Nine Lives of Adam Blake by Ryan Gladney

Nine Lives of Adam Blake by Ryan Gladney
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary, Historical
Length: Full Length (218 pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Adam Blake knows what fate awaits him after death. He has died before, and will die again, and always it’s the same. For Adam, there is no heaven, no hell, no reincarnation, or cold, final sleep. When he dies, his life flashes before his eyes; it rushes backward—nothing skipped or overlooked—until it stops, suddenly, at age twelve, one week after he had mysteriously disappeared in the woods behind his childhood home. Then, he wakes up.

Adam is cursed—or blessed—to relive the same life again and again, from this moment onward, regardless of how he lives, who he becomes, or what ultimately causes next his demise. He is free to right past wrongs, avoid past mistakes, pursue any interest and chase any dream. But the longer Adam lives, the less anything matters but answers. He must know: Why is he stuck in this loop? What is its cause? How will it end? And what awaits him on the other side of death when it finally does?

Every choice we make has consequences. Not every consequence can be predicted ahead of time.

Adam’s character development was really well done. The first chapter revealed the most important parts of his personality without giving away any spoilers. Seeing how his subsequent lives and deaths changed this character was rewarding. All of the decisions he made as a result of them were completely logical given what had already been revealed about him, but there was still plenty of room left for him to grow as a person.

I often found it difficult to tell which lifetime Adam was currently experiencing due to how the plot was formatted. Some scenes flashed back to earlier points in one life and then abruptly moved forward to one version of the present day again. It would have been really helpful to have more context clues about which reincarnations these section involved as all of his lifetimes involved completely different scenarios.

The ending caught me by surprise. It wasn’t what I was expecting to happen, but it did make sense given what happened in the main character’s earlier existences. The beginning of this book didn’t include many of the things I would generally expect to find in a contemporary science fiction novel, so it was also interesting to see how the author developed his idea and played around with this genre in the conclusion. Overall, I was pretty pleased with how everything came together.

Nine Lives of Adam Blake was one of the most inventive science fiction stories I’ve read recently. Give it a try if you’re in the mood for something unique!

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