Reviewed by: SingleEyePhotos
Approximate word count: 29,000 – 30,000 words
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store
H.E. Ellis is the author of several books, all in the Mockery genre.
Find more on his website.
Earth’s population is increasing. People continue to die, however, which means that the four Reapers are becoming frightfully overworked… But there’s bureaucracy and red tape and nepotism in the Afterworld as well as on earth. What’s one poor, overworked Reaper to do???
This was a fun, quick read, where the author had his tongue planted firmly in cheek. The premise was simple, the implications complex. As earth’s population grows, the Reapers (Death - epitomized by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse) have to work harder and harder to collect and sort the souls of the dying. When they petition Heaven’s bureaucracy for permission to ‘hire’, all Hades breaks loose. Literally. And figuratively.
While I found this short work to be funny, it was also unrelenting. What was humorous in one context became trite in the next paragraph, simply from overuse. The author had a good idea, and for the most part he was able to carry it off, but after a while it became simply too much of a good thing. The humor is based on mocking our culture’s sacred cows, and that could very easily pass from humor to offensiveness. I don’t think it quite reached that point, but I did feel that the author depended too much on the humor to carry the story, somewhat to the detriment of the story itself.
I appreciated the subtle (and not so subtle) characterizations of the main characters and the humor inherent in their interactions. The Reapers had their distinct personalities, which tied in with their roles (Death, Famine, Pestilence, War) and the author had Jesus, Lucifer, and God playing off each other in a way that would make any harassed parent of teenagers sigh and roll their eyes in sympathy. In short, humorous, but somewhat overdone.
Definite adult language and content. There was a great deal of religious mockery, adult language, and innuendo. The language would be the most likely to offend because its casual blasphemy was a constant – just about every paragraph included some … colorful … phrases.
Rating: *** Three stars