Read life ii by Scott Spotson Online

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Upon discovering a 1958 book titled "Account of Time Travel on Earth Using Wave Theory," 42-year-old Max Thorning's life is thrown into chaos. Seeking answers to the book's cryptic clues, he discovers Dr. Time, a seemingly benign alien who has control of the Time Weaver, a remarkable device that can command any scene from the Earth's past. Dr. Time offers him a choice to gUpon discovering a 1958 book titled "Account of Time Travel on Earth Using Wave Theory," 42-year-old Max Thorning's life is thrown into chaos. Seeking answers to the book's cryptic clues, he discovers Dr. Time, a seemingly benign alien who has control of the Time Weaver, a remarkable device that can command any scene from the Earth's past. Dr. Time offers him a choice to go back into Time, to any point in his lifespan that he can vividly recall. The catch: he can only bring his memories, and can only live the future one day at a time. Follow Max's dilemma as he goes back to his 16-year-old self and tries to forge his destiny into a new one called Life II....

Title : life ii
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 17354418
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 633 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

life ii Reviews

  • Sunshine Somerville
    2018-11-12 07:06

    3.5 starsI love stories that use time travel. This is not a very science-y story with its use of time travel, but the focus is much more on the emotional and intellectual journey of the main character. A definite theme here is “be careful what you wish for.” Without giving too much away, I’ll say that Max gets a chance to go back and relive his life, hence Life II. I’m sure we’ve all thought about things we’d change if we could go back, and these decisions are exactly what Max has to navigate. I liked that he went back with his 42 years of life experience and knowledge, slipping into his teenage body. This obviously made it much more interesting than just simply reliving everything without knowing any better. I did find it a little goofy that he kept “accidentally” blurting out his knowledge of the future – over and over and over – followed inevitably by smacking his forehead or trying to backpedal. Sometimes he realizes he needs to be super careful in revealing knowledge of the future, but then other times he just flat out tells people what’s going to happen. That seemed not quite right. Also, I’m not sure why he didn’t try to change some MAJOR historical events if his goal was to be a better person and, this time around, help as many people as he could. He does invest in some up-and-coming companies so as to gain wealth to then donate, but it just seems like he could’ve done a lot more that would have been more interesting to read rather than sludging through decades of everyday life/marriage/family drama.BUT, the way this story focuses on one man’ journey to repair the lives of his loved ones does have a lot of heart. I particularly liked the somewhat-fated troubles with his sister. And it was interesting to show that, no matter how much he thinks he’s learned, he makes similar mistakes the second time around because that is just who he is. I liked that the story shows how some people are going to be closer to you than others no matter the circumstances- Garfield, in particular. Another big thing that makes me waffle between 3 and 4 stars is the use of Dr. Time. As the catalyst for all of this, obviously the story needed something otherworldly to kick this off. But when you use an alien named Dr. ____ that can manipulate time and space, everyone with knowledge of pop culture for the last 50 years will think you’re kind of ripping off Dr. Who. That was my first, “What are you doing?” thought at the author. Then, however, you don’t see Dr. Time that much through the rest of the book, so I got over it. But it seemed irrational for Max to be so angry Dr. Time “tricked him.” If Max is at least a little intelligent – and you’d think he’d have to be to decipher that book he finds at the beginning – why didn’t the obvious occur to him, namely that his old life would change/disappear? And don’t get me started about the sudden appearance of the character who convinces Max they have to kill Dr. Time – that pops in and out so fast it doesn’t feel like it fits at all. I have a feeling this was dropped in to set up future books, but it doesn’t fit with the rest of the feel of the book. Overall, I did enjoy this story because of the focus on the main character trying to fix his life but discovering how complicated that really was. All of my aggravations, too, made me put myself in his shoes to sort out what I would do differently. His growing emotional angst is completely believable. Wherever this story goes next, I’m sure it will sort out some of the wrinkles with Dr. Time, and maybe the next main character will be a little less self-involved.

  • Christie
    2018-10-18 08:09

    The plot to this book is so well done! We've all had that thought of "if I could go back and change this one moment". And this book is a realistic portrayal of what one gives up in that process.The characters are likeable, the time line is easy to follow, and the emotions are so raw (speaking of child loss, cancer and suicide all in one book) which COULD be a bit of a downer, but Scott has made it work. And work well!This book is a fantastic read that really keeps you guessing about how it's going to end. And the ending is so satisfying!I definitely recommend this book for anyone who has ever wished they could redo something in their past

  • Bruce
    2018-10-29 13:13

    A very emotional, very Canadian, surprisingly good time-travel book.I bought this book off Kobo because a) It sounded interesting since I enjoyed Replay by Ken Grimwood very much b) It was a bargain price.I really enjoyed it. It really makes you think. Much like Replay, it really makes you appreciate your life a whole lot more.

  • Ben Edge
    2018-11-06 07:13

    This is the second novel I've read by Scott Spotson, (first book was Brandon Chambers), and Life II delivers exceeds my expectations yet again. Spotson asks a question that most of us have asked in the past: "If I could travel back in time, what would I change...", and he answers in this personal, emotionally charged story. Suffice to say, the dynamics of Time Travel, whilst presented simply enough, has clearly been researched and thought out very carefully, as the actions always have consequences.A great read, by a superb author!

  • Ubiquitous Bubba
    2018-10-29 09:14

    If you could live a portion of your life again, would you? Would you try to change anything? What impact would this have on the people in your life in your former timeline? Scott Spotson’s novel, Life II tells the story of one man who faces these questions. Presented with an opportunity to revisit his past, 42 year old Max Thorning steps into his 16 year old past. Armed with the knowledge and maturity of an adult, he must decide what changes he will make. As he lives out Life II, he is conscious of the differences in timelines.The book is well written and flows easily without losing the reader in convoluted paradoxes. Explanations of time travel and time theory are simple and easy to follow. The book is not really about the science of time travel. Instead, Life II is a story about choices, consequences, and the road not taken. In this book, the main character grapples with his conflicted emotions about the life he left behind. At times, he seeks to make changes in order to forge a new future. At other points, he’s desperate to maintain continuity with the original timeline. In general, I enjoyed the premise of the book. I liked the concept of time travel being a journey of memory and personality rather than a physical transition. I also appreciated the fact that the author successfully presented a time travel story that avoided some obvious causality problems. The only issues I had with the book had more to do with my emotional reaction to the main character. I felt that some of the choices Max made were too abrupt or were difficult for me to accept. The character’s thought processes and decisions regarding his children were especially hard for me to swallow. I understand that this was an important plot device, but it was very difficult for me to reconcile. That may say more about me as a reader than about the character, but it colored my perception of the book. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a non-reciprocal review from the author.

