The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, Claire North


What is the point of you?

What do you think happens when we die?

Harry August is a special kind of human- an Ouroboran or Kalachakra. He is born in 1919 and lives his first life as many others do; accepting that the end will eventually come and he will one day die. Then roundabout his 5th or 6th birthday into his second life, his memories start coming back and he realises that he was reborn back in 1919. He becomes conscious that he has lived before. It’s safe to say that coming to terms with that is quite a rough ride. He slowly discovers that he is not alone and others share his special gift. In fact, one in every half million of the population. Harry seeks out the Cronus Club of which other Kalachakra belong to, helping to steer and guide new members, as he longs for answers.

We learn that Ouroboran can undergo a Forgetting, which will wipe their memories and give them a fresh start, rediscovering who they are, finding their feet as an Ouroboran anew. Rogue Ouroboran are often treated in this way in an attempt to cut off negative impacts on the human race and others of their kind at the source. In extreme cases, they kill the Ouroboran completely, by going back in time to stop them from ever being born and breaking the cycle of rebirth.

It’s by developing relationships with other Kalachakra that Harry realises he is something more. While the others forget things as the human brain does, he’s a mnemonic, able to remember everything.

The book reflects on Harry’s past lives, some shorter than others, and also his current life. Armed with the knowledge that he will not only live again, but will retain information that will support him financially, Harry travels the world throughout his lives and experiences a variety of countries throughout changing periods of his lifespan. The historical and cultural knowledge that fills the pages is incredible; a real credit to the author and the amount of research that has clearly been done. Certain events he repeats, safe in the knowledge that he can reach a favourable outcome, others he learns to avoid. Like people.

As Harry lies dying his 11th death, a warning is given to him by an Ouroboran early on in their latest life. She warns that her message has been passed back through time and Harry must do the same. The world is coming to an end.

The book follows Harry’s further lives as he uncovers information that he feels will fulfill the prophesy. As Ouroboran are wiped out from existence completely, or are forced to undergo Forgettings, the Cronus Club throughout time is at risk. Time is running out for someone to put a stop to the end of the world.

It’s an incredibly fast-faced, exciting romp through time, tackling ongoing life after death, and sees threats to the timeline as we know it. It will leave you wondering the answer to the question, “What is the point of you?”.




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