Author: Olivie Blake
Series: Standalone
Released: 2023-08-08
Publisher: Tor Books

I expected a light read with some paranormal shenanigans. What I got was a poignant love letter to mortal life itself, and the beauty found in the temporary.

I feel like this is a book that suffers from unclear messaging in its marketing, in that everything I saw about it touted it as a delightful little comedy about a real estate agent exorcising a haunted house so she could sell it. In reality, it’s a story about Death’s adopted son and the unfortunate consequences of the webs that get woven by bored immortals.

Fortunately I love that stuff though, so it was still a win for me.

It’s not a win for a lot of other readers, particularly ones used to the tight, safe stories that generally get pushed as the popular book of the month. This book’s comedy is somewhat dry, and its punch comes from its delivery at the end of winding and, yes, sometimes almost tortuously verbose passages and dialogue exchanges. It has strong Terry Pratchett vibes, and I’d liken the comedy to what you might find in the Discworld series, or possibly the novel version of Good Omens.

Since I didn’t go into it expecting a love story, the ones it wove were that much more impactful. For all the paranormal aspects and all the great power many of the characters have, the glaring fact is that they all cling to very human parts of themselves: virtue, vice, love, hate, pettiness, and friendship. And, ultimately, they cling to the vibrant emotions that come along with mortality.

I never would have read this book myself if it didn’t come in my Owlcrate subscription, but I loved the story so much I bought a FairyLoot special edition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *