PUBLICATION DATE: MAY 1, 2012
nitially I intended to write a single review that covered all seven novellas in the 7 Hours series. After all, fellow writer Rachel Ropper has reviewed novella collections for our site and was able to make a single review out of 9 books. How hard can it be, right? Turns out I’m not as talented as Rachel, so I decided to make eight separate reviews—individual reviews for each book and one review (this one) which will provide an overview of the series.
The 7 Hours anthology is the brain child of author James Andrew Wilson. The premise is seemingly straightforward—Thomas Constant (time personified) makes a deal with Death. He is allowed to give seven people on the verge of death seven extra hours. They can choose to relive any seven hours of their life, extend their life by seven hours, or make no choice and die immediately. What each person chooses to do with their seven hours is at their discretion, however, when the seven hours are up, each will awake shortly before their death. As it turns out, most choose to relive seven hours of their life, highlighting the inherent desire of humans to correct past mistakes with the hope for better results.
The 7 Hours series is great collection of intriguing, suspense driven novellas that explore time and second chances. While there are overlaps in themes, each book is truly standalone and adds a unique perspective to time and our place in it. These novellas do not take long to read and are well worth the time spent to finish the series. Readers can pick and choose which novella to read and they can be read in any order. I do suggest reading The Last Night of Alton Webber regardless of how many others are read and saving it for last.
The series’ concept is very well executed by each of the seven contributing authors. I like how the writers offer their own unique perspective while keeping their individual writing styles intact. The end result is a collection that is strengthened by the varying perspectives and gives the reader a sample of the author’s work without requiring too much of a time commitment.
The highlight of this series is truly in the themes it explores. Though there are overlaps between the books, the authors provide some encouraging as well as convicting exploration of time. They have done an excellent job of constructing stories that work perfectly with their themes as well as intriguing interpretations of Thomas Constant. The novellas are fun to read, but the themes certainly leave a lasting impression.
I’m extremely impressed with this collaboration and would definitely love for these authors to come together again for another series. With the intriguing premise and wonderful execution, readers are in for a real treat. Great job James, Mike, Rene, Travis, Ronie, Tom, and Robin!