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  • Writer's pictureThe Fiction Fox

Review: One Word Kill - Mark Lawrence

So, this isn't going to be much of a coherent review, but I still wanted to put something to paper about One Word Kill. Please forgive any ramblings; as you all know; it's been a month...

Genre: Science Fiction

Published: 47North, May 2019

Rating: 5/5 stars

“Truth may often be the first casualty of war, but dignity is definitely the first casualty of disease.”

I picked up One Word Kill as a short and quick in-between-read, because my mind wasn’t up for longer books at the moment. What I got was so much more….

One Word Kill is honestly a masterpiece in short-fiction; it’s an epic in 200 pages. This is Dungeons and Dragons, childhood cancer, friendship, time travel and so much more, all wrapped up in a neat 200 pages. It contains every word that is necessary, and not a single one more. I can’t explain the respect I have for an author who’s able to do that, as “the art of deleting” is possibly the hardest thing in writing a good novel. What’s left is a concentrated, fast-paced story, that I devoured in one sitting.

On a more personal note: this book hit a few of my personal checkboxes, but especially hit home on the childhood-cancer-bit. I cannot tell you how many books out there get it wrong, and it can utterly wreck my opinion on a book if this is the case. I don’t know if Mark Lawrence is speaking from experience here, or if he’s just managed to place himself perfectly in the mind of a teenage boy in the early nineties going through this, but he got it right.

The protagonists illness isn’t the focal point of the story, but it lingers in the background like an every present threat. At times it is all-consuming and at times it’s just a fact of life as you play a game of D&D with your friends.

The almost casual way it’s interwoven, combined with these short matter-of-fact descriptions of Nicks experiences made this really hit home for me, to the point where I had to stop a few times to take a bit of distance. It’s funny how the unexpected books (the ones that aren’t primarily about cancer) sometimes hit me the hardest.

Find this book on Goodreads


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