19 June 2022

The 7 Lives of Léa


7½ months or more ago, Rob and I wrote about an unusual English manor mystery, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. Much of the surrealism comes from what we’re not told. We’re given damned little in framing and a backstory.

Compared to the British title, The 7 Deaths… both Rob and I prefer the American variation, The 7½ Deaths. The novel left an impression– Four years after publication, I’m still yakking about it. But this isn’t about that.

The 7 Lives

When NetFlix presented a French miniseries, The 7 Lives of Léa, based on the novel, Les 7 vies de Léo Belami by Nataël Trapp, I couldn’t help comparing. Like 7½ Deaths, each day the protagonist in 7 Lives finds herself jumping from one body to another, trying to learn what is happening, trying to figure out who killed Ismael, a nearly forgotten boy thirty years earlier.

Think of it as a French episode of The Twilight Zone.

Raïka Hazanavicius
Raïka Hazanavicius as Léa

Conceptual Issues

Hard sci-fi proudly embraces the physics of its world, whether real-life or a well-defined fictional model, the science in science fiction. Time travel novels and films may or may not succeed in the redefined reality of their new world. Laws of physics disallow a traveller meeting a past or future version of himself. A traveller must be careful not to alter his ancestral line that might preclude his own birth… while sometimes trying to disrupt the lineage of an adversary.

The average time travel story earns perhaps a C. I’ll award Léa a B-/C+, reasonable for the tale in question. It doesn’t pretend to be more than it is.

The 7 Lives of Léa follows a recent pattern of recasting male leads as female. Some reimagining works better than others. Without having read the book, I felt comfortable with a heroine instead of a hero. And indeed, the story zeroes in on unsung heroism.

The multi-generation actors of 7 Lives seemed to have been cast while wearing blindfolds. Virtually no teenage character resembles its much older adult version, which made it trickier to track the plot.

Léa manages to squeak past a couple of incestuous make-out close calls. Perhaps the funnest part, so to speak, occurres when she lands in the body of Pye (Pierre-Yves), the town’s rich kid, who’s not only popular but a snobbish bully. Léa alters the timeline to make a clumsy fool of him (with the result of making him somewhat endearing), but hooks him up with Jennifer, the school’s picked-on homely girl. Time travel should be built for anti-bullying alone.

Although a suspected murder is involved, The 7 Lives of Léa isn’t truly crime fiction, but it is an enjoyable journey into an imagination Rod Serling would have been proud of.


  1. Leigh, that sounds like a show I'd really like. Thanks!

    1. I believe you'll like it, John. I didn't mention the ending is a topic often discussed in time travel tales, but I think it's the first time I've seen it realized in a story.

  2. I love this one. I am looking for the English version of this book, I really hope I find one.


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