Sunday, January 25, 2015

Doomsday Book - Review

Title: Doomsday Book
Author: Connie Willis

Synopsis: “In the year 2054, students research the past by living in it. So when Kivrin Engle, a history student at Oxford, enters Brasenose College's time machine for transport back to 1320s England, no one anticipates any problems. “But her two-week project takes a frightening turn. A mutant virus has been spreading through Oxford, and Kivrin arrives in the past delirious with fever. She is found and taken to a manor house, and when she recovers, she can no longer locate the time machine rendezvous point. “As Kivrin struggles to adjust to a past that's not quite what she expected, a past where the Black Death is beginning to ravage a mystified, terrified population. With the only people who know where she's gone seriously ill themselves, will Kivrin ever find her way back to the future? Or has she become a permanent exile in a deadly time?”

Review: A stranger approached me in Barnes & Noble while I was book shopping a couple of months ago. We started talking about the book I was holding, and then we started talking about what we both liked to read. We both like strong female characters. She said that she had recently discovered an author named Connie Willis and binge read everything that she had written and wished that there was more. So I wandered in that direction and looked at the Connie Willis books Barnes & Noble had in stock. They had Blackout, All Clear and Doomsday Book. Blackout and All Clear are a series. I had so many books already in my TBR pile that I didn’t want to try a new author by starting a series at that time. So I picked up Doomsday Book; and then there it sat in my TBR pile (which actually could take up an entire bookcase if you included all the ebooks I had piling up at that time). I actually forgot about it sitting there until about a month ago, during the stress of the holidays I was looking for something different to take my mind off of the stress. I saw Doomsday Book sitting there and remembered my conversation with the woman in Barnes & Noble. “It’s time travel” she had said “and the history is very well researched”. Good time travel novels are hard to find. I picked up Doomsday Book with some trepidation.
      Unfortunately it was a weeknight. I couldn’t stay up all night to finish. I read it in two nights and was a zombie at work for two days because I stayed up too late. I had trouble putting it down. Historians using time travel as a means of research is a fascinating idea. In Doomsday Book historians become adventurous heroes and survivors. History becomes real as Kivrin struggles to survive so far away from home.
      I loved this book so much that for two days I talked about nothing else. I talked about Doomsday Book at work and at home nonstop. And then, when I finished it, I stopped talking about it because I was sad it was over. I now also own Blackout and All Clear. Even if you aren’t a fan of time travel you will love Doomsday Book. The writing of Connie Willis is wonderfully complex and the story will draw you in and refuse to let you go. Go read it now. You won’t regret it.

 Publisher: Bantam/ Spectra
If you like this book you may want to read:

 Blackout and All Clear by Connie Willis (read BookGirlR's review here)

 Time Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevitt

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