Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
Synopsis: For Kivrin, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the fourteenth century and inventing an alibi for a woman traveling alone. For her instructors in the twenty-first century, it meant painstaking calculations and careful monitoring of the rendezvous location where Kivrin would be received. But a crisis strangely linking past and future strands Kivrin in a bygone age as her fellows try desperately to rescue her. In a time of superstition and fear, Kivrin -- barely of age herself -- finds she has become an unlikely angel of hope during one of history's darkest hours.
In A Sentence: An excellent read for history buffs, sci-fi nuts, and medical thriller enthusiasts alike.
What I Really Liked: I ended up staying up all night so I could finish this book. Granted I had to nap at 4 in the morning because the lines kept blurring together, but I was eventually able to finish at 8 in the morning. It was a really fun read! Kivrin goes back in time to the Middle Ages, and finds herself in an unexpected and bad situation. Anyone who paid attention in high school history, or to History channel specials about the Black Death, are already reasonably well versed in the Middle Ages (nothing all that new there), so Willis made the story even more interesting by adding a modern epidemic of the Influenza, making it difficult to locate and rescue Kivrin, and giving the plot an edge of uncertainty.
This story has something for everyone. It's a medical thriller, it has science fiction, and it has history, which, to my limited knowledge, is accurate. It also has characters that people can fall in love with, and a writing style that brings life and feeling to everything in the plot. The added bonus for me is that half of this story took place in Oxford, my favorite city in England. Dave was studying there for two years, and I got a chance to study in England for a semester and visit him every weekend. I loved that place, so hearing about landmarks I recognized was awesome (ah, Blackwell's, how I miss you!)
Why I Didn't Give This 5 Stars (WARNING! CONTAINS SPOILERS): (view spoiler)[I think the one death that annoyed me was Gilchrist's. I so wanted him to be alive, mainly so Dunworthy throw all of his mistakes into his face. I also wanted Basingame to make an appearance. After all the confusion of looking for him, I wanted him to be found and come back and take control or something. I just feel that Basingame and Gilchrist could have added a little more to the story. (hide spoiler)]
In A Nutshell: This was a lot of fun to read. I'm glad I took the time to read it, and I think others should try it out too. Strongly recommended.</["br"]></["br"]></["br"]></["br"]></["br"]></["br"]></["br"]></["br"]></["br"]></["br"]></["br"]></["br"]>
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