MandaBerry's Books

One person's thoughts on a whole lot of books

Tag Archives: time travel

Replay by Ken Grimwood


Jeff Winston, forty-three, didn’t know he was a replayer until he died and woke up twenty-five years younger in his college dorm room; he lived another life. And died again. And lived again and died again — in a continuous twenty-five-year cycle — each time starting from scratch at the age of eighteen to reclaim lost loves, remedy past mistakes, or make a fortune in the stock market. A novel of gripping adventure, romance, and fascinating speculation on the nature of time, Replay asks the question: “What if you could live your life over again?”

My Rating: 2 out of 5

Bookshelf: No

How I got it:

This wasn’t my favorite. The concept was interesting, and I do enjoy me some time travel stories, but this just didn’t click with me. It’s not that it was poorly written, or that there was anything wrong with it. I didn’t feel connected or concerned about the character, and that, to me, is an important factor. Why should I spend my time reading about a character that I don’t really care about? There are just too many other amazing books out there with characters I could feel something for. I don’t necessarily mean I want to love every character that crosses my path, but even dislike and distaste are welcome rather than not feeling anything. At least then you care if they get their comeuppance.

I also couldn’t help myself by constantly having the movie Groundhog Day pop in my head. It’s the same type of very basic story. Instead of just the one day, this man gets to relive his last 25 years over and over again. It’s interesting to see the different choices he makes each time, but I still couldn’t get that comparison out of my head.

Now, just because it didn’t work for me doesn’t mean it won’t work for you either. If you’re interested in time travel, or a different take on the whole Groundhog Day scenario, give this a shot. It wasn’t a complete waste of time for me because it made me consider a few different “what if” scenarios about what I’d do in that situation, and that was entertaining enough for me.



Review: Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

from the back of the book

For Kivrin, preparing for on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity’s history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the fourteenth century and inventing an alibi for a woman traveling alone.  For her instructors in the twenty-first century, it meant painstaking calculations and careful monitoring of the rendezvous location where Kivrin would be retrieved.  But a crisis strangely linking past and future strands Kivrin in a bygone age as her fellows try desperately to rescue her.  In a time of superstition and fear, Kivrin – barely of age herself – finds she has become an unlikely angel of hope during one of history’s darkest hours.

Five years in the writing by one of science fiction’s most honored authors, Doomsday Boos is a storytelling triumph.  Connie Willis draws upon her understanding of the universalities of human nature to explore the ageless issues of evil, suffering, and the indomitable will of the human spirit.

My Rating: 4 out of 5

Bookshelf: Yes

How I got it: Bought

This is the second book I’ve read by Connie Willis. To Say Nothing of the Dog was the first and it was absolutely fantastic.  I still loved this one, but for a different reason.  The story sets out with an ominous tone, and the paranoid feeling that something bad is going to happen never really lets up. While it sounds bad, it’s actually a good thing because Willis has a way of getting you to care about her characters early on in the story, and I know it worked on me because I was fretting about what could happen to the characters. That, to me, is one measure of a really great story.  If I find myself adding commentary about the characters in my head (“No, no don’t do that!”, “Yes!”, “Oh drats”), then I know the author and the story has won me over.

And what a story.  There’s mystery, plot twists, drama, and humor.  I love the snappy remarks, and the witty banter between the characters. There were a number of slow points in the story, but not enough to make me want to quit reading altogether. I found it to be one of those books that feel like they’re long and are just going to go on forever.  Trust me.  Stick with it because the last 100 pages or so fly by and are just amazing.  I’m really glad that I read it.