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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Afterlife - Naomi Clark

Title: Afterlife
Author: Naomi Clark

Format: ebook provided by author

From Goodreads:
Yasmin Stoker is a ghost tour guide who spends her days showing tourists around Shoregrave’s haunted hotspots. She also happens to be a wraith who spends her nights hunting Revenants, newly-risen flesh-eating vampires. On one of her regular hunts, she witnesses a mysterious ghostly girl pulling the body of a teenage boy underground. Who and what is this girl, and why is she attacking men around the city? Yasmin investigates, but it quickly becomes clear that somebody wants to keep her from finding the killer and they’ll do anything–including ambushing her with ghouls and cacodaemons–to stop her.

With only a persistent private eye and a taciturn vampire (one of the Immaculate, no less) to help her, Yasmin must deal with fanatical necromancers, crazed ghosts, and a sexy history teacher in her quest to solve the mystery. And along the way she uncovers some heartbreaking truths about her own existence.

First, let me just say that I really enjoyed this book.  I felt I really got to know the characters, the town, everything in it. 

In this story we meet Yasmin Stoker, a 600 year old wraith – a soul thief. But she isn’t the “bad” kind of wraith that ghosts should fear, but rather a wraith with a sort of conscience.  She only feeds on the souls of Revenants, newly made vampires.  Yasmin lives in the coastal town of Shoregrave, which inhabited by many paranormal beings: a wraith, Revenants, Lich Lords, cambion (half breeds), ghouls, and of course, ghosts.  

One night, on one of her feeding hunts, she comes across a little girl who basically pulls a mortal man through an iron fence and into the ground, never to be heard from again.  Who is this girl?  How does she do this?  And why isn’t anyone doing anything??  Yasmin decides she needs to get to the bottom of this and accidently enlists the help of many people along the way.  She finds heroes and friends where she thought there were none.  She trusts the wrong people, and she helps those who truly deserve some help.

Yasmin works for Nicomedes, a Lich Lord – a very power paranormal being.  He is described as tall and skinny, with very white skin, and long white hair.  And his eyeballs have been removed and eyelids sewn shut.  Now of course, I can’t tell you why.  But the way Naomi Clark describes him… well, to me, he may be evil and scary and a “bad” guy, but he sounds beautiful.  Ethereally, painfully, scarily beautiful.   In fact, there is a scene with Nicomedes and Lucretia (another Lich Lord) when they are in the Pale World (the plane between here and the Netherworld) that just seems so eerily beautiful and terrifying, I would love to see an artist’s rendering, to see if they saw what I saw.

I’m not sure what country this book takes place in, but to me it has the feel of Ireland, or UK, or Scotland.  Not that I’ve been to any of these places, mind you.  But the descriptions to me, seem vivid.  Spots that were very traditional and old world styled, with areas of modernism.  There were gallows and modern clubs with fetish shows.

Something I found interesting and looked forward to at the beginning of each chapter was that there was a blurb.  Sometimes it would be an advertisement from a tour book, or an excerpt from a book written by a psychic.  But it was a bit of foreshadowing and entertaining, too.

I hope this is a book destined to be turned into a series.  I would love to see what happens next, how everything turns out for everyone.  I like the characters, and I will be a bit sad if this is all we get to hear from them!  I do see on her website there is a kind of prequel type of short story for one of the characters, Ethan Banning, so I will be sure to check that out.