  • James McCormick
    2018-11-04 09:17

    I’ve read most, if not all of this author’s works but was particularly impressed by the protagonist in this one, a middle aged man, frustrated and in the grip of ennui who experiences a life changing epiphany when he comes across a book on time travel. This leads to his encounter with Doctor Time who with the use of a device called the time weaver has the power to send him back to any point in his life. The book explores a theme that has been dealt with many, many times before; if you had the power to change things in your life would you or should you and what are the consequences of doing so. Nevertheless Spotson manages to put his own unique spin on the story.The novel spans a quarter of a century and perhaps could have done with a few more “beats” that is more points of action and threats to keep the pacing going but overall it was still very enjoyable. I much prefer the sequel (yes, I actually read the sequel first” Bridge Through Time) but Life II is nevertheless another very enjoyable read from a very, very talented author.

  • Dale Rutter
    2018-11-06 09:24

    4 stars!Scott Spotson’s novel, Life II tells the story of one man who has a chance to relive a portion of his life again. Presented with an opportunity to revisit his past, 42 year old Max Thorning steps into his 16 year old past. With the knowledge of an adult, he must decide on what changes he will make. I enjoyed it, the book is well written and flows easily and Life II is more a story about choices and what could have been rather then focusing too much on time travel. It is easy to follow. Overall, it was a good book which I enjoyed so it deserves the four stars.

  • Paul Little
    2018-10-23 13:11

    Time travel is an enigmatic subject and one that has been used and abused in many contexts. Clearly there are a lot of possibilities with time travel from an author's perspective but all too often the events become confusing, doubtful or bogged down in the mundane discussion of paradoxes.In "Life II" Scott Spotson has made a refreshing break from these issues and we focus instead more on the effect of the protagonists' choices and the ramifications of those all too swiftly taken decisions. What we get is a tale of self-inflicted challenge, excitement, despair, renewal and grief.What Spotson delivers is a very neatly balanced discussion of time travel wrapped inside an emotionally gripping story. This is not the neat time travel, it is no holds barred, raw and turns out not to be an easy journey. There are many twists and surprises in "Life II". I was deeply impressed by the story line and found it difficult to drag myself away from this book when other duties called.

  • Michael Canter
    2018-10-23 15:11

    There are a lot of amazing books in the Time Travel genre. Sadly, this is not one of them. If you loved Ken Grimwood's Replay... you're better off reading it again than wasting your time on this nonsense.I love the idea of this book - what if you could go back and change parts of your life? What if you could explore the road not travelled? It's a cool sandbox to play in.But a book has to be about more than ideas. What holds this novel back from achieving its goals is truely horrible writing. We're talking middle school-level sentence structure and dialogue. Characters speak with all the humanity of a technical manual.If you don't care about the actual quality of the writing and just want to experience the story - read this book.

  • Christian Nadeau
    2018-10-28 08:04

    Life II is a very interesting, thought provoking read. Or at least it was for the mid-thirties man that I am.Even though I didn’t like many of the characters or appreciate their choices, I could relate to them. Those characters were human, with flaws, shortcomings and qualities. There isn’t any knight in shining armor there, nor is there a mustache twirling villain. In fact, I’d go as far as to say the main character is his own antagonist, and it’s him, or rather his perception of joy and fulfillment he must triumph against (or rather come to terms with).The pace was even, I can’t say there are climaxes or intense conflict moments, but I found that it suited the novel. I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t go into much detail, but the novel avoids many tropes and clichés (at least according to what I’ve read and seen) which could have made it eye-rolling or soap opera worth. Instead, the story strikes a middle path, never venturing into an excess of cheese nor going for big shocks or action either.There was one passage which came somewhat out of the blue considering the rest of the novel concentrated on the human aspect of living your life a second time over. Thankfully, it didn’t even last long enough to leave a lasting impression.Not being bad isn’t enough to be qualified as good, but despite what I’m describing so far, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Life II.The core quality of the novel, and what had me enthralled, were the reflections and dilemmas prompted by asking myself “What would I do in his stead?” or just simply wondering how someone must feel after a no going back decision of that magnitude. The angst and bitterness of someone who dives before he thinks (understandably because he’s jaded with his actual life – despite the joys in it) and only realizes what he’s got into once he’s under the surface permeates the main character’s thoughts and actions. Even as he struggles to forge a new path, he’s held back by what he lost and doesn’t dare to completely let it go. It makes for a compelling human drama, and despite the mundane events he goes through, it is more than enough to provide food for thought and delicious one at that.So, despite a string of events with very little action or shocking surprises, strong characters, unconventional story structure, relatable situations and a deep philosophical quandary, I rate Life II four (4) stars. I highly recommend it to anyone willing to tackle science fiction that raises questions and leaves the reader to decide his own answers.

  • JustLoveBooks
    2018-10-19 13:28

    I've encountered a number of time travel stories -- in books, tv, and movies -- but this to me is a completely different, yet totally creative spin on time travelling. And while ultimately this is still fiction, I found it to be a very well thought out story, one where the entire story connects and seems logical. Just that alone is enough for me to give this book 5 stars. But there's more.The story focuses on Max, a regular middle aged guy who would think about the what-ifs in life -- what if he studied medicine instead of being a desk-bound accountant, what if his relationship with his family and friends progressed differently...things would have been much better now. And this wish would come true for Max -- he travels 26 years in time back to his high school years with the earnest hope that, armed with the knowledge of hindsight, he could help the people close to him have a much better life. But as he would find out, things aren't so simple, results don't go the way he would have wanted, and even his very life would be affected in ways he didn't expect.I was a bit skeptical initially on how the story would pan out but once the story shifted and presented how time travel works, things start to pick up. I got really intrigued with how the story would unfold that it became a real page turner for me. I found a portion of the ending a bit bizarre though, but perhaps the author just wanted to point out the vast possibilities of how people would react knowing such a time travel device exists. Nevertheless I believe the book ended in a fitting manner.The author's writing style, plus the way in which each chapter was structured made for a very easy read. Very entertaining and something I will definitely recommend to others.A Final Word: How plausible is this spin of time travel from a realistic standpoint? To me, the main issue that probably prevents me from thinking this is realistic is how to bridge someone's mind/awareness from the present time with his past's physical body. Although this does eliminate the conflict of having 2 versions of the same person. In any case, I am not an expert in this field, but it did elicit some further thoughts on the topic.

