One Word Kill v Norse Star III

Book: One Word Kill
Author: Mark Lawrence
Publisher: 47North
Published: 2019

This is a single sitting book. It’s pacy and exciting from the start. What it isn’t though is anything like any of the author’s other work to date (or is it…). In a departure from the Grimdark fantasy Lawrence is famous for, this book centres on a group of teenagers in the 1980s and their DnD sessions. Particularly it focuses on Nick Hayes, who very unfortunately has had to start chemotherapy and the outlook for him is not looking good.

So when Nick starts seeing a mysterious figure popping up with ominous omens it’s easier to chalk it up to the illness and aftereffects of the treatment than to accept something truly odd is going on.

Throw a ‘damsel in distress’ (who in true Lawrence style is nothing of the sort) into the mix of adolescent hormones and you have real life adventure worthy of anything the group could invent in their gaming sessions.

What stands out most for me though is the science. For those who haven’t read the author’s bio it states His day job is as a research scientist focused on various rather intractable problems in the field of artificial intelligence. He has held secret level clearance with both US and UK governments. At one point he was qualified to say ‘this isn’t rocket science … oh wait, it actually is’.

With that pedigree behind him the physics bending techy stuff that becomes gradually more prevalent as the adventure goes on, is fascinating. It all feels impossible, yet vaguely plausible. There is no sniff of Doctor Who style ‘timey wimey’ stuff.

Beer: Norse Star III
Brewery: Northern Monk
Style: Black Forest Imperial Stout
Strength: 9.0%

Very good for what it is, it has all the hallmarks of a quality Imperial Stout. Smells amazing but it’s a little too sweet for my particular taste.

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