Book Review, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. Tom has lived history–performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life.

I enjoyed this book! It is easy and to read; the chapters are a decent length, and there is no confusion on where and when you are in the story. The chapters are labeled and there are prominent transitions. The tempo of this book was great. This book even gave me some ideas on how to easily transition the time in my novel. This book pulled me in, and I set aside my other books I was reading because I wanted more. I even stayed up late (like 2 or 3 am) to finish this novel. I have not done that in a while and I am not a fast reader by far. I am an average.

The main character Tom is well rounded and easily loved. He still has some mystery left in him, but I love leaving characters like that. You learn his love and loss throughout the novel. Using the flashbacks is well done and helps move the story forward, not pull you out. You learn about how he got to where he is now both mentally and physically and what or who drove him to keep going. You learn a bit of his childhood, his love life, and his loss. People he comes across in his life and learns later what had happened. This book shows a side of depression and how someone can overcome it. He questions himself and his boss on why he is doing what someone else is telling him to do. He learns from a friend; he is not free like he thinks he is. As his friend says, he is in a mafia like situation. 

Other characters I think could have been rounded a little more. I think with how much Hendrich, or the society was in this; I did not care much for this character or his society he created. How did he find out about the others of his kind? Why was he paranoid? I mean I understand some of it given how old he was, but for me the paranoia felt deeper.  I wanted to know or see more of Agnes. But she felt like a character that did not have to be in there. You take her out, and you would not notice any different. I enjoyed learning about Grace and Rose. Grace was a little spitfire. It was nice to learn how Tom had met them from the beginning and until he left and came back much later. You had the closing.

 I would have liked to have more of Tom’s daughter Marion as an adult. I did not feel the same closer as I did with her mother and aunt. Marion as a child was an interesting character and the way Tom held onto the coin, she gave him was one of the small many things that kept Tom going in life and wanting to find her. Unless I have missed the clues, I did not enjoy Marion popping up when she did. I think there should have been more, like I have missed something but did not know what. Abraham, Tom’s dog, was an interesting representation of Tom himself. It was nice to see how Tom had to have this dog. The sense of connection. 

Lastly, Camille. I liked the mystery of how she recognized Tom. The connection the two had together. You wanted to root for them to get together and you already knew they were. I liked Marion; I felt like she should have been flushed out a little more, but I think what we got was enough. I felt like the connection the two had, and what Tom felt, was because of his love for Rose and his mother. Maybe Camille had the same aura and comfort. 

Like I said. I very much enjoyed this book. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to have a fun and easy read. 

I give this book a 5/5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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