Afterlife
Between life and death lies an epic war, a relentless manhunt through two worlds… and an unforgettable love story.The last thing FBI agent Will Brody remembers is the explosion — a thousand shards of glass surfing a lethal shock wave. He wakes without a scratch. The building is in ruins. His team is gone. Outside, Chicago is dark. Cars lie abandoned. No planes cross the sky. He’s relieved to spot other people — until he sees they’re carrying machetes.Welcome to the afterlife.Claire McCoy stands over the body of Will Brody. As head of an FBI task force, she hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep in weeks. A terrorist has claimed eighteen lives and thrown the nation into panic. Against this horror, something reckless and beautiful happened. She fell in love… with Will Brody. But the line between life and death is narrower than any of us suspect — and all that matters to Will and Claire is getting back to each other.From the author of the million-copy bestselling Brilliance Trilogy comes a mind-bending thriller that explores our most haunting and fundamental question: What if death is just the beginning?

Afterlife Details

TitleAfterlife
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 18th, 2017
PublisherThomas & Mercer
Rating
GenreFantasy, Fiction, Thriller, Science Fiction, Mystery

Afterlife Review

  • Suzanne Leopold
    January 1, 1970
    FBI agent Will Brody is hunting down a sniper who is terrorizing the city of Chicago. Eighteen lives have been lost and there is widespread panic in the city. Claire McCoy is leading the task force and is romantically involved with Will. After this assignment they look forward to formalizing their lives together. While investigating a tip on the sniper, Will enters a church and is engulfed in an explosion. Surprisingly, he wakes up without a scratch and is able to walk without any help. He is to FBI agent Will Brody is hunting down a sniper who is terrorizing the city of Chicago. Eighteen lives have been lost and there is widespread panic in the city. Claire McCoy is leading the task force and is romantically involved with Will. After this assignment they look forward to formalizing their lives together. While investigating a tip on the sniper, Will enters a church and is engulfed in an explosion. Surprisingly, he wakes up without a scratch and is able to walk without any help. He is told he is in the Echo which is a parallel universe containing souls who died violently. While in the Echo you can see the living but lack the skills to communicate with them. Will must learn to relate to others who can’t see or hear him. Despite his limitations, he continues to investigate the sniper while finding ways to protect Claire and other innocent people. This book is very unique and provides a combination of mystery, supernatural and romance. This is a different genre for me and I enjoyed this creative story from Marcus Sakey. A movie of this novel is currently in development.
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  • Montzalee Wittmann
    January 1, 1970
    AfterlifeBy: Marcus SakeyNarrated by: Finty WilliamsThis was the craziest after death book I think I have ever read. No ghosts here. Don't call Ghost Busters. This is one heck of a ride through levels of afterlife like you won't believe. It grabs you and won't let you go! I can't wait to see how Ron Howard turns this great book into a movie next year. Wow! I could picture it in my mind as it was happening, the author was so good in explaining it, the picture unfolded before me. Terrifying, suspe AfterlifeBy: Marcus SakeyNarrated by: Finty WilliamsThis was the craziest after death book I think I have ever read. No ghosts here. Don't call Ghost Busters. This is one heck of a ride through levels of afterlife like you won't believe. It grabs you and won't let you go! I can't wait to see how Ron Howard turns this great book into a movie next year. Wow! I could picture it in my mind as it was happening, the author was so good in explaining it, the picture unfolded before me. Terrifying, suspenseful, horrors, yet at the same time it was a love story! It was full of twists and turns and WTF moments! It kept me on my toes and the narrator was just so perfect for this book! Wow, just right for all the emotions and the many voices! Wonderful job on author 's and narrator's parts.
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  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    January 1, 1970
    In hindsight should I probably quite early on, just stopped reading this book when I realized that it was not working. Except, my middle name is apparently stubborn and I thought the idea of the book was so fantastic that I couldn't understand why I just couldn't get into the book. I mean it's nothing wrong with the writing, the characters did not annoy me either. I just felt a bit listless reading the book, and I think it's because I just didn't care that much for the story or for the character In hindsight should I probably quite early on, just stopped reading this book when I realized that it was not working. Except, my middle name is apparently stubborn and I thought the idea of the book was so fantastic that I couldn't understand why I just couldn't get into the book. I mean it's nothing wrong with the writing, the characters did not annoy me either. I just felt a bit listless reading the book, and I think it's because I just didn't care that much for the story or for the characters. It was just not a book for me.This will not be a long review. I have nothing really good to say about it, nor bad. I can understand why the story would appeal to readers, I just couldn't feel it myself. I think if the story of this book appeals to you, should you give it a go. The concept is interesting, with an afterlife where you can either become an eater and get godlike powers or try not be "eaten". If I had cared more for the characters would I probably have enjoyed the book more. However, I cared very little about Claire and Will's life and, romance and their angst and that made the book a bit slow to read.I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!
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  • Tulay
    January 1, 1970
    I was determined to finish it.Even answered the questions at the end. Started out interesting, but completely lost me. Maybe I don't believe after life, guess I'll find out soon. Read many good reviews from Goodreads friends, since it was free with my Kindle Unlimited decided to read it. Sex, murders and powerful devils.
