Dispel Illusion (Impossible Times #3) by Mark Lawrence

Dispel Illusion brings to a close the Impossible Times series by Mark Lawrence.  I think I can say with sincerity that this book is the perfect conclusion.  Absolutely satisfying and the type of ending where you close the book with a ridiculous smile.  This is such a whirlwind of a book.  The pace is fast, there are plenty of threads to follow and in typical time travel fashion it’s an absolute jumble of timelines each bulging with the possibility of their own impending paradox. And, the twists.

This is a difficult book to discuss the plot.  The three books are so intricately entwined and I don’t want to give away any spoilers so if you are planning to read this series then be warned that this review could verge into dangerous territory.

Basically, Nick is a few years older as the story begins.  He’s still working on the time travel that will be necessary in order to make his more mature self travel back to help save Mia.  I love all these conundrums when time travel enters the scene and Lawrence does a fantastic job of using the teasers that jumping back in time creates.  The people funding Nick’s research are a bit unsavoury.  Here we have a very rich man with an incurable disease who wants to leap into a more modern time where advances in medicine might be able to help him live a little longer.  Desperate times call for desperate measures and Nick’s funder is becoming dangerous – or at least his henchman is.  Anyway, I’m not going to give anything more away about the plot.

So, the characters.  I love the way Nick is just so real. He really grows throughout the series and his ‘mature’ self is just as plausible as his younger self.  His relationship with Mia is really strong and he still values his friendships.  His discoveries have brought him scientific accolades and to all extents he’s making great strides in the scientific field but all of his actions are a little fraught and edged with sadness – if you’ve read the second book you’ll understand why this is the case.  There’s such an abundance of thought provoking material here – not least of all the strange idea of destiny and the issue about if you could know exactly when you would die – would you want to?  And how would that knowledge change you and impact upon your life.

The timelines jump around a little and in some respects you could say this is an incredibly complex novel and yet at the same time it’s wonderfully easy to understand. It’s puzzling really. Sci-fi isn’t really my comfort zone and time travel can be tricky to say the least and yet neither of these niggles were issues here.

I think Mark Lawrence excels at the big picture. In setting things in motion and jumping around in the timelines of his stories to show you things from a character’s future, or past, that later feeds into the story in such a jaw dropping fashion. This trickery plays a big part here and it’s just incredibly well done. I really am in awe of how all the threads come together.

The writing is once again really good.  There is a sense here of the author just enjoying himself with all the flashbacks and references and that comes across.  But, more than that, it ponders that age old question of ‘if you could travel back in time – what advice would you give to your younger self’.  I think everyone must, at one time or another have considered this very thing and this book really plays into that train of thought.  On top of that I think this is the sort of series that has multiple appeal. It’s a clever story, well constructed and gripping to read. For me it put me in mind of so many things and this was an element of the story that I personally loved but, at the same time, I think this will be equally appealing to readers whether or not they share that experience.

In terms of criticisms. I don’t have anything to be honest.

This was a very entertaining series to read. It exceeded my expectations in every way. I always pick up sci fi books with a mild feeling of fear – basically that I simply won’t understand everything or maybe the sci fi will be overwhelming and won’t appeal to me.  What can I say – that wasn’t the case here.  My fears were unnecessary.

Plus, a very satisfying conclusion indeed.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

Rating 5*

Can’t Wait Wednesday : Dispel Illusion (Impossible Times #3) by Mark Lawrence

Can't Wait Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : Dispel Illusion (Impossible Times #3) by Mark Lawrence.  The final instalment of the highly enjoyable Impossible Times series by Mark Lawrence.  I can’t wait to see how everything concludes and there isn’t a long wait – due out on 14th November.  Here’s a snippet from the first chapter taken from Goodreads:

Dispel Illusion“Chapter 1 – 1992

The two saving graces of explosions are that from the outside they’re pretty and from the inside they’re quick. The one I was in was taking forever though and had none of the fiery goodness of the typical Hollywood offering. When time explodes it tends not to create exciting fireballs, and most of the shrapnel inside the Winston Laboratory was crawling through the air at a pace that makes snails look zippy.”

So, looks like things are going to get off to a fairly dramatic start then.

Literally – I can’t wait.


Here are my reviews for books 1 and 2.