Your audiobook is waiting…

One Word Kill

Impossible Times, Book 1
Narrated by: Matthew Frow
Series: Impossible Times, Book 1
Length: 6 hrs and 44 mins
4 out of 5 stars (347 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Ready Player One meets Stranger Things in this thrilling new novel by bestselling author Mark Lawrence.

In January 1986, fifteen-year-old boy-genius Nick Hayes discovers he’s dying. And it isn’t even the strangest thing to happen to him that week. 

Nick and his Dungeons & Dragons-playing friends are used to living in their imaginations. But when a new girl, Mia, joins the group and reality becomes weirder than the fantasy world they visit in their weekly games, none of them are prepared for what comes next. A strange - yet curiously familiar - man is following Nick, with abilities that just shouldn’t exist. And this man bears a cryptic message: Mia’s in grave danger, though she doesn’t know it yet. She needs Nick’s help - now. 

He finds himself in a race against time to unravel an impossible mystery and save the girl. And all that stands in his way is a probably terminal disease, a knife-wielding maniac and the laws of physics. 

Challenge accepted.

©2019 Brilliance Audio, Inc. (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    141
  • 4 Stars
    114
  • 3 Stars
    77
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    165
  • 4 Stars
    106
  • 3 Stars
    44
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    123
  • 4 Stars
    104
  • 3 Stars
    71
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    3
Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disapointing and with an awfull narrator

Let me preface this by stating that I absolutely love all of Lawrence other books.

This one felt like it was written by an entirely different author. Far less attention to detail, glaring holes in the plot and characters that felt flat and underdeveloped.

Not a series I'll return to.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jeannett
  • Vallejo, United States
  • 06-01-19

I was taken in by a title

I was very disappointed with the opening story. it was somehow immortalizing a subject matter that I was not expecting. I will not give details because ever listener has to find if this topic story and reader works for you because it did not for me. Not a thriller, not a mystery. What?!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Big Bob
  • MI United States
  • 05-30-19

One Word Review - Ridiculous

In my opinion this story was ridiculous. I did not like the book. Publisher says: "Ready Player One meets Stranger Things in this thrilling new novel." I did not feel that way about this book.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Boring like the sound of Booooooooooooooooooooooo

I tried. I really did. Honestly it's not all that bad I guess.
Like a somber Hardy Boy or a soggy french fry.
Ya, It has ketchup on it, but, why am I eating this?

deep breath- exasperated sigh....

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fantastic

This is the first book by Mark Lawrence that I have read but it will not be the last.

I don't often read young adult Sci-fi/ fantasy but this book sounded interesting.

I am so happy I got the chance to read and review this book. It is very well written and it is very well written. I have hooked onto the story pretty much right away.

I can't wait to read more in the series and I already have the second book to read and review so you will be seeing that review close to release day.


I am giving this 4 out of 5.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent 6+ hours of entertainment

One Word Kill was an excellent story by Mark Lawrence. It was on the shorter side at about 200 pages or 6 hours and 45 minutes on audible but this meant there was never a dull moment. I’m used to reading Lawrence’s fantasy books and it was nice to see that he’s able to produce good content in other genres as well.

I see this get compared to Stranger Things quite a bit and I think that’s fair. It takes place in the 80’s, there’s a nerdy D&D group and there’s one girl in the group but I think this is where the similarities end. Although this takes place in the 80s it doesn’t rely on the nostalgia factor as much as Stranger Things does, it’s just the setting for the story. It’s hard to give other reasons why this book is different without spoiling anything but I think I can say it’s more straight SciFi than supernatural (at least so far) without giving too much away.

Another difference from Stranger things was the setting. This takes place in England instead of the U.S. I honestly didn’t realize that Lawrence grew up in the U.K. until I read this book. The slang and jargon seemed so similar to what I hear teens using in other English shows so I had to go look at his biography to see that he grew up there. Getting to see teens in 80’s England was interesting as I haven’t really seen content (besides in the actual 80s) produced in this setting.

I do have a few nitpicks. The main character has cancer. This isn’t really an issue but there’s a lot of talk about it and chemotherapy. If someone has cancer or has family or friends who do this might be a bit of a downer. The only other thing is that this book is pretty short and paying full price or an audible credit for such a short book seems a little steep. The nice thing though is that this is free on Kindle Unlimited and if you have that you can also get the audio book for $1.99 which is well worth it. I was also going to say I don’t see why Lawrence didn’t make this trilogy one book but I’ve already started book two and, although short, these really do seem like full complete arcs of a trilogy.

Overall a fantastic 6+ hours of entertainment and I look forward to the rest of the trilogy.

Mathew Frow was an excellent narrator for this book especially since it’s set in England. His narration was spot on and was one of the reasons I had to go look and see if Lawrence was from the U.K.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

It’s a gem!