  • Dan Gillis
    2018-10-18 08:25

    Many have pondered on a life lived and if it were possible to return and live it again and remedy errors and mistakes. The time travel theme is not new, however, Spotson’s take on the consequences of change is engaging and thought provoking. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and found myself yearning to find out what would happen to the protagonist, Max. While I did not become enamored with the main character, this was hardly a detraction. I actually found it refreshing to have a character embedded with certain flaws and not easily likable. I found the character’s motivations from his first life selfish and judgemental. Max’s journey certainly refined elements of his character, through heartbreak and trial. This refinement is what I was grateful to see. So, while I still disliked the character, I could understand his actions and choices.I liked the idea that certain events could not be easily changed, even with influences in the second time through life. Also, that through degrees of separation, our actions influence others who in turn impact upon others and so on. These interactions ripple outward and could possibly impact large scale events (such as a presidential election). The way we treat others, for good or ill, will echo through the chasms of humanity. I give kudos to the author for researching certain events and connecting to pivotal moments in recent history. I liked the character’s perspective of going back with a foreknowledge of technology and events. To be honest, I question whether an individual long removed from events would be able to recall small specific details and dates. This was a big plot element, that the character would use regularly to boost his prosperity. I suppose the fact that he was an accountant would support the premise. However, I believe in the entropy of the brain, and in the erosion of details over time. This was only a small point, and hardly diminishing the effect or theme of the novel.Overall, I would recommend the novel for those who enjoy the philosophical side of time travel and the effects of our choices, made and unmade. Warning, Canadian references abound, so if you are not brushed up on the finer points of Canada, prepare for an immersion. Oh, and I would have taken a star away for a Calgary Flame reference, which the author thankfully omitted. Well done!

  • Chris
    2018-10-24 11:11

    There's a temptation in all of us dealing with regret of past decisions, to play the 'what if' game, desiring a 'Do Over'. Life doesn't often offer an opportunity to have one of these, and we usually have to deal with the consequences of these decisions, captives of the time stream we live in.Dissatisfied with his controlling wife and his dead end job, Max Thorning secretly wishes he had a 'Do Over' card to play. When Max picks up an odd multi-language book entitled "Account of Time Travel on Earth Using Wave Theory", the cryptic clues in the book lead him to the chance to go back in time and relive his life. He can only bring his memories with him, but memories of the future can be a powerful thing.Max's decision to go back in time has far-reaching impact, affecting everyone close to him and changing the course of history. And he quickly comes to realize that the decision to change the past has much greater consequences than the decisions he was attempting to correct. And the cost is far higher than he's willing to pay.Content:Violence:PG - There is little real violence in the novel, although there is a suicide attempt and some gunplay.Language:R - The F-bomb is used in several places; on one page it occurs quite a few times. GD is used once. Other foul language is scattered throughout. The Lord's name is taken in vain in multiple places.Drug Content:PG-13 Drinking occurs to excess in a few places, and one occurrence ends up with no remembrance of the previous night. There is some offer of pot and minor drugs are mentioned.Adult Content:PG-13 - One character is a very active playboy. His escapades are not described, but it's obvious he's moved through many women. There is an emotional affair that destroys a marriage, and a couple live together without marriage for years. There is a gay couple who marry. One character struggles with homosexuality.Christian content:None, really. There is some discussion about faith, one character is a believer of sorts, and struggles with the atheism of her partner. There is some discussion about cheating fate, what God intended to happen, and the idea that a soul can only exist in one place at a time. The main character struggles mightily with his selfish mistakes, almost going insane with the shame and guilt.Final analysis:Some of this book dragged, and most of it was focused on life drama and comparatives from Life I to Life II. The action was interesting but was not so much an adventure story, although there were places where it paced like one. The characters were relatively believable. The technology differences between 2013 and the Eighties was clearly depicted, and added to the realism. The climax happened a bit early and the ending seemed drawn out. With those issues and the pacing, I didn't quite feel right giving this one more than Four Stars. However, I'll add that it gave me some interest in following it to its sequel, Bridge Through Time.* I received an electronic copy for an honest review.

  • J.D. Tew
    2018-11-04 11:07

    Go back in time with the knowledge of the future? Sure, first order of business—stop the creation of Furbies! Max Thorning is forty-two years old, with a life ... A real life! After making a discovery, which in my eyes was a perfect prelude to Max's adventure, he is given a chance to make good or bad of his life...two.For me, character development is tricky business, and sometimes in writing, characters are molded from a prefabricated notion of what they should be. A hard nosed detective should always be a drunk. A life long dancer should always be tortured and prone to injury. Sprinkle a little tarragon upon their head and you have a totally new and engaging character—nope.As some of the other reviewers noted, I too feel Max was portrayed very real. Yes, sometimes he makes decisions that are irrational and on other occasions, he makes the perfect move, but this is what makes us genuine.I'm not one of those people that reads a book and accepts everything as it happens, I want to feel that the characters made realistic decisions, however wrong or right they were, it doesn't matter to me, just as long as it all seems plausible.And I'm sorry, but going back in time to play the stock market or igniting a series of events that cures world hunger, isn't what happens, and under the sun that plot has been done.No, Max is in many ways real and flawed, just as we all are.About the plot. I turn "fan boy" when I read a good story, and this chain of events was, yes long, but the satiety of it leaves you more glad than regretful. I could have taken more from the author, but in no ways, was it needed. My favorites: unexpected meetings, future altering stoppages, future follies, and most important—it was all believable.Scott Spotson is in many ways—Max's Dr. Time. He has Max strung up at the elbows with fishing line and dances him through time effortlessly, coherently, and above all, entertainingly. This novel is a standard for the care and intelligence that an author should place into a work of art. Paying attention to detail is an understatement for this guy. This plot is smooth like sliding your butt along some velvet, slathered in whipped butter!If you want to read a Science Fiction book with a time travel premise, which in a multitude of ways was created to stand alone, then please pick this one up. You will not regret it.

