Review by Shrabastee -- The Watchmaker’s Doctor

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Shrabastee
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Review by Shrabastee -- The Watchmaker’s Doctor

Post by Shrabastee » 01 Oct 2018, 06:58

[Following is a volunteer review of "The Watchmaker’s Doctor" by G. M. T. Schuilling.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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There are good books that make you feel content after reading. There are great books that make you want to read them again and again. And then there are books that stop you right in your tracks, make you question yourself and re-evaluate your choices. Worse still, you don’t even feel like taking up another book for a long time afterward.

The Watchmaker’s Doctor by G.M.T. Schuilling makes the third category without any doubt. Minutes after receiving a watch from her patient Greg, a speeding van almost ends Anaya’s life at the age of thirty-five. At the last moment, the watch rewinds, making her go back in time to the moment she got the watch. Offered with a second chance at life, Anaya agrees to go back eighteen years. This time around, she is determined not to repeat the wrong choices she made last time. But as her choices change, so do the consequences. How will they affect her or those closest to her?

Time travel is one of the most popular themes in the science fiction genre. However, this book combines with it different twists that make the story more intriguing. For example, going back and choosing to attend college might help Anaya build her career this time around, or her Bipolar II can be diagnosed earlier and treated accordingly. These choices might prevent the downhill turn her life took the last time, but she might have to pay the price in other ways. Who can tell?

Aware of her second and final chance, Anaya’s dilemma is palpable. On one hand, she tries to enjoy life to the fullest. On the other hand, she feels too cautious lest she should repeat her past mistakes. In addition, the knowledge of that final moment when her heart will inevitably stop makes her emotions all the more complex. To the author’s credit, the reader feels similarly affected by an emotional upheaval, relishing one moment, dreading the next, all the time debating if the choice to come back was wise.

Even within a short span, the characters are well-developed. Anaya, a thirty-five-year-old ‘teenager’, is understandably mature. Other aspects of her characters like bravery, intuition, and a conscientious nature are also reflected. Her parents and friends are compassionate and supportive. Even Greg’s character takes an unexpected turn at the end that puts the entire novella in a new light.

A crisp but poignant read, this book made me ponder for quite a while. How many of us can claim to have lived without regrets? If a second shot at life were possible, would we be willing to take it, or should we be content with our old life and all its imperfections? And even if we choose to go back, what unforeseen complexities might arise this time? I absolutely love books that make me think, and this one was one of the very best among them. I especially loved the personification of time and the clever inclusion of the famous myth of Alexandria's Genesis.

I could not really find anything to criticize in this book. Although the end left me with a few unanswered questions, those would probably be taken care of in the next books of the series.

This novella deserves nothing less than 4 out of 4 stars. I did not find a single grammatical or typing error, so it seems to be professionally edited. The Watchmaker’s Doctor would appeal to anyone who loves science fiction, adults and young adults alike. But even if you are not a fan of that genre, you can still pick this book up if you are open to a thought-provoking read.

******
The Watchmaker’s Doctor
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Sunnyroyish
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Post by Sunnyroyish » 03 Oct 2018, 02:54

Wow! Nice story. I love science fiction. This book has been there for me to review for a long time but I never took it. Now after reading your review, I think i'm going to give it a shot. If you like time travel and anime I'd recommend Stein's Gate which is a Japanese anime with an amazing and extremely complex storyline. Thanks for the review. Waiting for the next one.
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Post by Shrabastee » 03 Oct 2018, 03:23

Sunnyroyish wrote:
03 Oct 2018, 02:54
Wow! Nice story. I love science fiction. This book has been there for me to review for a long time but I never took it. Now after reading your review, I think i'm going to give it a shot. If you like time travel and anime I'd recommend Stein's Gate which is a Japanese anime with an amazing and extremely complex storyline. Thanks for the review. Waiting for the next one.
Thanks for the comment and also the recommendation! Yes, I love both and I will surely give Stein's Gate a try. As for this book, I believe you'll enjoy this. The ending is a cliffhanger, but a promising one at that!