I really enjoyed this book. I’ve never played Dungeons & Dragons so it was interesting to get an inside view of it. The book is well written and the narration is excellent. Great characters and plot. Even though it’s serious, there were some laugh out loud moments.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great fantasy mixed with heavy real subjects!

One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence and narrated by Matthew Frow is an awesome fantasy that also mixed heavy real world subjects into the plot. The main character is a teen that plays D&D with friends, has a crush on a girl, deals with a wicked bully, and just got diagnosed with cancer. Then he sees a guy following him around, then protecting him, then predicting the future. It really gets wild! So much happens with each of the items or issues of his life. This is so unpredictable and totally awesome! I didn't see most of this coming! A wild ride!
The narrator was terrific in keeping all the voices separate and distinct. Well done!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

good for d&d players

not sure how others will like it. also quantum physicists may be critical, I suspect.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Hans
  • Michigan
  • 06-06-19

3.5 Stars - Good, but not great

I think I would have enjoyed this book a lot more in my youth. Between middle school and high school. I didn't realize it was as young adult (YA) book going in. That said it's a good book, but just wasn't so captivating that I'll be burning for the sequels. If you're looking for a decent Sci-Fi and you enjoy YA novels, this is worth your time for sure.

Minor spoiler, but one of the characters introduced early on is a time traveler, his identity a mystery only to young readers. While they navigate the paradoxes of time travel, it's hard to do so well. He does so better than most, but a lot of his fixes still feel pretty simplified and won't hold up to more intense scrutiny. This clumsiness took me out of it, but getting time travel right in Sci-Fi is so complex it usually winds up being more dull and tedious than exciting.

While perhaps over the series we'll see more character development, here everyone followed the DnD outline: character sheets. Characters did pretty much what you expected and remained unchanged throughout the process. Very simple easy to digest 1 dimensional characters without much light shone on their motivations.

It's a good book, enjoyable if you like YA novels. But if you want more substance, look elsewhere.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Simon
  • 05-01-19

Dicing With Death!

80s nostalgia, time travel, nerd meets girl, Dungeons and Dragons - I am Nick Harris, I was Nick Harris, I can't do the time travel, unfortunately. Most importantly as you can guess I am most definitely squarely in the centre of the target market that Mark Lawrence was aiming at with this story!

This took me back to those long sessions of rolling dice, great feats of imagined heroism and most fantastic fellowship with old friends who while definitely not forgotten, long or otherwise, are too distant and far too seldom seen. I even just got out my old dice and rolled them a few times to mark the occasion of finishing this book. Sad I know, but true.

It's a cracking little story, I can see why they have likened it to Ready Player One though this is more an adventure involving a time traveller than a time travel story or quite such a zany adventure as Cline's smash hit. It is, however, a story that delivers on its quite excellent premise and while it's not quite as full of the wider 80s nostalgia it does capture the decade nicely and populates it with a set of characters that are very easy on the ear.

Be prepared though that it's not just a nice cutesy nostalgia trip, 80s big cities weren't the easiest of places to live in and so it proves here with Nick and the gang facing some very tough dilemmas. The overall chemistry is worked brilliantly for me, though it was almost designed for me personally. It will be interesting to see what other reviewers, possibly from slightly different demographics think about it.

My recommendation regardless is to give it a try . . . roll those bones!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 07-01-19

ok

was ok
not great, not terrible. villan was weak.
three stars seems fair to me.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • JPA
  • 05-22-19

Kept me guessing throughout

I didn't know what to expect going into this. I've read and listened to Mark's fantasy trilogies and loved them, so had to try this out.

Well written and clever as ever, intriguing and surprising, poignant and full of feeling. Tense at times and punchy action sequences that weren't over the top.

Spoiler of sorts:


I'm not a fan of time travel, so struggled with that (main) element, despite how well it was tackled and delivered. D&D sections were great and the characters entertaining. Overall, I'm intrigued to find out what comes next. Narration was good.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • sonvagun
  • 05-08-19

Wasn't what I expected...

... but really enjoyed it. Finished Holy Sister, and went straight into One Word Kill, do you need to read Marks other works to enjoy this? No, but you should!

Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Valerie
  • 06-14-19

Dull

I have so much enjoyed Mark Lawrence’s other books that I was quite excited to see this new series. But it’s hard to believe it’s the same author, so mediocre is it. To begin with, I wondered if it were the narrator. He speaks very clearly and does some accents well enough, but he has a sing song narration style that didn’t appeal to me at all. However as the story went on I decided it isn’t only the narrator, it is the story and characters. Time travel is always difficult and this attempt didn’t work for me. Huge disappointment all round - and don’t believe those who say that the second in the series is better. Being such a fan of his other books, I purchased both at the same time and I gave the second book a listen as well. It doesn’t improve. I can thoroughly recommend his other books though.