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  • Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
    January 1, 1970
    Without realising it, I have been waiting for a book to come into my life and completely blow me away. Afterlife was this book for me. I had no preconceptions going into it, didn’t re-read the blurb, didn’t Google it, I just dove right in. And I was greatly rewarded once I started.Afterlife is a stunning read. There is a reason Ron Howard is making this into a movie! It is utterly captivating. Spanning decades and moving between life and death, it is an epic tale of survival and the lengths to w Without realising it, I have been waiting for a book to come into my life and completely blow me away. Afterlife was this book for me. I had no preconceptions going into it, didn’t re-read the blurb, didn’t Google it, I just dove right in. And I was greatly rewarded once I started.Afterlife is a stunning read. There is a reason Ron Howard is making this into a movie! It is utterly captivating. Spanning decades and moving between life and death, it is an epic tale of survival and the lengths to which one will go to exist. It is also a sweeping love story, by accident or design I don’t know, but it really got to me.Will Brody is an FBI agent, and the last thing he remembers is an explosion. Everything is abandoned, the sky is empty and the city of Chicago is still. When he sees people, he is relieved until he realises they have weapons and he is in big trouble. Apparently that’s the afterlife for you!Head of an FBI task force Claire McCoy is left standing over the ruined body of her former agent. Killed in the line of duty, Brody was trying to protect Chicago from a sniper who has taken the lives of eighteen people. What McCoy’s agents don’t know is that she and Will were in love.Separated in death, all that matters to Will and Claire is each other. Spanning different worlds, Afterlife is a truly genre-bending novel packed with suspense, murder, life and death. I got lost in this book. The plight of the main characters consumed me while I was reading it. I didn’t want the book to end to be honest. I became so thoroughly invested in the fates of these characters that I couldn’t think of anything else, even when I wasn’t reading it. In fact, I am weeks out from reading it, and I still think about it on a daily basis.Afterlife addresses the age old question of whether or not there is life after death. What I loved about this book was the battles that were fought before death and beyond. Even in death, the author has created a war. But it is a war unlike any other.I’m afraid to say any more, but only because I want readers to discover the stellar writing for themselves. I can only speak for myself. For me, Afterlife is one of the best books I’ve had the opportunity to read in quite a while. An excellent, and so very different plot, with a cast of brilliantly-drawn characters made this book a complete winner for me.Afterlife is an absolutely outstanding book! Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down. It is compelling and beautiful, yet so dark at the same time. It is a mix of crime/dystopian fiction and a love story unlike any other, spanning years and worlds, with a very different antagonist. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It caught me unawares and I will be thinking about it for a long time!All the stars for this one.Highly, highly recommended!
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  • Malina Skrobosinski
    January 1, 1970
    Not a home run for me, but I still enjoyed the game. When I first started this novel I was worried. The first Chapter almost lost me. Periodically through the book Edmund's character will make a random appearance and each time I was completely lost. I could say that maybe it's the fact that I read the majority of this book while on vacation and perhaps I was distracted at times, but then again, after looking over some other reviews, I don't think it was just me. I think the way this character wa Not a home run for me, but I still enjoyed the game. When I first started this novel I was worried. The first Chapter almost lost me. Periodically through the book Edmund's character will make a random appearance and each time I was completely lost. I could say that maybe it's the fact that I read the majority of this book while on vacation and perhaps I was distracted at times, but then again, after looking over some other reviews, I don't think it was just me. I think the way this character was written into the story-line was flawed at best. The story is of two lovers, Claire McCoy and Will Brody (aka Brody) who seem to have been brought together by fate to destroy an evil force. Both are working for the FBI at the start of the novel and are hunting a sadistic sniper who seems to be targeting victims at random. The whole city of Chicago is in a complete state of panic , no one knows who the next victim will be. The team gets a tip that they saw a man enter a church carrying a rifle, when Brody and a team are sent to investigate Brody quickly learns it's a trap. Brody discovers a bomb and in a last ditch effort to save his teammate he throws himself on top of him to shield him from the blast, but killing himself in the process. Only Brody doesn't realize he's dead. He awakes with a shard of glass in his leg an his lungs on fire. He begins looking for his team and exits the church thinking that it will only be minutes before back up arrives. Brody realizes that the "Sniper" was there... it was the man he saw on the balcony smoking a cigarette just before entering the church. He retreats, but he sees people running in his direction, he assumes they are there to help. He's screaming for them to get back, he's warning them of the "Sniper" only they're not listening. They were coming at him fast... how were they so fast? Soon he realized they were wielding weapons, these were not Good Samaritans come to help, they were there to hurt him. They were with the Sniper. Brody made a run for it, injured leg and all. Brody makes his way to a liquor store and slams a security gate closed and locks it with a padlock. No way are they getting through the inch thick metal bars. All Brody had to do now was wait for back up. One of the men grab a hold of the bars and brace for leverage, they slowly begin to bend. This is where things get interesting. I will spare you on what happens next as not to over share, but let's just say that Brody soon realizes that he's not alive and neither are the people after him. We soon learn about what happens in the afterlife, this new world that Brody is now in is like some Walking Dead post apocalyptic world where the dead are feeding off each other just to stay "alive". There's no pearly white gates, harp music, and glorious bright light. On the contrary, it's a dark gloomy world, what's referred to as an "echo" of the real world. It's the city of Chicago, only without all the living people. Everything looks the same, and you can go into a store, restaurant, movie theater, etc and you're actually walking among the living, only you can't see them, and they can't see you. The connection between Claire and Brody is the glue that keeps the story-line together in my opinion. I'm not just saying that because all women like a good sappy love story, because this one is different. I think what makes this one unique is that Claire is made to be the superior in the relationship, she is the stronger, more intelligent of the two. She may not be physically stronger, but she's definitely the rock. Brody accepts this, he realizes that Claire is what gives them strength and makes them such a great team. What's the saying "Behind every great man is a strong woman". I think every woman can relate to this in some way. Brody trusts in Claire's wisdom and seeks her guidance. Claire never abuses this though... Brody is still the protector, and Claire puts her trust in this as well. I can see how this will translate to the big screen, though I can't say that I'm overly excited about it. It's not the most thrilling thing I've read all year, but it's definitely different than all the other movies that are being produced as of late. So congratulations Mr. Sakey! It's an interesting concept... though it might be a tough audience to sell it on... people are guarded when it comes to the ideas of the afterlife. I want to thank NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer, and Marcus Sakey for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for my review. It was enjoyable.
