Friday, December 19, 2014

Quick Pick: The Afterlifer's Tale, by Philip Kadwell

  • Opening lines: I am making my way down a dry creek bed when I stop and crouch by a patch of cattails. When traveling in the wilderness of the Afterlife it is good discipline to occasionally hide and count to sixty while scanning the track you just came across. That is when the Eaters will reveal themselves, flicking soundlessly over the ground, their greenish outlines quivering like amobas.
  • Reason I picked up the book: It's kind of sci-fi, to an extent. I've always been curious about how people interpret the Afterlife, too.
  • And what's this book about?
  • While hiking in the Michigan countryside on a bright January afternoon, Jack Avery decides to cut across a frozen pond. It is too late when he realizes his mistake. The ice breaks up under his feet and he falls into the frigid water, quickly losing consciousness.

    Coming to at the water’s edge, Jack has no memory how he got there. A warm breeze wafts over the pond. The honeysuckle trees nearby are in full bloom. Inexplicably, it seems like a pleasant day in July.

    A tall lanky stranger approaches and introduces himself as Cowboy. He tells Jack that he has died and is in the Afterlife. Jack refuses to accept his fate and stalks off to find his way home. Along the path, Jack encounters the beautiful, dark-haired Olivia; Hector, a physicist; Audrey, a young woman with psychic powers; and Bishop, a grizzled, born-again war veteran. They all have gone through the experience of dying and awaking in the Afterlife.

    After discovering how to manipulate a mysterious sphere that lies half-buried in the sand, Jack devises a daring plan to escape from the Afterlife. But not all goes as intended. Jack has a bigger destiny to fulfill, one that involves the evolution of humanity itself… and answers the biggest question of all: the ultimate meaning of Creation.
  • Favorite paragraph: 
"I want to report my vehicle being vandalized," I say.
Finally, at a lower pitch, and not so cheery: "Sir, we're answering your call as a courtesy. There's nothing we can do for you. You realize, of course, that you are in the Afterlife." 
I take the cell phone from my ear and stare at it for a moment.  
  • Recommended for: Anyone who likes TV shows like Resurrection (one of my new favorites), who is curious about the afterlife and/or "Creation," or who likes a good read.
  • Something to know: The book has just been re-released on Amazon, and it's been edited and retouched a bit.
  • What I would have changed: Nothing I can think of. 
  • Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
  • Where can I buy this book? Click here.

    *Disclosure: The author of this book is the father of one of my friends, and he self-published this novel. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

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