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Claire North Books In Order

Publication Order of Gameshouse Novella Books

The Serpent (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Thief (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Master (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Touch (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Sudden Appearance of Hope (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The End of the Day (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Claire North is an award-winning author best known for the novel ‘The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August’.

+Biography

If you cannot seem to find much online about Claire North, the reason is fairly obvious: Claire North is actually a pseudonym for Catherine Webb. While many an author creates a pseudonym to create distance between their personal lives and their literary efforts, Catherine Webb was already an acclaimed author before she created the Claire North Persona.

IN Clair North, Catherine Webb is availed an opportunity to branch out into more interesting genres of literature. The student of economics is best known for ‘The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August’, though she has also made a name for herself because of her Gamehouse series of Novellas.

Along with contributing to projects with Nick Harkaway and Adam Roberts, Claire North has garnered considerable acclaim for her work under this pseudonym, winning accolades like the John W. Campbell Memorial Award in 2015 (Best Novel Winner). She was also a nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Book.

Claire North’s genre is a little difficult to peg down; there are elements of sci-fi and the supernatural, but even combining some of the genres cannot always accurately describe Claire’s work.

The Claire North Pseudonym has done wonders for Catherine Webb. While she was doing relatively well writing under her real name, it is the works she has produced as Clair North that have truly impacted audiences.

+The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

Harry is different. For most people, death is the end, the final stretch of the road leading down an unchartered path. For Harry, death is merely a pitstop. Every time Harry dies, he goes right back to the beginning, reverting to a child with the knowledge of a life he has lived too many times already.

Nothing changes for Harry for a very long time, not until he approaches the end of his eleventh life and encounters a little girl. Sitting at his bedside, the words she says to him alter his destiny.

If you have watched the movie Groundhog Day, do not presume that you know what to expect from this book. Groundhog Day is the story of a man that keeps repeating the same day over and over again.

This book tells the story of an individual that must repeat entire lifetimes over and over again. It is easy to see why this book has so many negative opinions surrounding it despite the fact that it has so many rave reviews.

The best word to describe ‘The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August’ glacial. The pacing is really slow. Claire North has a tendency to digress, going off the beaten path and distracting from the primary plot with elements that many readers will admit are largely unnecessary.

Harry has a mission to save the world. And you would think that the end of the world is an immediate worry; however, the book focuses more on the journey towards that epic event than simply immersing readers in the apocalyptic nature of things.

In fact, it is because of the pacing that so many people have admitted to giving up on the book a third of the way through; those readers that slogged through the first half of the book will tell you t hat things become quite awesome in the second half of the story.

Whatever anyone says about this novel, no one can deny the fact that it is such a compelling story. The elements of time travel are very unique. Claire asks a lot of questions about humanity and the dangers of altering destinies. A little historical and a little science fictional even while injecting elements of the spy thriller genre into the mix, Claire North definitely has something unique here.

The only weakness of her work are the numerous digressions that keep killing the momentum of her story.

+Touch

Kepler isn’t like any other person. He should have died in a dark back alley, beaten by a sticking vagrant. But, in reaching out to the murderer in a plea of mercy, Kepler leaped into the murderer’s body.

And suddenly there he was, watching his own broken and ruined body in the dirty alley. In that moment, Kepler knew that he had the power to jump bodies, inhabiting the skin of his hosts, seeing life through their eyes.

Kepler never held any hostile intentions for his host bodies, coming to cherish them in the long run. So he is more than a little incensed when Josephine Cebula, one of his hosts, is assassinated, quickly taking up the task to seek out the truth and see Josephine’s death avenged.

Touch is the sort of book that you would expect to have a message. But it doesn’t; instead Claire North endeavors to emphasize the complexity of human beings. And the book is surprisingly clean; Claire North doesn’t use the concept of the book to delve into any obscenely sexual elements and matters.

Touch is a little disturbing, and it follows entities called Ghosts that have the power to take over the bodies of other human beings for any amount of time that suits them, be it hours, days, weeks or even years. The idea of being an unwilling victim to a character like Kepler is very unsettling, and it easy to see why people gravitate towards the unique nature of this book.

You rarely come across concepts this inventive in books these days; at the very least, they are rarely explored this effectively. It is difficult to view Kepler as a hero because, regardless of his intentions, he is stealing entire portions of people’s lives away from them. He is taking from them the opportunity to enjoy the experiences of their lives, leaving behind hollow memories with no emotions attached.

Because of the body-jumping aspect of the book, things can get a little confusing sometimes, though it doesn’t take long for Claire North to ground you, quickly letting you know who you are and where you are.

Despite the odd concept, this novel primarily works as a mystery; Kepler is on the hunt for his previous host’s killer and you follow him as he gleans through the clues of Josephine’s life in an attempt to avenge her death.

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