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  • J.K. Grice
    January 1, 1970
    There were parts of this book that kept me on the edge of my seat, and also evoked a lot of emotions. Sakey is an excellent writer, and I would certainly be open to reading some of his other novels. For me, the last 75 pages or so became rather jumbled, confusing, and chaotic. There was a lot of jumping around to various "afterlife dimensions," and this fragmented the flow of the story, IMO. Also, we are led to believe in this almost perfect, self-sacrificing love between Brody and Claire. For a There were parts of this book that kept me on the edge of my seat, and also evoked a lot of emotions. Sakey is an excellent writer, and I would certainly be open to reading some of his other novels. For me, the last 75 pages or so became rather jumbled, confusing, and chaotic. There was a lot of jumping around to various "afterlife dimensions," and this fragmented the flow of the story, IMO. Also, we are led to believe in this almost perfect, self-sacrificing love between Brody and Claire. For all they went through in this book, that would have to be SOME KIND OF LOVE. That was a bit hard for me to swallow. Worthwhile read, but I would not revisit this book again.
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  • Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary
    January 1, 1970
    I've previously read some of Marcus Sakey's work, and while I enjoyed some of it, I wouldn't have willingly picked up Afterlife had the publicist not specifically asked me to. My expectations going into Afterlife were not high, but I figured I'd slog through it if necessary. It wasn't.Afterlife raises the bar on what I expect from Marcus Sakey a whole lot higher than it previously was. I had no idea the man was capable of pulling off something like this. This is one of those books that immediate I've previously read some of Marcus Sakey's work, and while I enjoyed some of it, I wouldn't have willingly picked up Afterlife had the publicist not specifically asked me to. My expectations going into Afterlife were not high, but I figured I'd slog through it if necessary. It wasn't.Afterlife raises the bar on what I expect from Marcus Sakey a whole lot higher than it previously was. I had no idea the man was capable of pulling off something like this. This is one of those books that immediately put me in my happy spot. The hint of romance, the parallel world (for lack of a better term), the new take on life after death. The battle of good versus evil. Afterlife is wonderfully imaginative, deliciously dark, and almost perfectly written.Claire and Will are a great pair of characters. Too good to be true, of course, but sometimes we need perfect heroes in a story like this. I liked that the author had no problem making Claire the smarter one of the two of them. I loved reading the easy acceptance that Will had of her mental superiority. He loved her and never resented her abilities. And while she had no problem pointing out the flaws in his thinking, she never set out to make him feel like an idiot. (Like I said: too good to be true.) And even though they're both strong separately, together they're so much more. And that's how it should be.The dialogue was believable. The action was perfectly paced. The way Sakey describes the other world is simple, yet effective. It feels like it really would translate very, very well to screen. Which means, naturally, that I can't watch it in a theater. Because I'll be yelling at the screen for them not getting it right. Pretty much the only critiques I have of Afterlife are little things. Like every time the villain appeared on screen, he was introduced by his 'razor sharp cheekbones'. By halfway through, I was beginning to imagine if the man was made flesh, he could get a job being a real life Fruit Ninja with the power of his cheekbones alone. Overall, Afterlife was a solid, entertaining read that I would definitely recommend!Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.
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  • Skip
    January 1, 1970
    Like many others, I loved Sakey's Brilliance trilogy, and looked forward to this. I was quite disappointed. A crazed elusive sniper is terrorizing the city when two FBI agents: Assistant Director Claire McCoy and Special Agent Will Brody collaborate in an unconventional way to stop him. Meanwhile, the two are crazy for each other and their love passionate, raw and beautiful, until Will is killed. Will wakes up in the Afterlife, a different plane of existence, where if you kill someone, you absor Like many others, I loved Sakey's Brilliance trilogy, and looked forward to this. I was quite disappointed. A crazed elusive sniper is terrorizing the city when two FBI agents: Assistant Director Claire McCoy and Special Agent Will Brody collaborate in an unconventional way to stop him. Meanwhile, the two are crazy for each other and their love passionate, raw and beautiful, until Will is killed. Will wakes up in the Afterlife, a different plane of existence, where if you kill someone, you absorb their life essence and become supercharged. Society in the Afterlife is divided, with one group looking after each other and the other looking to kill for pleasure. Good premise, but it gets silly and overly complex as the showdown between the groups cause Will and Claire to jump around. Made me think a little of Sakey's close friend, writer Blake Crouch.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars. This was an amazing book and I may up it to 5 stars. (Waited 30 minutes, kept raving about this book, upped to 5)The book starts with a character named Edmund who murders a bunch of people and then dies himself, only to find that nothing much has changed. Our main characters are Claire and Brody, two FBI agents investigating a series of sniper murders.The afterlife/"echo" world was extremely cool. It was well imagined, atmospheric, and different enough from the living world that I nev 4.5 stars. This was an amazing book and I may up it to 5 stars. (Waited 30 minutes, kept raving about this book, upped to 5)The book starts with a character named Edmund who murders a bunch of people and then dies himself, only to find that nothing much has changed. Our main characters are Claire and Brody, two FBI agents investigating a series of sniper murders.The afterlife/"echo" world was extremely cool. It was well imagined, atmospheric, and different enough from the living world that I never confused the worlds. This is on the dark side and I consider it borderline horror. And totally awesome.This was the best book I've read in awhile and it was also an excellent audio, even though "Quanitco" isn't really pronounced "kwan-TEE-ko."Did I mention it's awesome?
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  • Nooilforpacifists
    January 1, 1970
    According to the Acknowledgements, Afterlife was written in fits and starts over almost a decade. It shows. Cyclic, uneven, bordering on the pointless, it's carried by Sakey's style and two acceptable characters. Yet, almost like "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," they keep fighting the same giant squid, albeit in different ways. Plus, the Achilles heel of the two lead characters: they're goody two-shoes. At every turn. Sometimes, ya just gotta take the (metaphorical) money and run. It makes better According to the Acknowledgements, Afterlife was written in fits and starts over almost a decade. It shows. Cyclic, uneven, bordering on the pointless, it's carried by Sakey's style and two acceptable characters. Yet, almost like "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," they keep fighting the same giant squid, albeit in different ways. Plus, the Achilles heel of the two lead characters: they're goody two-shoes. At every turn. Sometimes, ya just gotta take the (metaphorical) money and run. It makes better music.
