One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence | Mind-bending time traveling & great D&D campaigns!

Being a huge fan of MMO RPGs and a World of Warcraft addict for over 6 years, Mark Lawrence’s new YA Sci-fi book hit all the right buttons!

Filled to the brim with mysterious events, science, and Friday nights D&D sessions,  «One Word Kill» is a perfect mix of Stranger Things, Dark Matter and The Fault in Our Stars, with a very unique presentation of time traveling.

goodreads blurb:

In January 1986, fifteen-year-old boy-genius Nick Hayes discovers he’s dying. And it isn’t even the strangest thing to happen to him that week.

Nick and his Dungeons & Dragons-playing friends are used to living in their imaginations. But when a new girl, Mia, joins the group and reality becomes weirder than the fantasy world they visit in their weekly games, none of them are prepared for what comes next. A strange—yet curiously familiar—man is following Nick, with abilities that just shouldn’t exist. And this man bears a cryptic message: Mia’s in grave danger, though she doesn’t know it yet. She needs Nick’s help—now.

He finds himself in a race against time to unravel an impossible mystery and save the girl. And all that stands in his way is a probably terminal disease, a knife-wielding maniac and the laws of physics.

Challenge accepted. 


Nick Heyes, the son of a famous mathematician, is only 15 when he finds out that he has leukemia. Cancer, the same illness that brought his father’s life to its end, is now threatening his. However, there is might be a way for Nick to survive, to follow the path that grants him at least another couple of decades of life.

“My father had been a mathematician. A famous one. At least as far as any mathematician or scientist not named Einstein can be famous. Other mathematicians in his field knew his name. Nobody else did.”

One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence


1 – Do you know that group of friends from “Stranger Things” or even from “Friends”? Each one of them is unique and interesting in their own way. That’s how I felt about Nick’s group of friends: Simon, John, Elton, and Mia.

I take pride in that “s”. Friends. I had two. Three, if you broadened the search beyond the school gates and counted Elton. Which I did. Four, if you counted the girl. Which, rather stupidly, I didn’t.

One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence

As you already saw from the quotes, Nick Hayes is a very witty, sarcastic and funny character to follow. His narration of even most dangerous events can make the reader smile. His sarcastic tone and “smart mouth” often changed the mood of the story, making me chuckle at the most unexpected moments.

But I have to admit that even though Nick was a great main character, Simon was the one I liked the most. As Nick often said, Simon didn’t see the world as everyone else did. And despite the fact that Simon’s D&D character was a thief, he was the most honest, incapable of pretending person of the group. Which is why he immediately won my heart.

2 – You know that the book is written well when every D&D passage makes you want to drop everything and play the game! Solving puzzles, entering dungeons and grouping together to defeat that one big monster with your friends – that’s something I particularly loved about Role-Playing Games (RPG). I’ve never played Dungeons and Dragons, but Mark Lawrence’s captivating story-telling made me wish for a group of friends and Friday night D&D sessions of my own.

We started the game, and before long it had swallowed us as it usually did. The dice, the paper, and the figures relegated to the peripheries of a shared vision, the raw clay provided by Elton and shaped by collective effort.

We delved into caves beneath the ruined fortress that we had spent so long exploring and discovered a labyrinth that dwarfed the man-made one above. And in the deepest parts of those caverns, where black waters lapped on sunless shores, we found an abomination.

One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence

3 – Did you know that Mark Lawrence was a research scientist in the field of artificial intelligence? No? I didn’t either! «One Word Kill» and other books in the Impossible Times trilogy are his first science fiction works, and I hope we will see more Sci-Fi from him in the future.

Time travel is not an easy subject to take on, but Mark Lawrence did it flawlessly. The concept of multiverses, time echoes, perception of time and complex quantum physics could have made the story difficult to grasp, which wasn’t the case at all! Somehow, Mark Lawrence with his poetic writing was able to present very complex ideas in a simple and clear way.

4 – Regardless of the comprehensive representation of time traveling concept, the unpredictable twists and turns of the plot made me want to learn how to read at double speed! «One Word Kill» is not a book for faint-hearted. If you read «Dark Matter» by Black Crouch, you know that feeling of surprise, fear, and astonishment after every single page.

My rating:

My copy of «Red Sister» by Mark Lawrence is currently on its way, and after reading the first two books in the Impossible Times series, I can’t wait to read his other books!




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9 thoughts on “One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence | Mind-bending time traveling & great D&D campaigns!

  1. I’ve never played D&D a day in my life (although I know *of* it) but your description of the book & the little sneak peeks have me SO INTRIGUED!!! Also why is it that anytime a character named Simon appears in a book, he’s ALWAYS the best character?! (At least for me, anyway 😂

    Liked by 1 person

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