Thursday, 17 April 2014

Life's Lottery Review

Review By
Patrick Scattergood

Written By
Kim Newman

Published By
Titan Books

Role Playing, Thriller


A role-playing novel that reveals how small decisions can have monumental consequences. If you choose the right possibilities you may live a long happy life, or be immensely rich, or powerful, or win the lottery. 

If you make other choices you may become a murderer, die young, make every mistake possible, or make no impression on life at all. 

The choice is yours.


I have to admit that I do find Kim Newman's books a little hit and miss to my personal tastes but when he brings his 'a' game to his writing, he is a wonderful writer.

With this novel he has definitely brought his 'a' game with this rather ingenious take on the old choose your own adventure stories that we used to do as kids where the decisions you made determined exactly what happened to your character.  Here, Newman has crafted a superb adult take on those books.

With a wonderfully creepy and sense of dread that runs throughout the entire book, every decision you make during the book can change your characters destiny either in a big way or a small way.  I loved that about the book because, just like in real life, each decision no matter how big or how small affects your life.  Some things could change the entire course that your life was going to take and others may only change something miniscule.  This managed to make me take the time after reading this to reflect on my own life and the decisions that I've made.

The cleverness of the novel really helped to raise it above much of Newman's other work.  I would even go so far to say that this is one of his best novels by far.  There were so many moments in the book that I actually felt creeped out by some of the end results that could happen to the character depending on what choices you made.  It really raised the point of just how fickle life can be.  Something that you think may not be important at all could end up changing absolutely everything about you and your life.  That idea has always interested me and has always made me wonder just how life would be different if I'd made different choices.

Character wise, it's great to see how they change throughout the book.  In fact, Newman has crafted something that you don't see a lot in the world of writing.  A book that you can easily read a lot of times and manage to find something new each and every time.

If you are a fan of Kim Newman's books then this should definitely be in your collection.  It's an ingenious, well written and has great pacing along with the twists and turns that will really hook the reader in.  Well worth picking up.

Story 8/10
Characters 8.5/10
Cover 8/10
Recommended 8.5/10
Overall 33/40

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