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  • Greg Zimmerman
    January 1, 1970
    First appeared at http://www.thenewdorkreviewofbooks.co...No two ways about it: Marcus Sakey's new novel, Afterlife, is ambitious. Even though it clocks in at only about 300 pages, it has elements of several recognizable creative triumphs: The movie Inception, Stephen King's Dark Tower series, Gaiman's American Gods, and Nelson DeMille's best police thrillers, for starters. Hell, there's even a love story here. Perhaps this is why Sakey admits in the acknowledgments, "This one was a beast." Sake First appeared at http://www.thenewdorkreviewofbooks.co...No two ways about it: Marcus Sakey's new novel, Afterlife, is ambitious. Even though it clocks in at only about 300 pages, it has elements of several recognizable creative triumphs: The movie Inception, Stephen King's Dark Tower series, Gaiman's American Gods, and Nelson DeMille's best police thrillers, for starters. Hell, there's even a love story here. Perhaps this is why Sakey admits in the acknowledgments, "This one was a beast." Sakey spent "nearly a decade" with this novel, writing and rewriting, fleshing out ideas, and solving problems.The result is a polished, compelling, inventive "alt-fic" (a genre Sakey just invented) novel that's by turns smart as hell and as shocking as they come. This was a novel I had to put down several times in astonishment, take a deep breath, and then keep reading. It's really mesmerizing in spots — Sakey gets pacing just right here, which is no small feat given the relative complexity (especially in the last third of the novel), the characters, and just how all this fits together.Here is what happens: Will Brody is an FBI agent chasing a serial killer in Chicago who gets his jollies sniping innocent victims at gas stations and grocery stories. Acting on a tip, Brody is searching for clues in an abandoned church, when it blows up. He's dead. This happens on page 38 — a risky decision for any novelist to kill a main character so early. (Not a spoiler: This is on the back blurb.)His boss and erstwhile secret lover, the ultra-competent director of the FBI's Chicago office, Claire McCoy, vows to find the killer(s). And while doing so, she also must mourn in secret because no one knows she and Brody were together.Meanwhile, Brody wakes up. Sort of. He's in a place he comes to understand is an "echo" of real-life — an afterlife that resembles real life in many ways, but has many glaring differences as well.In this afterlife, there's a choice, just as there is when you're alive: You can choose to be good, and help other people. Or you can choose to be evil, and live only for selfishness. In the opening pages of the novel, we actually get a glimpse of what this evil looks like. And it's terrifying. So Brody soon finds himself stuck in this mythological battle of good vs evil in the afterlife. That's all you need to know plot-wise to get you started. What happens with Claire and Brody's cross-dimension love story? How does Brody fight this mythological and powerful evil? Read it, man. It's worth the trip!One of the things I loved about this novel is Sakey's vision of how the afterlife works. I got to sit down and talk with him about it a few weeks ago as I worked on a piece for the Chicago Review of Books, and Sakey told me the sort of spark for the novel was how we're so sure that there is going to be an answer for what happens when we die. So what happens if there's either not an answer, or the answer is completely unexpected? Sakey's afterlife has some very specific rules in how it behaves and how its occupants can behave in it — and spelling these out had the potential to bog down what is otherwise an extremely fast-moving story. But Sakey describes these "rules" quickly and clearly and moves on. It's a definite strength of the novel.Another strength here is dialogue — Sakey is funny. Sakey is cool. And after talking with him for an hour, it's apparent how much of his personality comes out on these pages in dialogue. He mentioned that to him the patron saint of dialogue is Aaron Sorkin, and you can see that influence here. Dialogue is quick, snappy, sharp, and often really funny.This is one of my favorite novels of the year — I really enjoyed it, both for sheer entertainment, but also for its inventiveness. I had a blast with book. Highly recommended!
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  • Nikki
    January 1, 1970
    Well now this was interesting. It's difficult to describe it without ruining some very cool reveals so I won't say much. However, it involves the afterlife (obviously) but more than that it's about how the power of love can transcend that. Which, that sounds cheesy as hell, but it's truly not. And I also think I need to seriously up my cardio game in the event of an early departure from this plane of existence. If you read the book you'd know why...Sakey has quite the imagination and you follow Well now this was interesting. It's difficult to describe it without ruining some very cool reveals so I won't say much. However, it involves the afterlife (obviously) but more than that it's about how the power of love can transcend that. Which, that sounds cheesy as hell, but it's truly not. And I also think I need to seriously up my cardio game in the event of an early departure from this plane of existence. If you read the book you'd know why...Sakey has quite the imagination and you follow adventures both in and out of the world(s) presented and there were several points that made me actually gasp out loud. The plots involving Claire McCoy and Will Brody were intriguing and kept me eager to find out what would happen next with them. They explore modern-day Chicago trying to track down a terrorist serial killer who appears to be more than meets the eye. Their stories are broken up by watching the evolution of Edmund, a teenager from the 'days of yore' who learns how to survive (and thrive) in his new circumstances, molding both afterlife and humanity to better suit his needs. The characterizations were well done and the author did a good job of describing a difficult-to-understand concept while being self-aware enough to allow characters to recognize how much little sense some things made. That helped me to suspend disbelief effectively and just leave the "but wait, how?" parts mostly alone. The only thing the went on a bit for me was the repeated explanations of the worlds and how they were connected etc. I feel like I got it quickly and didn't really need the reminders when they would crop up. But really very minor complaints.Finty Williams did a good job narrating, even though it made me super conscious of how I pronounce the words "anything" and "everything." It also helps that she sounds exactly like her mother (Dame Judy Dench) and who wouldn't want someone like that telling you a tale?!? I'll take two, please and thank you.Would recommend to lovers of supernatural-and-sort-of-dystopian-historical-ish books.
