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 : The Girl and the Stars (Book of the Ice #1) 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 : The Girl and the Stars (Book of the Ice #1) by Mark Lawrence – I don’t need to explain why I want this book in my life do I?

TheGirlandtheStars.jpgA stunning new epic fantasy series following a young outcast who must fight with everything she has to survive, set in the same world as Red Sister.

In the ice, east of the Black Rock, there is a hole into which broken children are thrown. Yaz’s people call it the Pit of the Missing and now it is drawing her in as she has always known it would.

To resist the cold, to endure the months of night when even the air itself begins to freeze, requires a special breed. Variation is dangerous, difference is fatal. And Yaz is not the same.

Yaz’s difference tears her from the only life she’s ever known, away from her family, from the boy she thought she would spend her days with, and has to carve out a new path for herself in a world whose existence she never suspected. A world full of difference and mystery and danger.

Yaz learns that Abeth is older and stranger than she had ever imagined. She learns that her weaknesses are another kind of strength and that the cruel arithmetic of survival that has always governed her people can be challenged.

Expected publication April 2020

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.

#SPFBO Cover Competition


The cover competition for this year’s SPFBO is now live.  See here for all the details.  Each blogger will now pick four covers and place them in their order of first, second, etc.  Check out some of these covers – there are some absolute beauties here.  It’s going to be a real struggle to narrow this down to four – at the moment I have at least 10 very strong contenders!  Which ones are your favourites:


Fantasy Book Critic

Lynn’s Books

The Qwillery


Kitty G

Thoughts Stained With Ink


The Fantasy Hive
Rockstarlit Book Asylum

#SPFBO5 – a few details


The Self Published Fantasy Blog Off 5 (SPFBO 5) is about to start and usually I take a moment to outline my process.  To be brief the competition is the brainchild of Mark Lawrence, further details can be found on his blog and the first stage is outlined here.  The Competition involves 300 books, 10 bloggers and one winner.  During the first phase the 300 books are divided equally between the 10 blogs, each blog is then tasked with choosing just one book from their allocation to become a finalist.  The second stage involves the ten finalists.  Each blog reads the other bloggers’ finalists and rates the books and hopefully a winner will come to the fore – voila! Simples, no.

As the competition begins each blogger nominates three covers to be put forward into the cover competition.  Details here.  My list of books and all my covers can be found here and my final selection was posted yesterday.  Go and check out the covers selected – because wow!

So, this year.  Firstly, I have to say what a fantastic batch of books I have been allocated – I am so excited to get started, but, one thing at a time.  I’d like to welcome all my lovely authors.  I hope you enjoy the competition.  I realise it’s a bit daunting putting your work out there for scrutiny and I want you to benefit from doing so.  Let’s be honest, there is only one winner but that doesn’t mean that you can’t all make the most of it.  Make friends, make contacts and have some fun.  With that in mind I would like to extend an open invitation to all of you to visit my blog if you would like to do so.  Just leave me a message in the comments.

I’m going to follow a similar pattern to previous years.  The first stage of the competition runs for five months.  I randomly select six titles each month, I hope to read at least 30% of each title and choose one semi finalist each month leaving me with five possibilities to choose from at the end of the first stage – from which I will then pick my finalist. I will post mini reviews for the books in each batch and a full review for each of the five semi finalists.  This is the format I followed in the first three competitions.  I changed it slightly last year but I’m going back to the original process because I think I took on a little too much last year – I’m only one blogger after all and even with the best intentions I have to be realistic.

So, at the start of each month I will publish a post that details the six books I’m hoping to check out that month.  In that post I will try and provide as much information as possible about the book and the author – all publicity is good publicity right?  I will give every book a fair chance and read at least 30%.  I would also mention that I like lots of different styles of books so don’t worry about that. Grimdark, steampunk, gaslight, flintlock, urban and sweepingly epic – you name it, I like it, gothic, classic, history, mystery, noir – I just want it to be good and every book will have an equal chance.  Also, in terms of my blogging style I err on the positive side.  That’s my style and even if your book doesn’t work it’s magic on me I will give fair and sensitive feedback.

That’s it.  I’m hoping to keep things informal and light hearted.  I hope you all take the opportunity to make the most of the time and I wish you all the best of luck.



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