiguity.

Picking up a little while after the end of One Word Kill, Nick Hayes is a mathematics undergraduate at Cambridge University. I loved this as a setting – I’m a mathematics student myself (though not in Quantum Mechanics!) and I thought this was very nicely incorporated into the plot. He’s broken up with Mia, she’s got a new boyfriend, and Nick runs into a curious new woman called Helen who seems to have something to do with some mysterious ripples in time. There’s also Eva, a new time traveller.

I really liked the new characters – primarily Helen and Eva – and most of the old ones. Limited Wish didn’t do much to improve my view of Mia, however. I also really liked how this book ramped up the plot and the stakes: instead of being followed, Nick is experiencing strange aberrations in time. He’s sees people who don’t remember meeting him. There’s a book that he can’t seem to touch. Books throw themselves off shelves. It’s puzzling and curious.

Time would eventually dance to our tune rather than we to its. 

To me, Limited Wish felt like a more mature version of One Word Kill. The D&D campaign is still present and I found it more interesting this time around, and the way it related to the plot was more subtle. I wasn’t a huge fan of the love triangle (I never am…) and I wasn’t fond of the way the book resolved the “issue” of Helen and Mia’s boyfriends – it felt like a cheap get-out rather than a well thought out twist or proper representation.

All in all, I loved Limited Wish. It felt strange and whimsical and fascinating. I enjoyed the change in setting and the faster pace, and I’m looking forward to reading the final book in the trilogy.

My thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for an ARC of Limited Wish. 

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