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  • Dave
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for honest review. As a huge advocate of the Brilliance series, I was very much tuned into reading this knowing, of course the premise and characters were entirely different. I typically enjoy Sakey's writing style and the way he attacks a compelling story line as much as any contemporary author out there, especially on the local front. What followed was a story about two FBI agents that traverse the dimensional divide between living and de Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for honest review. As a huge advocate of the Brilliance series, I was very much tuned into reading this knowing, of course the premise and characters were entirely different. I typically enjoy Sakey's writing style and the way he attacks a compelling story line as much as any contemporary author out there, especially on the local front. What followed was a story about two FBI agents that traverse the dimensional divide between living and dead, a space we have no real proof exists, holy scriptures and people brought back to life after being dead for 8 minutes notwithstanding. So while the topic isn't exactly unmined, it is open to interpretation. And for a while, I was with Sakey in thinking, "You know, this (semi-spoiler alert) echo world is as plausible as anything else. I wonder if..." And then he lost me. There were some action sequences, a tight romance that drove the classic good vs evil foundation cliché in the book, and an über-dystopian society with rules in the echo with peripheral characters, some nuanced some not. Then Brody and Claire, the two main characters started jumping around to "other" echoes in a tiered and fading fashion, some of it by design, some of it by fate, in order to complete their mission of ridding the echoes, and thus the world of what, evil? Which Claire insists happens based on a logical pattern while Brody doesn't care, he just wants to kill the m'fer. Too much thunderclapping, hopping around in a time tube with a baseball bat or a sledgehammer for my taste. If it had just explored more of the echo and how to get back from it, perhaps it would have been in better shape, but what do I know?
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  • Sierra the Nerdgirl
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Little Bird Publicity for this opportunity to give an honest review. You guys, this book was a complete surprise to me. I did not expect to like it nearly as much as I did. The first chapter was real rough, and I mean real rough, almost enough to make me DNF the book. But, I kept pushing onwards, and I'm so glad I did because the book was such an interesting, mentally, and intellectually compelling book that drew Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Little Bird Publicity for this opportunity to give an honest review. You guys, this book was a complete surprise to me. I did not expect to like it nearly as much as I did. The first chapter was real rough, and I mean real rough, almost enough to make me DNF the book. But, I kept pushing onwards, and I'm so glad I did because the book was such an interesting, mentally, and intellectually compelling book that drew me in. I powered through this book in 6 hours, only taking a break two times, once to get McDonald's and another time to take a bath. I don't want to give away anything about the plot because the plot is so damn interesting that you should go into it blind. I will tell you that it focuses on what happens after you die and the possibilities death has. It is very much a mental mindf*** and something I have often thought about. If you don't like the idea of thinking about what happens after we die, then this is not the book for you. However, if you are ready for a mindf***, this is for you. The book also analyzes the evil in the world and looks at how bad people turn out the way they are, and it's a really interesting concept. Because there are those people who just crack and do bad shit without a visible explanation, but it's interesting because maybe there is a reason that just is more than what we can conceptually conceive. Nothing about this plot is predictable, save for the the very beginning. There are so many twists and turns that just mess with your head and just make you think. That's what I really liked about this book. It made you think. I also like how it was a combination of paranormal, fantasy, romance, thriller, mystery, and sci-fi all combined into one book. The characters were also great in this book. Seeing how they think and handle this situation is just so interesting because it makes you think about how you would handle it. I mean, honestly, if I died and woke up in another level of existence, I have no idea how I would handle it, and that freaks me out. And I love the romance that our main charachters Brody and Claire have. They take their love to the extreme. Like honestly, I would be lucky to ever find someone who I loved as much as these two loved each other. And I really liked Claire because she was a strong, independent, gives no shits women, who puts everyone in their place. She is also an intellectual and handles the situation so gracefully in a way I wouldn't think is possible. Overall, this book just makes you feel... woke, yeah that's the word I'll use, woke. It puts into perspective every little aspect of our life and the overall politics of living coupled against death and what really matters. It also really makes you look at the science of living and death and how that interplays with the perceived impossible and fictitious. Here are some quotes that give you an idea of what I'm talking about: "Is it really so hard to imagine there's energy to life we don't know how to measure? Some vital, quantifiable connection between ourselves and the universe that doesn't appear under a microscope" "It's all energy. The universe began in an explosion. Every element is forged in the heart of a star. There is nothing but energy. With enough energy, existence bends around you like the sea around a sailboat." As a scientist, these quotes really resonated with me, and there are others like this that container spoilers that just made me think. This book has already been optioned for a movie, and I'm so excited to see how it translates to movie form. I really do think this is something everyone should experience because although it will probably make you uncomfortable and mess with your mind, sometimes it's good to be uncomfortable and to think beyond the possible.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    This.was.awesome! 4.5 stars
  • Jeremy Baker
    January 1, 1970
    I first encountered Marcus Sakey’s work via his Brilliance Trilogy, which is for lack of a better term, brilliant. In those books, he tackled the mutants-might-be-our-future trope in a way that was completely and distinctly UN-trope-y, totally fresh, compulsively readable, and layered with realism that pulls you right into the story. Sakey struck me as a guy with big-L literary fiction chops who was writing kickass big-G genre fiction. And since I absolutely hate the willful mainstream categoriz I first encountered Marcus Sakey’s work via his Brilliance Trilogy, which is for lack of a better term, brilliant. In those books, he tackled the mutants-might-be-our-future trope in a way that was completely and distinctly UN-trope-y, totally fresh, compulsively readable, and layered with realism that pulls you right into the story. Sakey struck me as a guy with big-L literary fiction chops who was writing kickass big-G genre fiction. And since I absolutely hate the willful mainstream categorization of L vs G, and the way that genre fiction can be marginalized by the so-called literati, I truly appreciated the voice of a guy who was clearly interested only in one thing: writing a damn good story. And that’s what Sakey does. He writes books that you just can’t shake. They drive pell-mell from set piece and cliffhanger to confrontation and resolution, with constantly ratcheting tension leavened by carefully distributed humor. The guy’s a master plotter and a thorough, meticulous world-builder. But what sets his work apart from other excellent plotters and world-builders for me is the way he writes his characters. They’re eminently believable, totally relatable, and they interact in realistic ways that still drive the plot. This balance between characterization and plot is delicate, almost impossible to achieve perfectly. But take your pick from any of his books, any scenes of characters conversing, and you’ll see it. It’s so realistic to daily life that you can see yourself immediately as a player in the interaction. This has the effect of pulling you right into the book, rooting for the characters—well, some of them, anyway. But even his villains are richly-textured; everyone has a motivation that is believable and well-constructed, whether simple survival or a more deeply-rooted desire to watch the world burn.So it should come as no surprise that I was thrilled to receive an ARC of Sakey’s latest soon-to-be best-seller, AFTERLIFE. Given that the book hasn’t even been released yet, this will be a spoiler-free review. We’ll leave it at this: AFTERLIFE is the story of a transcendent, everlasting, and yet completely believable love; a taut, tense, and thrilling police procedural that feels painfully timely in light of today’s events; a post-death conceptual realization that puts everything else I’ve ever read on the topic to shame (although Richard Matheson had some ideas that were maybe in the general neighborhood—without being as entertaining); and a nearly-theological exploration of good and evil and, more importantly at its base level: power and weakness. There are strong flavors of post-apocalyptic-but-not-quite adventure in places (think "Dies the Fire" series by SM Stirling), and even a well-done nod to the zombie trope (which feels neither tired nor hackneyed).And everywhere runs a thread I have come to expect from his work: perfectly-infused, brilliant moments of humor at just the right time, and interactions between characters that make me feel like I’m sitting right in the room with them. I tore through this book—it’s compulsively readable, incredibly enjoyable, and it left me absolutely gutted in the best possible way. It’s as close to perfect a book I’ve read in the last ten years.
