Making his first appearance on the blog today, Scott Baron brings a completely unique crossover title, a mix of fantasy, coming of age, romance and self-discovery in
Living the Good Death
I was completely unprepared how much I enjoyed this novel: with a synopsis that just screamed out to be read and themes that mix lighthearted humor, self-discovery, a ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ like mental hospital and plenty of revelations. Death appears to be a mid-twenties young woman, pale, pretty and very much dedicated to her job. She has a purpose, and thinking further than that isn’t really necessary. Until she tries to use her ‘power’ to take another soul, and wakes face down on the carpet in a flop-house next to a failed suicide.
Far from being a simple ‘how she got back’ story, the road for Death to regain her place in her own realm is not a smooth or easy one. With sense and feeling that reminded me of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, there is a series of lessons that she must learn about herself, her purpose and the ultimate preciousness that is the gift of life. While she starts her story believing that her purpose is simply that and emotion and regret are wasted – her purpose is clear and anything more isn’t necessary. From her introduction (and acceptance) by a few kindly people (Angela, Randy and Curtis) the frustration in trying to find answers from Pestilence (also a patient in the hospital) and the clear protagonist in Dr. Vaughn, the man who is determined to ‘break her’, she learns to function in the society presented to her, manipulations, escapes and deceptions (all new) as she has opportunities to grab for joy and fun along the way.
With an interesting twist at the end as she learns the purpose of her ‘time as human’ and some truly sweet moments that give proof to the ‘life is a gift’ premise – the story is clever, easy to read and fully engaging. Baron’s writing style is smooth and descriptive, while some of the more emotional components are a bit stilted (much like Death’s itself) as the story progresses they become more tangible. I’ll admit that I was concerned with Baron’s screenwriting history as my experience with books from screenwriters have been problematic and often over-worked, Baron has the ability to convey description, emotion and action without overstep – giving the reader cues to visualize rather than directing the scenes. Want something different and quirky? This is the book for that, leaving you with plenty of unexpected and unforeseen smiles.
Title: Living the Good Death
Author: Scott Baron
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy, Humor elements, Romantic Elements, Urban Fantasy
Published by: Curiouser
Published on: 20 November, 2017
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ IndieBound
Wearing nothing but psych ward pajamas and fluffy slippers, the odd girl wasn’t really dressed to kill. Being the Grim Reaper, however, she felt confident she could make it work.
Have you ever had one of those days? You know, the kind of day when things just don’t go your way. Like when your botched suicide attempt and claims of supernatural powers get you hauled to the emergency room, placed under observation, then transferred to a locked-down psych facility.
The girl who thought she was Death had failed miserably in her efforts to shed the troublesome human body in which she was trapped. The result? Finding herself surrounded by nutjobs, locked in a mental ward ruled by a humorless doctor with a Napoleon complex and a penchant for sleight of hand. Sure, she did technically bring it on herself, but how was she to know that trying to off herself in public and using her outside voice to proclaim she was Death incarnate would result in a psych ward lockdown?
With that problematic little blunder behind her, the concerns now vexing her were pressing. Escape, both from the mental hospital, as well as from this plane of existence, was vital, but equally so was addressing the other issue haunting her. The big one. The one that could end the world. The issue that with Death missing, people would rather inconveniently no longer die like they were supposed to. Eventually, things would hit critical mass. She just didn’t know when.
The situation was, well, grim, to say the very least. An irony not lost on the girl claiming to be the Death.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.