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Monday, April 18, 2016

Double Book Review: Replay and Stronger Than Fear by Marc Levy

Author: Marc Levy
Series:N/A
Publisher: Robert Laffont
Release Date: January 1st 2012
My Rating: 5 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):
On the morning of July 9th 2012, New York Times investigative reporter Andrew Stilman is jogging along the Hudson River when he feels a sudden, sharp pain in his lower back. He collapses in a pool of blood. When he regains consciousness, it's May 7th 2012—exactly two months earlier. From that moment on, Andrew has sixty days to uncover his murderer. Sixty days to find out who wants him dead and why. From New York City to Buenos Aires, Andrew embarks on a gripping race against time. By turns funny and heartrending, this page-turner builds up to a mind-blowing denouement.


Author: Marc Levy
Series: N/A
Publisher: Robert Laffont
Release Date: February 14th 2013
My Rating: 5 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):
"Once again, Marc Levy proves his undeniable talent for storytelling… This powerful novel is a real pleasure to read." - LE FIGARO

High in the French Alps, amidst the wreckage of a plane trapped for years under ice, Suzie Baker recovers a document that she hopes will clear her family name. But Suzie's discovery catches the attention of the highest echelons of the American intelligence agencies and she soon realizes that there are many powerful, vested interests who want to keep the truth buried at all costs.

When New York Times journalist Andrew Stilman meets Suzie, he is immediately won over by her wicked charm and sheer spunk. Unwittingly, he finds himself lured into her investigation. By the time he realizes how dangerous it is, it's too late for him to turn back. From the underground tunnels of New York City to the North Pole's barren icescapes, Andrew and Suzie are on the run. As they try to outmaneuver their enemies, they risk their lives to expose one of the best-kept secrets of our time.

One of France’s bestselling authors, Marc Levy’s novels have been translated into 49 languages and over 35 million copies of his books have been sold worldwide.

This review is going to be a little bit different that my normal reviews. I usually don't feel the need to review two books *(that are connected), together, but these two books kind of deserve to be together. My parents, who both share my love of Marc Levy, read them before me, and they both warned me to prepare myself to get my mind blown. I wasn't even ready for the awesomeness.

You guys already know how much I love this author, so I may be a little bit biased, but I feel like these are his best books so far. Before I talk about the plots, the characters, the writing style, I need to acknowledge the research put into these novels. With Replay I got to learn a little bit about the darkest times in Argentina's history, a time where breathing the wrong way could get you killed. I knew a little bit about the Dirty War, about the military government and about how thousands of people suffered because of it, but I never knew the finer details. I never knew about the hundreds and thousands of people who disappeared and were never again found, I never knew about how even today there are people who still suffer because of those years. And then with Stronger Than Fear I got to explore the concept of global warming, and the North Pole and it's economic value. I always love reading Levy's books not only for the story telling, but because of his research, the way his books always teach the reader something.

Andrew is, among some other characters, the main hero in both of these books. Funny enough, I read STF first, not knowing that it was a sort of continuation of Replay. Andrew is a really smart and stubborn guy. Throughout both of the books I loved his dedication and his willingness to get to the bottom of things no matter what. I liked how passionate he got about whatever subject he was researching and writing about, how he would stop at nothing to find out the truth about stuff.

Another thing that I loved about both books is not knowing what's real and what is happening in Andrew's mind. Replay tells Andrew's story leading up to him being stabbed on the street, and then how he magically wakes up and he realizes he went back in time and ended up 2 months prior to being attacked. Stronger Than Fear, although focused on a very different story, has a few scenes that happen in Andrew's comatose state, where he's "seeing" things that aren't really happening. So this is basically making me question not the facts of the second novel, but the plot and if it wasn't by any chance something drug-induced. That would be an interesting plot twist! The other characters, while some of them very important (like Suzie, the heroine from Stronger Than Fear) are also really well created and make the story seem multifaceted. However, it's Andrew that held my attention in both novels. Maybe because I was so focused on finding out where the action was taking place, instead of on character development and plot. It's possible that if I was to reread these books, I'd have a very different experience and I'd focus on the rest of the characters, who knows?!

The writing style is, as always, magnificent. Trust Levy to write a complicated story and make it engaging. Both novels are pretty fast paced, and they both gave me massive book hangovers after I finished reading them.


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