Afterlife by Marcus Sakey (2 out of 5) 

I know Marcus Sakey from the “Brilliance” trilogy, which was, well, brilliant. This is a one-off book described as “Ghost meets The Matrix”. I have to beg to differ. I had high hopes here, to no avail. It is a book that will wring you out emotionally, and it leaves you wrung out. There is no gentle reprieve, and there is no real point to what happens in the book itself. It was very uneven and felt like the author is putting the reader through all sorts of fiery hoops, culminating in a crash of hopes and dreams, but look! Here come homicidal zombies out to kill the main character, FBI Agent Will, but… shit! He’s already dead. So how does that work? His heartbroken co-worker and lover Claire is trying to figure out who killed Will. Will is killed while rushing to defend one of his team during a bomb scare. Prior to that, there is a mad dash to put an end to a killing spree in Chicago, where there is a sniper picking off random targets, with no rhyme, reason, or clue as to who he is or why he is doing this. That struggle to get him continues to plague Claire after Will’s death, while in the other world, Will tries to fend off the warrior, aggressive youth who are trying to kill him, and he tries to figure out how he got here, and how to get back to Claire. In THAT regard, sure, it does resemble “Ghost” and the other world that Will is in DOES have a smattering of “The Matrix” vibe to it, but that is where it ends. Both Will and Claire are characters full of untapped promise, but Sakey puts them into a plot full of strange boobytraps that really do sink the ship, and in the process, the book goes down like the lead weight Kevin James dropped off at the pool. Sad and anemic in parts, this was too much of a stretch to have believability long-term. I really hope they don’t cast Owen Wilson as Will. That would be the final insult. If you pick up a work by Sakey, please start with the “Brilliance” trilogy. This book is out now, in paperback, and brought to the masses by Thomas Mercer & Co, an imprint of that pesky bookstore-killer 

~ by generationgbooks on November 9, 2017.

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