  • Kevin Andrews
    2018-10-19 14:12

    Who could resist the temptation to travel back through time and reinvent earlier versions of one’s life? In Scott Spotson's novel, Life II, a disgruntled middle aged named Max Thorning is given the opportunity to do just that. His goal is simple: Just make a few minor adjustments in the past, and create a new and prosperous future. Simple, or is it?With the help of a little alien technology Max is catapulted back to his teenage years to what appears to be a pivotal moment in his early life. Almost immediately, he begins to make changes, not necessarily for the better.What I loved about this book was the smooth, consistent writing and the believable characters. In particular, I enjoyed the anti-hero approach Mr. Spotson takes with his principal character, Max. Max is likeable and intelligent, but also sometimes selfish and shallow. You know, human! I also enjoyed how the author illustrated the affects that Max’s trek through time had on the world around him. The impact was small at the epicenter, but radiated far beyond Max’s direct influence, nicely done.My only concerns with the book were the alien time keepers in the story, and the speed with which some of the events seem to happen. No sooner we meet max than he’s back in the past reliving his life. The pace is quick, but written so well that you aren’t thrown for off the story. As for the aliens, the author doesn’t reveal much about why they would participate in these selfish journeys through the timeline. The obvious dangers to the rest of the planet seemed distilled down to mere personal inconveniences.Nevertheless, of all of the time travel stories I have read lately, I’m most fond of this one. Heck, I think I’ll read it again.

  • Paul
    2018-10-30 08:31

    There's a lot to like about this book, starting with extraterrestrials who make travel to the past possible. They're a little odd but congenial enough, and look much like ourselves. Still, we've run into Aliens before -- decades of Star Trek -- so the question lingers, can we trust them? Can we trust Dr. Time, their purveyor of Time Travel? The mode of Time Travel is refreshing, not heavy with alternate timelines, technical problems, liftoff miscalculations, or arrivals au naturel. And the science is palatable, with departure scenes that are fascinating and a pleasure to read. But mind the details. These are one-way trips to the past, limited to the Traveler's own lifetime, and return to the future is accomplished the old-fashioned way, living it day by day. Therein lie the problems. The story is about choices, not the science. I like the author's skill in drawing characters with more show than tell, just enough for me to picture and understand. Max, the self-centered protagonist and emotional wreck, tested my patience with bad decisions, questionable comments, and a proclivity for lying, but that was the point. I came to understand; it works well in the story."Life II" is a full length novel but an easy read with a number of surprises. Quite enjoyable and much to think about.

  • Florian Armas
    2018-10-16 09:18

    You had a very good start in life; you had some good things after and others not so good later. Now, imagine that an alien is giving you - a forty something years old - the chance to sneak back in time, take over your young adult body while keeping your actual experience. Then imagine disregarding a very important part of your previous life, a slip that will completely ruin your new beginning. Life II is the story of a man having his life’s chance to start everything again, only to screw it. Max has to deal with the consequences of his own choice, and the book is more about his struggles to recalibrate his life, dealing with a complexity that can’t be reproduced again, than about time travel. It is a young adult book, flowing well for about two thirds, up to the point where everything starts to run too fast, after Max’s decision to quit his medical position (a decision that came from nowhere) and Pam’s ‘announcement’ to leave him that was handled in just half of a page. From all the characters, Garfield was the most likeable while Nathan was inserted just to have a politically correct overview.In the end an enjoyable read.

  • Brook
    2018-11-10 12:25

    Enjoyable, but not compelling enough to see through to the end. It has to be tough to write in different voices that we have at different ages, and to even "act our age" when, mentally, we are not that age. I believe that very jarring (in my opinion) experience would be far more difficult than many think, and I would like to have seen that in the book. Not just "playing along," but really operating as someone of a much younger age. Put a 4o-year-old mind in a 15-year-old body, and that 40-year-old would have a tough time playing true to age. Not a criticism of the book, just an observation.That is not to take away from the enjoyment of the book, and some of the excellent concepts. The rotating Dr. Time concept is wonderful, and the author does a great job with the already-been-done "getting a second chance to do it over again" trope from popular culture, and instead focuses on reliving and just appreciating both the positives and negatives of one's past. Overall, I enjoyed Life II, and recommend it to fans of the back-in-time, do-it-again genre.

  • Wilde Sky
    2018-11-04 07:32

    A 42 year old man is given the chance to go back and re-live his life, starting at 16, but retaining all the knowledge and memories of his 42 year old self.The basic ideas / concepts in this book are really good, if you had the chance to go back in time and change your life would it work out any better or would it just be a different series of disappointments? In particular I enjoyed the way that every “benefit / improvement” that the man made to his life seemed to be balanced with a “loss” in another area of his existence. The idea of time travel being a ‘memory leap’ rather than a ‘physical leap’ was a good plot device and the mental anguish caused to main character seemed logical. But there were a few times when I thought the main character’s decisions were a bit odd, his interactions with people seemed too simple and in a few places I thought the writing could have been tighter.

  • Attila Benő
    2018-11-14 14:14

    An interesting adaptation of an interesting idea. This book was a really fun read, especially considering that I "expected" certain things to happen, yet the story always turned another way. It's always fun to see other people's views on life's big "what if..." situations, and this book is full of discussing these possibilities.

  • Sandeep
    2018-10-17 08:27

    A Sad take on Time TravelThe concept of this book is really good. Give someone a chance to go back in time and relive their life, and see where it goes... It's a science fiction Greek tragedy is all I'll say so I don't give away too much. The main character and some of the supporting cast is very well portrayed and you will feel the pain as you read the book.

