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Gamer’s Book Guide: “Seconds” by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Lately, I have been disappointed by my lack of available time to spend reading. Most of my free time has been spent writing, watching TV, playing video games, and listening to podcasts. For whatever reason, reading is always the thing that I enjoy that gets the short end of the stick. Perhaps it’s because I already read a lot for the classes I’m taking, or maybe it’s just because reading for extended periods of time makes my eyes tired.

Whatever the case, I want to read more and I would like to encourage others to do so as well. Because of this, I’m starting a monthly article series called “Gamer’s Book Guide” where I will read and recommend books that will be relevant to people into gaming or other geeky things. The books I will be highlighting each month won’t necessarily be about gaming either, they will just be books I believe people into geeky things will enjoy. Also, I will be talking about books, but that doesn’t necessarily mean every book will be a novel, such is the case for this month.

This month, I highly recommend “Seconds” by Bryan Lee O’Malley. “Seconds” is a graphic novel about a girl in her mid-twenties, Katie, who utilizes mushrooms to travel back in time to fix past mistakes. Like other works by O’Malley, the first part of the story sounds totally normal but then it just dives into total insanity. Similar to his previous series, “Scott Pilgrim”, this book is also riddled with references to movies and video games.

Also like his past work, “Seconds” tells a fairly small and personal story especially considering all the magic and weirdness that occurs in the book. When you get down to it, it’s just a story about Katie’s quarter-life crisis. O’Malley’s writing will also be instantly relatable to the reader, especially if they’re in their late teens or twenties.

As a bonus, if you’re a “Scott Pilgrim” fan like I am, this book can technically be seen as a sequel to that series as Scott and Ramona show up as background characters in a few scenes. It’s nothing substantial, but a fun little Easter egg for fans of the author.

The other nice thing about the book is O’Malley’s art and the coloring done by Nathan Fairbairn. While O’Malley’s art style isn’t exactly one that can be “more detailed” but you can still see an evolution of his style with each book he puts out. In “Seconds” his art style is used very effectively and really helps establish the weird, colorful, and kinda sad tones that are presented throughout the book.

Now that you know my non-spoilery opinion on the book, try it out yourself and form your own opinions. Or if you have read it already, comment below and tell me about what you thought of the book.



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