Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Review: Afterlife by Merrie Destefano

Book Blurb:


Chaz Domingue is a professional Babysitter in New Orleans, helping to integrate the recently deceased into their new and improved lives.  Though Fresh Start has always been the only game in town, resurrection isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  Nine lives are all a person can get -- and a powerful group of desperate, high-level Nine-Timers will stop at nothing to possess the keys to true immortality.

Now the only hope for Chaz and his family -- and the human race -- lies in the secrets locked away in the mind of Angelique, the beautiful, mysterious Newbie he must protect…


Have you ever picked up a book with low expectations, only to have said book totally hit it out of the park?  Merrie Destefano’s Afterlife was that kind of book for me.  When I was approached to review it, I was in a bit of a reading funk.  After reading the blurb I was still a little uncertain as to whether I was going to like this reading experience.  Let’s face it, a story involving reincarnation is kind of tricky but, I’m happy to announce that I was worried for nothing.

Ms. Destefano introduced me to a futuristic, gritty New Orleans where reincarnation/resurrection is embraced and quite popular.  She took me into the day-to-day of our protagonist, Chaz, and the integration of his newbie, Angelique.  This story is told from multiple viewpoints so that with each perspective we get a new layer added to the story.  Merrie damn near gave me a heart attack and in the process made me think profound, ‘what if’ type thoughts that stayed with me long after I put the book down.

This story is compelling and pulls you in from the very beginning. I was completely hooked after reading this line:
Jazz swirled through the room, competed with my heartbeat and pressed against my skin, sensous as a lover’s kiss, steamy as the bayou in mid-August. It stole my soul.
Just so you know folks, that’s the FIRST line.  This book has something for everyone.  We’ve got a believable and likeable hero and well developed supporting characters that you either want to cheer for or against.  There’s lots of action, suspense, mystery and a dash of romance.  Not to mention that it keeps you guessing.  The second you think the journey starts to become predictable, BAM, you’re headed in a new direction.  I do have one little caveat though.  If you’re not the type of person who likes slight religious and/or science fiction subject matter in your books then this might not be for you.  However, the keyword there is slight and I think if you give it a shot you won’t be disappointed.

I was so emotionally involved with this story and its characters that as I started nearing the end I had to put the book down and take a breather.  I was on emotional overload and didn’t pick it up until the next day.  Intense would be an understatement.  Overall, I feel like this was a great debut novel and I look forward to the next book in The Resurrection Chronicles.

Here are some other places where you can find more information about Merrie Destafno and Afterlife:

*Reviewed by Jen D. for Bite Club
*Book was given for review by the publisher


Julie said...

Sounds intense! Nice review Jen!

Merrie Destefano said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful review! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. =)

Rain Maiden said...

I love when I find a good book that pulls me out of a funk. I will check this one out!

Jen D. said...

@Julie: Thanks for stopping by!

@Merrie: Can't wait for the next one.

@Rain: Me too and this one definitely did.

Anna (Bite Club) said...

Great review Jen! It looks like I'll have to add yet another book to my shopping list:)

Jen D. said...

Thanks Anna! I needed to get you back for the times your reviews make made me add books to my TBR pile. ;-)

Zee said...

Awesome review Jen! I am a huge sucker for mystery, drama, and a dash of romance! This is definitely a title that I will but on my TBR list.

Jen D. said...

Hi Zee! Thanks for stopping by. Glad to hear I could contribute to the TBR pile. ;-)

Spinecraker said...

Thanks for the review. I've definitely had to put books down b/c they're too intense emotionally, and they usually become one of my favorite books, so I will definitely be putting this on my TBR pile!

Jen D. said...

@Spinecraker: Thanks for stopping by! Happy to hear you liked the review and that I could contribute to the TBR pile.