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  • Kendra
    January 1, 1970
    This book was like the combo of a Hershey bar and a cold Pepsi- irresistible. I honestly couldn't put it down. Afterlife was an amazing blend of fantasy, romance, and mind-fuckery. I'll definitely be reading more by Marcus Sakey. 5⭐ This book was like the combo of a Hershey bar and a cold Pepsi- irresistible. I honestly couldn't put it down. Afterlife was an amazing blend of fantasy, romance, and mind-fuckery. I'll definitely be reading more by Marcus Sakey. 5⭐️
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  • Paul
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating: 3.5 stars.I was offered a free download for a review.I'm surprised to see Goodreads listing "Afterlife" as science fiction. From the blurb sent me by the publicist, it was clear to me I was being asked to read & review a fantasy book. Fantasy is not my thing. Books about afterlives and the supernatural leave me cold. I almost said no, and then I had a thought: afterlives=fantasy/supernatural; alternate worlds=science fiction. Something in the blurb told me this book would appl Actual rating: 3.5 stars.I was offered a free download for a review.I'm surprised to see Goodreads listing "Afterlife" as science fiction. From the blurb sent me by the publicist, it was clear to me I was being asked to read & review a fantasy book. Fantasy is not my thing. Books about afterlives and the supernatural leave me cold. I almost said no, and then I had a thought: afterlives=fantasy/supernatural; alternate worlds=science fiction. Something in the blurb told me this book would apply a science fiction interpretation to the afterlife, and I said okay, hit me.Marcus Sakey's "Afterlife" is equal parts thriller, alternate world-building exercise, and what-happens-after-we-die speculation. It has good old-fashioned heroes and villains, romance, and (at least when it comes to the two protagonists, Will and Claire) good character development. Sakey succeeds in making the supernatural palatable to to readers like me.That's not to say there isn't an abundance of woo, particularly when it comes to the super-predators of the afterlife. I could handle the eaters when they were individuals gone over to the dark side of what is already the dark side (read and you will see), but the real monsters, explain them as hard as Sakey tries to do, remain incomprehensibly evil, and in the final chapters fantasy overwhelms science fiction. By then, though, I was hooked.I probably shouldn't say this, but the afterlives of "Afterlife" are my idea of the levels of hell. I don't say that to put off potential readers. "Afterlife" is a gripping, interesting book, and I'm sure most readers will like it and want to read more. And all but the most hard-hearted readers will love the sweet place Sakey puts Will and Claire at the end. I know I did.
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  • Pete Kepf
    January 1, 1970
    I don't often "purchase" promoted Kindle Unlimited books, but when the ad mentioned it was to be a movie directed by Ron Howard I decided to give it a go. I also don't often rate books 5 stars, but this one earned each one.As I began reading Afterlife I found myself wondering why in the world was it titled such. Marcus Sakey , while developing the characters in no way reveals what a ride is to come. Midway through, with the actions and scenes, I understood the title but thought, "how in the worl I don't often "purchase" promoted Kindle Unlimited books, but when the ad mentioned it was to be a movie directed by Ron Howard I decided to give it a go. I also don't often rate books 5 stars, but this one earned each one.As I began reading Afterlife I found myself wondering why in the world was it titled such. Marcus Sakey , while developing the characters in no way reveals what a ride is to come. Midway through, with the actions and scenes, I understood the title but thought, "how in the world is it even possible to take this to the screen?" At the end, I found myself understanding, as a part-time writer who occasionally yearns to publish that best-selling novel, this is how it's done: believable characters, smooth dialog, outrageous yet utterly believable plot and a totally unique premise.If you are of a scientific bent, yet spiritual enough to sincerely wonder what happens to us when we die; if you wonder about evil in the world; if you believe in the power of love, then I believe you'll find Afterlife an enchanting experience.