  • L Avery Brown
    2018-10-28 08:02

    Please note: The ‘review’ of this book (which was donated to The Magnolia Blossom Review for the sole purpose of a review) was completed by John C. Laird based on the Rubric designed by the owner of The MBR, L. Avery Brown. If you would like to read the entire review which includes an in depth author interview – please visit The Magnolia Blossom Review’s site online today! John Laird has given L. Avery Brown permission to post this to Goodreads on his behalf. Thank you.AND NOW FOR THE REVIEW...1. Book Title- 5 of 5For the Reviewer: Use this space to writer your impression of the book's title. Did it grab your attention right away? (5) Was it ho hum? (3) Would you glance at it and then forget it? (1) What do you think the author might consider for future book titles? (You should have plenty of space for each item on the form as I think I set it up for the boxes to 'grow'.)Life II An appropriate title that accurately hints at what the story is about. Upon seeing it, I assumed that somebody was going to have, or experience, some kind of a 'second' life. Exactly how and what form this might take would be enough for me to take a look and read the blurb.2. Book Cover – 4 of 5For the Reviewer: Use this space to writer your impression of the book's cover. Did it grab your attention? (5) Was it ho hum? (3) Did it look like it was haphazardly thrown together? (1) What do you think the author might consider for future book covers? Did it help make the title more effective?A tough call here between 4 or 5 points. I loved the man standing before a trail sign indicating two possible paths into the forest; he was obviously facing a tough decision. And the use of the forest was superb. After reading the book, this cover immediately reminded me of the idiom "You can't see the forest for the trees." My hesitation comes with the fonts used in the title and author's name. I know why the author used that particular font for the title; it's akin to the forest behind it. It didn't 'grab' me though, it was a little hard to read. And the author's name should have been more prominent and NOT in cursive. Many schools don't even bother to teach cursive anymore. You'd like your cover to be legible in a 'thumbnail', if possible. True, I'm nitpicking. But that's because I'm having problems finding anything wrong with this book.3. First 500... – 10 of 10For the Reviewer: Thinking of the first 500 (usually about 2 pages) words of the book, do you think the author provided enough incentive to urge the reader to continue? What stood out to you the most? Were you captivated after a couple of paragraphs? Did the 1st sentence grab you? Did you get to around the 500 word mark and didn't have a clue where the story was going?Well, if you've opened the book and started reading you're obviously interested in a story about time travel. So, when the protagonist buys an old tome entitled 'Account of Time Travel on Earth Using Wave Theory', by Medicus Tempus, with provocatively titled chapters, said chapters written in numerous and unconnected foreign languages, you, like the hero, wonder what this is all about. You know he's going to research it, and you are interested as to where it's going to lead.... Personally, I would have made the prologue chapter one since too many readers skip a book's prologue. It would have fit in seamlessly. Either way, the beginning does it's job.4. Blurb Effectiveness – 10 of 10For the Reviewer: Now that you've finished the book, please take a moment to look back over the blurb. How effective do you think the blurb will be to potential readers? Did the author write a blurb that was enticing and went along with the story? (10) Was the blurb lacking? (5) Was it entirely too long or too short? (1) Do you have any suggestions for the author to make it more effective?The blurb is effective and summarizes the story line of the book. It not only confirms the time travel aspect but the serious choices the protagonist may face and the consequences of his actions. The blurb does its job.5. Age Recommendation/Genre Classification – 10 of 10For the Reviewer: If the book is entirely too young/juvenile for the intended age group? Is it entirely too mature? (Please take into account swearing/sexual scenes/drug use, etc... Classification - Was the book listed as a thrill ride of a read but was more of a bumper car ride (sort of all over the place)? Was it listed as a mystery and you simply had to turn the page to find out 'who did it'?Although no age recommendation was listed, this would be appropriate for most ages. Sex was limited to kissing and innuendo. Violence was almost non-existent until the end (and nobody dies as a result of it). This is a science fiction/time travel story. The author presents his take on time travel provocatively and with a unique slant on its possible ramifications.6. Presentation/Format – 10 of 10For the Reviewer: Did the 'innards' of the book follow a clear, concise, standard format throughout the book? Or did you have a hard time keeping up with paragraphs or dialogue? Were multiple fonts used? Were they distracting?This story was presented clearly and concisely and followed all standard formatting requirements and recommendations. Paragraphs and dialogue are nicely done, allowing the reader to follow the author's presentation without distraction.7. Theme/Originality – 10 of 10For the Reviewer: Was this book something you'd never read? Or was it formulaic and a 'rehash' of a popular tale/current 'pop' genre? If it was a retelling - did the author make it feel fresh and just different enough that it kept you involved?Time travel has been written and rehashed over and over in the past. Many stories are formulaic. Not this one. Maybe someone has covered this particular presentation before, but if so, I haven't seen it. The author has taken time travel and presented it with a unique slant. Refreshingly original. And even better, the time travel aspect doesn't dominate the plot; Mr. Spotson uses it as a means to study the possible repercussions of getting the wish that many of us have--what if you had the chance to go back and do your life over--taking with you the knowledge and memories you learned during your life.8. Description/Enhancement – 10 of 10For the Reviewer: Did the author use descriptive language and 'all those extra little things' to make it the best it could be? Did you feel it was too sparse in description? Did the author go OVER board with the description?The author did a masterful job of describing characters, settings and the worlds in which they inhabited. Nicely done. The characters were extremely well-developed, natural and 'relateable'. I'm guessing the author created detailed character worksheets before he ever started writing. And the dialogue was very natural and flowed smoothly between characters.9. Intrigue - 10 of 10For the Reviewer: Did you want to turn the next page because it was SO good? (10) Was it interesting but you didn't quite have an urge to keep reading? (5) Did you think 'I wonder if we have Twinkies in the pantry? Mmmmm, Twinkies' while you read? (1)He really 'hit the nail on the head' here. Considering the unique premise of the book, I had no idea where, exactly, the story was going or how the protagonist's problems might be resolved. Hence, I had to keep on reading to find out, classifying this as a 'page turner'. I did become worried as I neared the end. I started thinking 'Oh, no, the author's going to blow it on the home stretch. It's going to have the same old overused ending as others. But no, I was wrong. In keeping with the rest of the book, it was refreshingly different. I should have known.10. Grammar/Mechanics – 9 of 10For the Reviewer: Was the book pretty darn flawless? (10) Did you see more that 5 or 10 'jump out' at you mistakes in grammar or the actual mechanics (verb tense, noun/pronoun agreement, misused words) ? (5) Did you feel it was a chore to read because it was riddled with errors? (1)Finally, I get to nitpick some more. The grammar was excellent, but I did manage to find a few errors in spelling and word usage. Considering the book was over 600 pages, there weren't many, and most of them were of the variety that 'spell check' wouldn't find--make/made, startling/starting, tried/trying, etc. And a few minor omissions of the words 'and' and 'is'. But considering the books length and, compared to other Indy books, this was pretty darn clean.11. Overall Impression – 10 of 10For the Reviewer: When all is said in done - did you enjoy the book? Would you recommend it to others?EXCELLENT. Very enjoyable. Highly recommended. Unique premise, great plot, well developed characters, clean dialogue, intriguing story line and a satisfying ending make this a provocative and 'make-you-think' book. If you have any interest in the time travel sub genre of science fiction, you'll like this one. And even if you don't, you'd enjoy the protagonist's struggles with the sometimes dire repercussions of his choices. A professional effort. This is one you won't mind paying for.THE BESTOWING OF THE BLOSSOMS...It appears that John C. Laird really enjoyed Scott Spotson's "Life II' very much after seeing that he gave it 98 out of 100 points. And John has a pretty critical eye, too! It certainly sounds like the sort of book that will appeal to a broad spectrum of readers - and who knows - it might even find its way to the big screen! Wouldn't that be awesome? And to think we, at The MBR, would be able to say 'Knew it all along - after all, it earned 5 Blossoms!' Here's wishing the very best to Scott Spotson as he goes forward in his writing career!

