Reviewed by: Corina
Approximate word count: 95-100,000 words
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Bruce Blake lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. He is on Twitter: @BruceABlake, and writes ablog. Blake has 3 other books of short horror stories available, as well as a just-released sequel to the book in this review: All Who Wander Are Lost.
Icarus Fell dies a tragic death in the shadows of the Catholic Church where he was raised, and then wakes to find himself in a hotel room talking to a man claiming to be an angel. Charged with escorting the souls of the recently deceased to locations where an escort will await them, Icarus has difficulty believing that his new line of work is real. He escorts some souls safely, some not at all, and comes to terms with his past, his personal hell, and his questionable future.
I found this novel dark, disturbing, and fascinating. After a beginning that was sad and painful to read, I became engaged in the storyline and wondered what was going to happen next. I didn’t always like the main character, Icarus, or his decisions, but I found his motives understandable. I was rooting for him through his challenges, hoping he’d make better decisions with his second chance.
Blake’s writing in this novel is dark and gritty, with elements of horror, but not every character is painted with a dark brush. The author can bring out the voices of lighter characters, which helps to make the story interesting.
The quality of Blake’s writing is good, with only a few areas of roughness in the flow of the action. I look forward to his evolution as an author, and of the character of Icarus Fell.
I look forward to reading the next book in this series.
This author uses British spellings and sentence structure at times, and I never felt that they distracted or detracted from the novel or storyline. There is foul language used and there are passages of violence and drug and alcohol abuse. I’d recommend this novel for older teens and above.
There are a number of missing commas, which should not interrupt most readers’ enjoyment of the novel. Only those of us who notice such things will be thrown off. :)
Rating: **** Four Stars