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  • Mel
    January 1, 1970
    3.5, writing 4
  • Libby Chester
    January 1, 1970
    According to the cover of the book 'Afterlife' by Marcus Sakey is slated to become a major motion picture. When it's made, I'd love to see it, to learn just how my imagination matches up with motion picture mojo. Will Brody is an FBI agent and his boss is Claire McCoy. They're having an affair, but are keeping it secret so Claire can keep on climbing the ladder of success in FBI world. A sniper in Chicago who has killed seventeen people will change both of their life (and death) trajectories. Th According to the cover of the book 'Afterlife' by Marcus Sakey is slated to become a major motion picture. When it's made, I'd love to see it, to learn just how my imagination matches up with motion picture mojo. Will Brody is an FBI agent and his boss is Claire McCoy. They're having an affair, but are keeping it secret so Claire can keep on climbing the ladder of success in FBI world. A sniper in Chicago who has killed seventeen people will change both of their life (and death) trajectories. The sniper, Simon Tuck, is being used by a 500 year old entity known as Edmond. You'll meet Edmond in Chapter one when as a young man, he kills "an apprentice no older than himself" in order to take his place on the Persephone when she sets sail from London. In order to survive, he ends up cannibalizing the crew that remain after a severe storm. In present day Chicago, Brody is blown to smithereens by the sniper and finds the afterlife an echo of the living with its own strange set of rules. Eaters live there. They consume the already dead for a jolt of power. Without these jolts of power, the echo dead eventually fade, to go who knows where. Hang on! Sakey will take you on a journey through many levels of what happens in the afterlife. I don't want to give too much away. Parts of this novel are riveting. The plot is creative, although reminiscent of video games in which characters lose and gain power by the violence they are willing to generate on screen. Sakey's character Brody also has this thought while in the echo. There's a nod to Stephen King's 'The Gunslinger' in the book as well. Brody sees the book and reads the first line, "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." This is predictive of the course of the novel. Brody and Claire will also follow evil across levels of life and death. What I liked most about the book is Sakey's characterization of Claire. She's tough, smart, competitive, intuitive, and every bit Brody's equal. What I liked best about their relationship is that Brody is in no way threatened by Claire. Sakey is able to create a loving relationship between two characters in which power also comes to play. Brody had applied for the job that Claire gets.There's a huge theme of community in the echo. There are eaters and then there are those who never kill except in self defense. The people who come to populate the echo have died abruptly and violently. Once there, they decide whether they're going to be eaters or join the community that has decided not to kill. Kyle, a firefighter, who died in the line of duty, initiates Brody into the afterlife, after Brody's run in with three eaters, one of whom Brody has to kill in order to survive. Sakey shows how their survival is dependent upon their being united, even when the rules change.This was an exciting novel, but I grew tired of it by the last one fourth of the book. For me, the territory that Sakey covers is too broad, taking something away from the novel's credibility. The description of the echo was so interesting that that was where I wanted Sakey to linger. He made that world credible. The fact that Brody and Claire travel over several more layers and into the outer layer known as the 'plains of shadow' did not feel as credible. Even though I liked Brody and Claire as characters, there were times I wanted a little more dimension to them. What were their flaws? They were just a little too much of themselves, not faltering from their set script. This book is a 3.5 for me. The material brings up a lot of questions about what comes after this life, and will the good or bad that we've done here make any difference.
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  • DaJa
    January 1, 1970
    Der Anfang hat mich wirklich angestrengt. Edmund hat mich angestrengt, aber als es dann in dem Buch endlich losging, konnte ich kaum aufhören. Es wird ein flottes Tempo angeschlagen, das für meinen Geschmack genau richtig ist. Beeindruckenderweise gibt es sogar viel Gefühl, Spannung und jede Menge Aktion. Der Schreibstil an sich ist sehr detailreich und genau in dem richtigen maß bildhaft. Das Buch lief wirklich wie im Film vor meinem inneren Auge ab.Die Liebesgeschichte ist immer present aber n Der Anfang hat mich wirklich angestrengt. Edmund hat mich angestrengt, aber als es dann in dem Buch endlich losging, konnte ich kaum aufhören. Es wird ein flottes Tempo angeschlagen, das für meinen Geschmack genau richtig ist. Beeindruckenderweise gibt es sogar viel Gefühl, Spannung und jede Menge Aktion. Der Schreibstil an sich ist sehr detailreich und genau in dem richtigen maß bildhaft. Das Buch lief wirklich wie im Film vor meinem inneren Auge ab.Die Liebesgeschichte ist immer present aber nicht das, was das Buch ausmacht. Der Plot ist vielschichtig und sehr gut durchdacht. Komplex und für mich nee ganz neue interessante Idee.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the “Brilliance” trilogy. “Afterlife” has the same train-wreck pacing (if you can get through the beginning, the first 20% was a little slow and too romance-y for my taste.). Then it was like wow, this is great, I can’t put this down. The ending was just ridiculous (in my opinion;) I hate when you get a great ride in the middle, and then it was like this epic ending that just did not ring authentic. I wonder if there are alternative endings written...anyway, it was a great read for most I loved the “Brilliance” trilogy. “Afterlife” has the same train-wreck pacing (if you can get through the beginning, the first 20% was a little slow and too romance-y for my taste.). Then it was like wow, this is great, I can’t put this down. The ending was just ridiculous (in my opinion;) I hate when you get a great ride in the middle, and then it was like this epic ending that just did not ring authentic. I wonder if there are alternative endings written...anyway, it was a great read for most of the book so I stand by my four stars. But, if he had just figured a way to get Claire and Brody out of the mess they were in with a terrific “I did not see THAT coming” ending, it would have felt worth losing a night of sleep!
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  • Paula Cappa
    January 1, 1970
    This is true horror. Not just ghosts. This is about the echoes of the afterlife but in a very twisted way. I’m not keen on this kind of heavy horror so I have to say I didn’t like it all that much. The writing is excellent, actions, descriptions, characters hold up well. Sakey is a star author! A multi-layered plot weaves in and out as part police procedural and part serial killer and apocalyptic themes for thrilling reading. A powerful evil pervades here and it’s quite disturbing with gruesome This is true horror. Not just ghosts. This is about the echoes of the afterlife but in a very twisted way. I’m not keen on this kind of heavy horror so I have to say I didn’t like it all that much. The writing is excellent, actions, descriptions, characters hold up well. Sakey is a star author! A multi-layered plot weaves in and out as part police procedural and part serial killer and apocalyptic themes for thrilling reading. A powerful evil pervades here and it’s quite disturbing with gruesome violence. Descriptions of the “Eaters” are cringe-worthy enough that I wanted to close the book. Sometimes I had to skim on. I expected a ghostly haunting story but none of that happens. If you like the disgusting dead and “out there” stories, this is a wild ride. The romance between Will and Claire had redeeming values but the ending didn’t really hit the mark for me. I should stay with “quiet horror.”