  • Grady
    2018-10-30 10:07

    ‘If I could travel back in time, what would I change...’Canadian author Scott Spotson writes books that share a sense of wonderment - about the relationships we value in our lives; about the world we live in including the daydreams we cherish. Having traveled widely to Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Iceland, France, Mexico, Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland, England, and Hong Kong, Scott has gathered elements of various cultures’ fantasies – a very strong contributing element in his love for exploring time travel, a subject he has researched thoroughly and writes about as well as any author in that genre. Time travel, or revisiting previous times in one’s life (or one’s future) has always been an exciting theme for both novelists and readers. The big ‘What if’ is magnetizing and Scott uses this rewarding concept in a sophisticated manner so that his story (and probably his other books that tinker with the same theme) becomes our story – if only we could have the experiences described within.Start with reality in science fiction/fantasy/time travel books and the reader is mesmerized into following the complex story to the end. Scot accomplishes this with his opening paragraphs: ‘October 23, 2013 at 11:47 a.m. - Max Thorning, an investment salesman always in search of hefty commission fees stripped from the trust fund of that greying doctor who drove a Porsche on Sundays, was a man in a hurry. He exited the towering steel and glass skyscraper, in search of that tiny parkette that afforded a soothing oasis from the grimy concrete metropolis of Vancouver. “Yo, Max!” “Hey, Garfield!” Garfield Yates, Max’s skinny chrome-domed writer buddy, waved to him alongside their favorite park bench. It was a beautiful, sunny day, so Max and Garfield agreed to meet up for lunch. Garfield pulled a thick ham and egg sandwich out of a brown paper bag and offered a bite to Max. Scrunching his mouth, Max declined, instead retrieving a greasy corned beef sandwich from the cardboard take-out box he’d brought. “How’s the job hunt going?” Max asked in between bites of the bulging sandwich, a treat he savored once a week. Garfield grimaced. “Not well. This morning, I just lay in bed, chowing down potato chips and listening to some old tunes. Remember the Bee Gees?” “Oh man,” Max laughed. “You still have them?” “Yeah,” Garfield chuckled. “I still have that old record player, too. It was actually in a box in my parents’ house. They’d never bothered to throw it out.”The synopsis does a fine job outlining where the tale will take us – ‘’What if you could live your life over again? Upon discovering a 1958 book titled “Account of Time Travel on Earth Using Wave Theory,” 42-year-old Max Thorning’s life is thrown into chaos. Seeking answers to the book’s cryptic clues, he discovers Dr. Time, a seemingly benign alien who has control of the Time Weaver, a remarkable device that can command any scene from the Earth’s past. Dr. Time offers him a choice to go back into Time, to any point in his lifespan that he can vividly recall. The catch: he can only bring his memories, and can only live the future one day at a time. Follow Max’s dilemma as he goes back to his 16-year-old self and tries to forge his destiny into a new one called Life II.’Spot on creative writing that is clever, full of twists, and begs for follow-up in the next novel.

  • John Crianza
    2018-11-11 07:07

    One of the incredibly fascinating aspects of any story line dealing with time travel is the infinite possibilities immediately available. An untamed beast with the potential to overwhelm, Scott Spotson has managed to contain the essence of this element within the story line of Life II. A few simple laws of temporal mechanics set into place and the concept of time travel goes from being the plot vehicle to a brief catalyst setting off a cascade of irreparable events. The laws of time absolute throughout the entire story, what we are presented with becomes a journey of self-discovery for Max Thorning. A middle-aged audit accountant, he stumbles across the chance to return to any point in his personal past and assume a different set of life choices. He finds himself considering a hefty and absolute decision influenced by discontent and regret in his life. With the best of intentions in mind, and a disregard for fate, he follows the fallible judgment mortals are prone to, certain he can establish a better life for himself and his loved ones with hindsight brought around to foresight. Life II is a story about being human, dealing with raw aspects of success, regrets, love, grief and the pivotal choices affected by each. The plot is driven by what it means to be human and the desire to find the perfection we are often led to believe will bring us happiness. With a casual tone and a colloquial voice, we join Max relieving 26 years of his life from young adulthood through middle age and the complexities of karmic physics he affects. Bringing to mind the age old cliché, “No good deed goes unpunished,” Max learns the hard way what the repercussions of stirring Fate’s cauldrons really are. Precognizant trifling and temporal paradoxes expectedly raise the questions of ethical choices inherent in every tale infused with the element of time travel.Simple yet intriguing with the initial setting, Spotson has wrought a narrative interesting enough to keep the reader engaged from chapter to chapter. It would have been nice to spend more time with certain events as I feel it would have helped developed more depth for the secondary characters, but that aspect did allow the story to maintain the necessary momentum as it unfolded. With a noticeable lack of antagonist, that responsibility falls to the protagonist which I personally feel adds a deeply human element most can relate to. When we find discontent within our lives, we often realize that our own personal choices are to blame. Definitely a thought provoking read, Scott Spotson deserves accolades for raising some important concepts of what it means to be human. My interest in the sequel has been peaked without a doubt.

