on February 19, 2014
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Death is just the beginning for Navy SEAL Reese Hawthorne. After an unlikely encounter with the girl of his dreams during a rescue mission in the drug cartel filled jungles of Mexico, Reese awakens in a futuristic city in the Afterlife. A formidable, massive wall is the only thing protecting the city from countless ferocious prehistoric beasts, and hoards of ghoulish creatures, known as Lost Souls.
On the eve of a perilous cross-country race across the Afterlife realm between the forces of good and evil, war hangs in the balance on the heals of a loose treaty created hundreds of years ago. Armed with deadly weapons and their enhanced physical abilities, like strength, vision and quickness—the most gifted warriors, are pitted against each other. The first side to either destroy their opponents, or reach a distant ancient temple far outside the safety of the city walls, will win an unimaginable power, and change the outcome of humanity.
Reese must do everything he can to stop the forces of evil from winning the race and enslaving every free soul in the Universe.
I am really striking out recently on my review requests. I am starting to understand why many bloggers don’t accept self-published books. That is certainly not to say there aren’t excellent self published books out there; I’ve read and reviewed a few that I’ve really enjoyed.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t one of them.
I’m super bummed about this particular book, because the concept is very interesting. The main character, Reese, dies somewhere around the third chapter, and he immediately enters the afterlife, only, he doesn’t remember how he died (though the reader knows) or much of anything from his life on earth. The afterlife is made up of shiny, futuristic cities (our setting is called Asgelot) where power hungry clans fight for galorim, a mysterious substance that…apparently gives power? They drank it like it was water, with little side effect other than saying it was delicious, so I don’t really understand why they were fighting wars over it. Anyway, Reese finds out he’s a member of the Blue clan, a selfless group of heroes who did noble acts in their earthly lives, even though he can’t remember it. But apparently, he has to fight in this Centennial thing, which from what I could gather was some sort of race/fight hybrid? I’m not too clear on the details.
That was about as far as I got, sadly. Here are my issues with the book.
#1. We don’t know anything really about the characters, except the stereotypes of Reds (horrible, evil, kill puppies for fun people) and Blues (walk little old ladies across the street, jump in front of a bullet for a friend, feed the homeless, save the world types) and Greens (do they do anything? They were just kind of there). Reese doesn’t remember any of his past, so he’s an extremely boring character (he was mildly interesting in the first three chapters and then he died and became super boring). He just kind of does what people tell him, and he appears to say what he thinks people want to hear.
#2. As I mentioned in a previous paragraph, all of this hullaboo about wars and fighting in the afterlife is over the mysterious substance galorim. But…they literally drink it like they’ll never run out and they don’t get any perceived side effects. So what the crap are they fighting over it for?
#3. I felt that we should already be in this mysterious Centennial. Fights for survival, racing for power, trying to keep friends (and possibly soulmates? there’s another part of the story that wasn’t very well developed) alive…this would have been exciting, and more interesting. But at 52%, there was no end in sight to training for said Centennial and even more lack of character development.
#4. Because there was no character development, and the plot didn’t have a driving conflict over than ‘bad guys are bad’, I was rather bored.
Sigh. I hate that my “DNF” pile continues to grow.