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Post by ButterscotchCherrie » 03 Oct 2018, 03:50

Ah, time. That fourth dimension that we just can't help moving with - not that that stops science fiction writers from exploring the implications of time travel. It certainly is thought-provoking - the idea of being able to fix those regrets is tantalizing, but so is the notion that we could, in fact, make things worse ?!? Although steady the passage of time can feel very different in different situations, which means that we get 35-year-old teenagers these days! (I can relate). I enjoyed your excellent review.

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Post by Shrabastee » 03 Oct 2018, 04:17

ButterscotchCherrie wrote:
03 Oct 2018, 03:50
Ah, time. That fourth dimension that we just can't help moving with - not that that stops science fiction writers from exploring the implications of time travel. It certainly is thought-provoking - the idea of being able to fix those regrets is tantalizing, but so is the notion that we could, in fact, make things worse ?!? Although steady the passage of time can feel very different in different situations, which means that we get 35-year-old teenagers these days! (I can relate). I enjoyed your excellent review.
Thanks for stopping by! I loved the notion of going back in time and amending our choices, but yes, things might get worse. Still, I would probably prefer to come back again and again if only to read those books I can't complete in this lifetime! :techie-studyinggray: :techie-studyingbrown:

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Post by jjmainor » 03 Oct 2018, 21:13

It's funny, but this is such a simple story, and yet, it's so enjoyable.

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Post by Shrabastee » 04 Oct 2018, 03:55

jjmainor wrote:
03 Oct 2018, 21:13
It's funny, but this is such a simple story, and yet, it's so enjoyable.
Yes, I agree! Thanks for the comment.

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Post by Julie Green » 04 Oct 2018, 16:27

You are correct that this book makes you think about what you would do if offered the chance to relive your life. I enjoyed it too - that such a simple story could have me thinking so deeply!
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Post by stacie k » 04 Oct 2018, 18:12

I enjoyed reading your review! I love that time is personified in this book. Time travel stories have always been interesting for me, and, as you pointed out, are also thought-provoking. This one seem to be well done! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
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Post by Shrabastee » 05 Oct 2018, 01:32

Julie Green wrote:
04 Oct 2018, 16:27
You are correct that this book makes you think about what you would do if offered the chance to relive your life. I enjoyed it too - that such a simple story could have me thinking so deeply!
That is the beauty of it, such a short read to have such an impact! Thanks for the comment. I am glad you enjoyed the book!

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Post by Shrabastee » 05 Oct 2018, 01:39

stacie k wrote:
04 Oct 2018, 18:12
I enjoyed reading your review! I love that time is personified in this book. Time travel stories have always been interesting for me, and, as you pointed out, are also thought-provoking. This one seem to be well done! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Actually, time was not personified per se, as in, it was not a person. But you get to see its different aspects in one character and his creations. I don't want to say anything else lest I should spoil your reading.
Since time travel is a theme you like, I could not help asking if you have read 'The Time Traveller's Wife'. It was another book that had a similar impact on me.

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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 08 Oct 2018, 08:11

I really like this book, I have heard so much about it and even sampled this read. I have seen lot of our fellow reviewer give it a 4 stars. Truly it must be a great read, besides I see that it has delighted you exceedingly. Thank you for your delightful review!
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Post by Shrabastee » 08 Oct 2018, 23:37

Sahani Nimandra wrote:
08 Oct 2018, 08:11
I really like this book, I have heard so much about it and even sampled this read. I have seen lot of our fellow reviewer give it a 4 stars. Truly it must be a great read, besides I see that it has delighted you exceedingly. Thank you for your delightful review!
This was indeed a great read, I am sure you will enjoy it! I suppose I especially loved this because I have always been fascinated by the concept of time travel. Thanks so much for your comment!

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Post by Espie » 15 Oct 2018, 01:27

I hope the protagonist made the most of her second chance at life. How many of us would get to have that, too? I hope we all would and could make the difference in one way or another. Thank you for your insightful review.
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