  • Watson Davis
    2018-11-09 07:13

    I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting from this book but aside from the fact that it’s a book about traveling through time, it delivered something else.Over the years, I’ve read a lot of Time Travel books, from HG Wells’ Time Machine to Card’s Pastwatch to Willis’ Doomsday Book to Foster’s Let The Ants Try, Chalker’s Downtiming the Night Side to Grimwood’s Replay, etc. I think I’m fairly well read in the genre although I have to admit, I haven’t read Outlander.Scott Spotson’s Life II combines elements of several of these books, the chance to do something over again like Replay, the sorts of limitations to interaction with the time stream that you see with Pastwatch (although different and more specific), and the impressive machinery from several of them.This book is about the emotional trauma and baggage that you carry with you when you realize you left everyone you knew behind and you will never be able to see them/interact with them again. It’s like if everyone you knew died and there were other people in their places who don’t share your history.It’s interesting in that respect. The protagonist’s motivations are very different and very mundane as opposed to being someone partaking in Time Travel for more virtuous motives (like Science, or to fix societal ills) or to someone who’s traveling through time whether they want to or not.This focus on the protag’s internal conflicts without having some similar outer conflict or objective gives the story a kind of ponderous feel. And there’s a bit of a twist near the end that tries to address that lack of external conflict, but it comes too late and ends up feeling grafted on and unnecessary in the overall context of the story.The story’s tone suffered a bit because of a tendency to tell and to over-narrate. I think if the author had put us deeper into the protag’s point of view, the emotional connection would have been much greater.This is a time travel book that’s introspective, so if you’re looking for an action packed shoot-em-up or a grand spectacle dealing with big civilization spanning issues, this is not the book you’re looking for. This is a book about a man dealing with regular issues making a drastic change and being unprepared for the consequences. There's something honest about that, and it's refreshing.

  • S.E. Sasaki
    2018-10-28 07:16

    3.5If you were offered a chance to live your life all over again, would you take it?This is the premise of Scott Sponson's novel, Life II. His protagonist, an unhappy 42 year old accountant named Max Thorning, is dissatisfied with his boring job, his demanding wife, and his meaningless life. The only bright spots for him are his two children, Angela and Brandon, whom he professes to love deeply, and his faithful best friend, Garfield. When he discovers a book on time travel, he discovers clues that lead him to Dr. Time, an alien who offers to send him back to a specific date in the past. Max is told that he can still marry Abby and have his two children in his second life, so he immediately jumps at the chance. Why? He wants to live his life over again so that this time, he can become a doctor and help people. Max goes back to when he was sixteen and immediately starts making choices different from the ones he made in Life I. As one would expect, things do not go as Max anticipates. One is reminded of the saying, "Be careful what you wish for." Life II is a thought provoking journey as one man tries to go back in time to make his life better and finds that the things he thought were important - success, job prestige, wealth, fancy car - were hollow victories. For me, the most difficult thing was connecting emotionally with this character. Max continually professes to adore his children from Life I but was immediately willing to snap up a chance to walk away. His selfish desires come first and his justifications for his actions ring empty to me. Many of the events in Life II bring him tragedy and he is haunted by what he has lost from Life I. In the end, Max acknowledges his mistakes and finds a sense of peace.Life II has a flowing, easy-to-read style and it tells a moral tale of the dangers of always desiring something better and not being satisfied with the riches that one has. The grass is not greener on the other side. Count your blessings. Well done, Mr. Spotson, on an interesting read!

  • K.T. Munson
    2018-10-21 15:29

    CharactersMax is the main character and most of the novel is told from his point of view. The author does a great job of creating very flawed but hopeful character. There are some jarring point of view changes that I think were distracting, but they were luckily few and far between. I don't want to give too much but I was very impressed with the cast of characters. PlotI'd like to start by saying I HATE TIME TRAVEL BOOKS. They are usually poorly executed and poorly thought out. That is not the case here. This book thoroughly explores the decision to 'time travel' and the consequences for doing so. If you love time travel books more for the science aspect, you have to pick this up. Max decides to travel back to when he was 16 and change his future. He isn't happy in his current life - particularly his marriage - and he wants to change it. So he does. He agrees to re-write his life. OverallIt was a captivating prospect. The writing was mostly easy to follow and filled with Max's emotions. The overall book was lengthy. Although I did appreciate the level of detail in which Max's life was explored, I also found myself going cross-eyed during the more mundane portions.  I was really captivated by the last 15% or so. It is important to know that some threads of plot are left unresolved and although Max's story has a general resolution, it seems to me that the author isn't done and could pick up one of those incomplete threads. What really was the deciding factor was the deeply seeded philosophical effects of Max's choice to travel back. That is what really struck a cord with me. I both pitied and hated Max, while still finding a middle ground to accept his decisions. It was quite an emotional roller-coaster ride! Rating 4 StarsDespite my hatred for time travel books - this was expertly done. If you like time travel books - this is a must read! Especially if you like more of the human aspects of time travel.I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. More reviews at creatingworldswithwords.wordpress.com.

  • Yoleen Valai
    2018-10-14 14:18

    For a story to be interesting, the main character doesn’t necessarily have to be likeable. It was hard for me to relate to Max Thorning and absolutely impossible to accept his many irrational decisions and actions, yet I found this novel to be entertaining in a sense of making me think- and cry on several occasions as I read on.I have a 12-year-old daughter, and the idea that I would leave her for some uncertain opportunity and wouldn’t see her again till 13 years later (when she’s born again) is unfathomable to me. That’s exactly what made me mad at Max- when he did just the thing so easily and without any second thoughts.I can’t imagine any loving parent- mother OR father- willingly separating from their children after being warned that as soon as they step through the Time Weaver, their initial life will be deleted. DELETED! Dr. Time didn’t trick Max, didn’t lie to him- Max just understood her words the way it was convenient for him. The fact that a 42-year-old man took such a risky and immature step to obtain a second chance in life instead of simply changing his career and either divorcing his wife or trying to fix things between them with the help of a marriage counselor, irked me. And he did so voluntarily and with no regrets. Now, if he were KIDNAPPED by Dr. Time and thrown into the Time Weaver without his consent, it’d make way more sense. It’d also make Max into a victim and not someone who CHOSE to run away from his life and, most importantly, his children.On the bright side, Garfield turned out to be a refreshing voice of reason and became my favorite character in the whole book.To sum everything up, though I have a lot of issues with this novel, I prefer not to dwell on the negative. I took this story as a warning to any of us who wish they’d have a second chance. Careful what you wish for: You might become richer and more successful, but meanwhile you’ll lose those who are the closest to your heart.

