11 Apr 2018

Review: Soul Catchers (How to Survive the Afterlife #2)

'' ''Well, you'll need some hastily painted signs, a few repetitive one-verse songs, and long, bushy beards.'' ''


From Goodreads:
As the demons gather to debate John's disappearance the scattered parts of his soul plan revenge on those responsible. All that stands in his way is his newly acquired Tourette's Syndrome and an increasing list of pursuers. Demons, Satan, and a gang of deceased dictators all want a piece of him. Fortunately there's plenty to go around.

Meanwhile the pigeon, Sandy Logan, contemplates his unfulfilled ambitions. What if he ruled Hell? All he needs is an army to spark revolution. While the demons are distracted, his dysfunctional army will attempt to pull off the greatest heist in the Universe.

On the Isles of Scilly a pale girl with bleached white hair sits on the grass studying a puzzle book. She isn't like her pirate obsessed brother. It's proving to be the hardest puzzle of all. Young fingers trace the letters on a black stone. They find a J, O, H, and finally, N. Yet the name is the second most interesting thing about it. Mysteriously chiseled on the headstone are the words, 'God Protects the King.'

The story just gets better and better with every page you turn. Tony Moyle keeps the reader laughing from page one until the very end. It's not all comedy, though. You'll be surprised. There are many riddles and puzzles mixed in the reader will have a field-trip with. You think you know the answer, but are you willing to bet on it?

Might contain mild SPOILERS as this is the second book in the How to Survive the Afterlife - series. The first book's, The Limpet Syndrome, Review and link to Goodreads.
The first book in the series only scratches the surface of the world inside. It's more a scientific, less funny book than this one. Soul Catchers takes you deeper under the surface, all the way to the deep pits of hell where the souls of those who lack even the most basic morals.

'' As a consequence, mass murderers and dictators didn't tend to mix well with normal people. Which was a relief for the rest of the world. -- They had a habit of insulting their hosts, made inappropriate sexual advances to anything with a pulse, and on a whim would threaten genocide over a lack of good-quality hummus. ''

The writing style keeps you alert all the time. There is the comedy, which sometimes is borderline mad, but there also is the mystery. Who are all the new and almost-new characters? What are their goals and motivations? And why is the pigeon gathering an army? The writing is lively and fresh, not as repetitive as I first feared. Sometimes, the author just repeats the same joke over and over again, without realising it isn't funny after the third time. This wasn't the case here! And that is one of the biggest reasons why I kept flipping the pages with such vigour.

John isn't himself anymore, or specifically, he isn't the John we are used to him being. Instead, a part of him has stayed behind in the body of a rodent and a part of him has travelled back to earth. Both parts of the soul operating simultaneously, not aware of the other, with very different goals, gives a twist to the plot. They are parts of the same soul, so they are parts of the same characters, right? Most of the time you forget that little fact, and when you're reminded of it, it puzzles you even more.

'' ''Just one other thing. 'See you next time'. We never did find out what he meant. How would he see John again after he'd already killed him?--'' ''

What I loved the most about this book was how everything was tied together. Even the most irrelevant feeling little detail was important to the plot. All the twists and turns, different, smaller paths merged into a one, wide road where nothing could limit the madness that could ensue. Hands down, one of the most entertaining books I have read so far this year.

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