Adam Blake is a young, pre-teen boy who is stuck in a never-ending loop of re-living his life. But each life he lives is not exactly the same as the one before it or the one before that. Adam can remember each life and make changes. He can follow a different path, make different decisions. The only constant is that he will return – older (in over-all years lives) and (presumably) wiser.
This might sound wonderful at first, but as Adam continues to relive the same life it has him seriously contemplating the meaning of life and welcoming the idea of death.
There is a lot to like in this self-published novel. Author Ryan Gladney addresses some pretty sophisticated ideas in this book that is most likely targeted toward a middle school audience. Longevity and mortality are tough to think about at a young age. The amassing of wealth – the accumulation of scientific knowledge. This is not typical young reading fare, which is what makes this book a little tough to categorize.
So…why do we need to categorize it? Isn’t it okay to stand out on its own? Sure. But an author wants to reach his or her optimal audience and typically any book featuring a preteen main character is typically considered a book for children.
I liked the writing and I liked the themes. This is not a book that my teenage boys would enjoy, despite their enjoy a wide range of science fiction and fantasy because of the young age of the character, but distance (in my case) has allowed me to read YA and mid-grade fantasy and enjoy.
Looking for a good book? Nine Lives of Adam Blake by Ryan Gladney is a good read though maybe a bit tough for the target audience.
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Nine Lives of Adam Blake
author: Ryan Gladney
publisher: Ryan Gladney
paperback, 218 pages