Review Blog

Aug 14 2012

The Second Forever by Colin Thompson

cover image

Random House Australia: 2012. ISBN 9781741662894.
The Second Forever is the second volume of the How to Live Forever trilogy and as we are warned on the first page, it is perhaps best to read, or reread, the first book before tackling the second. Even after reading the introduction, a synopsis of the story so far, I was somewhat confused at times as I read on. Now however I am keen to read the final book to see how the author finishes the story.
Peter 15, lives in a Museum, a magical and mysterious place with lost rooms and corridors and a library containing a copy of all the books ever written. In book 1, set 5 years earlier, Peter falls through a wall into another world where books are houses and where, with Festival a girl exactly his age, Peter finds his father and destroys the book How to Live For Ever. This book gives the reader immortality when read once and also had the effect of turning back a river which threatened to drown Festival and Peter.
Peter comes to the realisation that the massive worldwide drought which is covering his world in dust and began shortly after his adventure may be a consequence of destroying the book.  This is confirmed when Festival unexpectedly arrives saying her world is being flooded and subject to constant rain.
The only solution is to recreate the book and read it at the same location as they turned back the river, saving both worlds and again risking immortality, which we discover is not a desirable state to be in.
Global warming, the interrelatedness of the environment, the circle of life through the image of The Hourglasses and The River of Styx, and human frailties are woven through out what is essentially a quest to save the world and destroy the book once again without dire consequences.
I would recommend it for mature readers with a social conscience and expect some questions. What would you risk to save the world? Is the book really gone or just floating in the wind?
Sue Keane

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