  • Payal Sinha
    2018-11-01 09:24

    Life II is about getting second opportunity in life and whether or not you like this opportunity. Max Thorning is a 42 year old struggling salesman who lost being successful in life due to his obsession with his past where he had unwittingly engaged in a major car crash and later suffered an expulsion from college. Max is married with three children and is unsatisfied by his life. The only good thing about the present life is his loving family. The problem is that he doesn't have a proper job and is even lagging behind his mortgage payments. Then one day he stumbles on a time travel book that has key to change his destiny. He gets to meet Dr. Time and goes back to the strategic point in his life to undo the wrongs. This new life provides him with lots of opportunities, but also snatches many important aspects from his past life. The question remains- would Scott like to continue in this new successful life minus the important components or go back to the previous life which was more problem than fun.The book is highly entertaining, fast paced and interesting. I liked the personal touches of the author that made the book more realistic to read even though it is a fiction.

  • E.A.
    2018-11-05 14:16

    LIFE II is a thoroughly entertaining trip through 25 years of a very personal timeline. Max, at an unhappy 42 years-of-age, caught in a well-paid but unfulfilling job, the father of two great kids and the husband of a loveless wife, is offered a dangerous opportunity that many of us have probably fantasized about. What if you could re-live a section of your life by jumping back to a particular instant in your past? And what if you could bring all your current memories and life experiences with you? Would you choose to do it? Would what you hope to gain from it be worth what you might lose? These and many other interesting questions are grappled with by the frustrated, normally risk avoidant, main character, Max. The story that flows from his fateful choice proves to be a thoughtful, turbulent, and often poignant, second-time ride through a life. Rather than just another interesting time-travel novel, I found LIFE II to be a fresh study in human behavior and family dynamics, as Max attempts to make changes in his new/old life and creates unexpected impacts on himself and everyone around him.LIFE II unfolds in a very methodical way once Max’s choice is put into effect. Unconsidered details and incidental consequences plague him as he stumbles through his first few weeks in his old life at high school. Mr. Spotson’s writing is very good and his knowledge of human interaction sparkles throughout. The book is lengthy, over 600 pages, but nevertheless, it seemed to go quite fast. I never found myself bored or worn out, even though Max was. His experience of living through all 25 years of his former life nearly killed him. Without giving spoilers, I felt some of the most powerful moments of his journey were found in his struggles to deal with the profound and unrecoverable personal losses his choice had caused. I admire an author who doesn’t allow his main character to get any easy passes from the consequences of his own actions.I really enjoyed the many twists and turns Max’s new/old life took as he lived his way back, day-by-day, minute-by-minute, to when he started. What a wonderful plot device and a unique, sustained experience for the reader. Less satisfying for me were the parts that dealt with the vintage book about time wave theory and the unusual character who controlled the actual time device. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the idea of the old multi-lingual book itself, but its purpose was confusing to me, and I wondered if this was really the best way to discover time travel volunteers? I mean, how many book buyers did they expect would start searching for a code within the book? And even if a few did, how many would be likely to solve the code? And, finally, even if these rare humans solved the code, did the makers of the book truly believe most would drop everything and hop the next flight to Greece to track down a mysterious address? It all struck me as terribly convoluted and unreal but, I have to say, it didn’t stop me from enjoying the code breaking sequence, and I cheerfully read right on from there anyway. An additional irritation for me was the alien character’s name itself: Dr. Time. Character names are important, and they can set a mood and tone all by themselves. This one felt discordant, almost flippant, like a comic book name. I agree, my reaction is very “nit-picky” but it affected my reading. I just never adjusted. Every interaction with Max felt cheapened by that silly name. I tried to accept the alien as a serious character but every time someone said, “Dr. Time,” I just rolled my eyes.On the other hand, the alien time devices and the explanations for how they worked, was delightful. Every historian and time travel aficionado would love to get their hands on a Time Weaver – imagine the historic moments you could check out in 3-D and full color! (If nothing else, you’d be sorely tempted to check out Cleopatra and Helen of Troy!)On another issue, I found the chapter headings with their detailed months and years and exact times to be a source of unending annoyance. Every time I would start a new chapter I’d stop, look at that time stamp, and realize that I didn’t remember all the details of the previous one. So, back I’d have to go to the earlier chapter heading and check it against the current one, only to discover, in many cases, that about 30 minutes of story time had passed. Maybe this is just my personal pickiness again, but those repetitious time stamps bugged me in nearly every chapter. I realize this is a time sensitive story and the chapter headings were probably an attempt to keep everything extremely clear, but a more useful mode, it seems to me, would have been to concoct chapter headings that related to the previous chapter. For example, instead of having a chapter heading that reads, “October 22, 2013 at 5:15 p.m.” followed by a chapter heading, “October 23, 2013 at 12:07 p.m.” why not have that second chapter simply read, “The next day, around noon,” and so on? Help the reader, don’t aggravate him.Finally, I want to offer a brief comment about Lucinda Cedrera, the disgruntled time traveler who was absolutely convinced of a nefarious alien plot. I actually think she was a helpful addition to widen the focus of the story beyond Max’s life and to intensify the last portion of the novel. Unfortunately, she felt exaggerated and, I believe, she appeared too late in the story. In addition, her arguments needed to be more convincing. So, there you are, I’ve praised a bit and complained a bit, but I want to summarize very clearly. Overall, this is a wonderful book. I enjoyed the read a great deal and had abundant empathy for Max and his never-ending dilemma. I found myself mentally rolling through my own life and imagining the pros and cons of a life re-lived – and the immensity of what I would lose and the exhaustion of making the attempt. Good books make you do that. My negatives about LIFE II are picky and trivial compared to the overwhelming value I found in the novel. I highly recommend this book.