By: Merrie Destefano
Published by: Eos
Publication date: September 28, 2010
I bought this book
Chaz Dominguez 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 . . .
Why I picked it up: One of my favorite bloggers, Pam over at Midnyte Reader, gave this one a dazzling 6 out of 5 stars (read her review here) and since I usually agree wholeheartedly with her opinion, I decided I had to have it.
Why I couldn't put it down: Oh forgive me Pam, but this one was pretty much a take it or leave it for me. I kind of had to force myself to finish it. (ducking for cover!) I WILL say this in its favor, the storyline was completely original and is the one thing that kept me reading. Afterlife takes place at some vague time in the future where scientists/one family in particular have discovered how to resurrect a person after they die into a clone body (what they are cloned from I am not quite sure because they don't resemble the original body) with 50% of their memories intact. This can be done nine times before the DNA breaks down completely and resurrection is no longer possible. Most people choose to get the implant for resurrection, but some people choose to remain one-timers. This aspect was very interesting for me and raised questions and thoughts about religion and choice and I thought this aspect of the book was quite brilliant.
Where it all fell apart for me though was in the characterizations and the world building. I never quite got a complete grasp on the world this story took place in. Terms particular to this world were thrown out without explanation and left me feeling a little bit lost. But the worst thing for me was that I never really cared about any of these characters nor did I ever feel like I really got to know them. My favorite character in the book was actually a dog if that tells you anything. (the dog really was pretty darn cool =)
Destefano DOES have a lovely writing style and there is a very real beauty to many of the passages in Afterlife. I just wish the world and the characters had been more fully developed. That being said, in the interest of fairness here, I DO feel that I should point out that this one has a ton of 4 and 5 star ratings on Amazon and Goodreads and truth be told, I'm not really an urban fantasy girl so while it may not have been a good fit for me, I have no doubt many of you will be fans of Afterlife =)