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  • Jason
    January 1, 1970
    This is an interesting story, and one that is not what you will expect.This is a Romeo and Juliet story, with something that you would have expected from Dan Brown. The bi-line of it being the Matrix was a bit confusing and I don’t really get the reference, but I can see the similarities to Ghost.So this starts off as a dramatic thriller, a city under siege by a crazed sniper, he has already taken down 17 victims, and they are no closer to discovering who he is. The leads are Claire McCoy and Wi This is an interesting story, and one that is not what you will expect.This is a Romeo and Juliet story, with something that you would have expected from Dan Brown. The bi-line of it being the Matrix was a bit confusing and I don’t really get the reference, but I can see the similarities to Ghost.So this starts off as a dramatic thriller, a city under siege by a crazed sniper, he has already taken down 17 victims, and they are no closer to discovering who he is. The leads are Claire McCoy and Will Brody. Claire has just stepped into the Assistant Directors job, taking over this task force. Will went for the job, but she was better. However, when they were doing introductions, something happened, across the vastness of space time, through past lives, or whatever it is, Claire and Will shared a look and pretty much fell instantly in love. There love is passionate, raw and beautiful, and also brand new, when, during the investigation, Will is killed in the line of duty. And this is where the story goes from being a quasi love story, quasi crime thriller, to something completely different.Will wakes up in a different plane of existence. He is dead, but he isn't. He is exactly where he was killed, although he has no injuries, all the people he was with are gone, cars don’t move, things don’t work, everything is different in its colour and texture. Will soon discovers he is in ‘The Afterlife or Echo’ and this is a different world, one with different rules. Here, if you kill someone, you absorb there essence and become superpowered. Some do it for the rush, like druggies. They are called eaters. Others try and live a more pure life, just trying to survive in this almost post-apocalyptic world.And suddenly this book is an almost Dystopian, Post-apocalyptic story.What follows (without giving too much away), is a war between what were once human’s, but have learned to absorb the essence from people through death and fear, using others to do it for them, such as the Sniper, over centuries. These creatures are the epitome of evil, and in the Afterlife there is an ongoing war between good and evil to save peoples essences (or the ‘souls’ for want of a better term). The story started really well, but it did go off the rails a bit towards the end, it had a clever concept, but it just got too wrapped up in itself and too complex, losing some of its focus and the power that the story started with, especially the connection that Claire and Will had, that although it remained fairly strong throughout, it lost the focus of the story as well.Even with some brilliant character writing in the book, overall this ended up being a bit of a disappointing story.I'm not sure if this wanted to be a Thriller, an Apocalyptic Dystopian Thriller, or a Dan Brown style Thriller with Religious Overtones. It starts well, but then it gets a bit confused, drags along before reaching a somewhat rushed conclusion.
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  • Shelli
    January 1, 1970
    It's official: Afterlife is my favorite novel of the year (at least so far, but it's already December)!This book literally has it all…A major city (Chicago, very much a vivid and vital character in the story) terrorized by a serial-killing sniper. Brave FBI agents, including impulsive Will Brody, on his trail in a whodunnit mystery. Task force head Claire McCoy: easily the best, most complex, strongest, most authentic, and least sexist female main character rendering I have ever seen executed It's official: Afterlife is my favorite novel of the year (at least so far, but it's already December)!This book literally has it all…A major city (Chicago, very much a vivid and vital character in the story) terrorized by a serial-killing sniper. Brave FBI agents, including impulsive Will Brody, on his trail in a whodunnit mystery. Task force head Claire McCoy: easily the best, most complex, strongest, most authentic, and least sexist female main character rendering I have ever seen executed by a male author (way to go, Marcus Sakey!). A mushy yet realistic romance. A very well-thought-out theory of the afterlife, drawing on profound but easy-to-grasp philosophical and scientific principles, yet one you probably have never entertained before. A love letter to Chicago. Empathy through direct experience, and the unsettling sensation of loving your enemies because you know them too well. An egalitarian community of family by choice, living together under truly utopian ideals, but in a world where daily threats are growing from a dangerous and precarious existence into an outright hell. Fighting! From one-on-one fisticuffs to hundreds breaking out in all-out mêlée using primitive hand-to-hand weapons. Life force vampires. A god-like evil villain… and then more of them. Superpowers! The pull of duty and sacrifice for those who have dedicated their lives to law enforcement. The ethical and moral boundaries between self-defense vs. pre-emptive strikes. A strong woman leader and a man secure enough to be both her lover and her underling. The nature of evil. Multiple worlds. Michael-Bay-worthy explosions. The question of what makes life worth living. Death. Afterlife. Reincarnation? And eternal love. 4.5 thrilled stars!I received an advance uncorrected proof of this book at no cost, courtesy of the publisher (Thomas & Mercer) via Goodreads Giveaways, but was otherwise not compensated for my honest review.
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  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    There are hundreds of novels (probably more) that speculate about what happens after death, but I doubt that few authors have the gumption to reimagine eschatology the way Marcus Sakey has in Afterlife. In this fantastical thriller, protagonists Will Brody and Claire McCoy have to chase a mass murder across the boundary between life and death. For these two, an FBI badge doesn’t expire after they die...Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from NetGall There are hundreds of novels (probably more) that speculate about what happens after death, but I doubt that few authors have the gumption to reimagine eschatology the way Marcus Sakey has in Afterlife. In this fantastical thriller, protagonists Will Brody and Claire McCoy have to chase a mass murder across the boundary between life and death. For these two, an FBI badge doesn’t expire after they die...Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review consideration.
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  • Jacques Filippi
    January 1, 1970
    A complex and ambitious creation that doesn't stop to admire itself in the mirror. It is original, brilliant, and entertaining as hell! You can mix equal parts "The Matrix" and Ray Bradbury's "What Dreams May Come" then add a bit of love from Eurydice and Orpheus. "Afterlife" is all that and more.
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  • Toni Laliberte
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of the best books that I've read, in a really long time. Such a unique and wonderful story, rich in characters and perfect writing. Marcus Sakey is my new hero. He spun a tale about the power of love and what shared love is capable of. Love does conquer all. Read this book, people!
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