Tuesday, March 15, 2016

SpookyLady InSanDiego Reviews: The Afterlife Chronicles - Symbol of the Dead by James Paradie

James' note: I just want to thank Spooks for the favorable review of my book. As she says in the review, it is being re-released in mid to late May with 25 pages worth of new content. I highly advise if you're interested in reading the book to wait until the new version is released. I will, of course, provide a link in this review once that happens. Thanks again to Spooks! 


About a year or so ago I came across James Paradie’s web site Scared Sheetless and really liked it. I made a few comments about the articles he posted. I also liked his Scared Sheetless Facebook page.
One day James asked if I wanted to be a contributor to Scared Sheetless and of course I accepted. James and I have become online friends and I was honored to be able to be sent his book Symbol of the Dead: The Afterlife Chronicles to read and review.
Though this is James’s first book it is really exciting, fun and well-written. I’m thrilled to be writing a review for James, Scared Sheetless, Haunted San Diego and Amazon.com
Samantha Hawkins receives the much-dreaded task of watching her estranged younger brother, Luke, while their dad and stepmother go on vacation. What’s most ironic to Sam is that Luke is 18 years old but their parents don’t trust him enough to stay at home alone. After all it was only a couple of weeks ago he set the staircase on fire.
Neither sibling is thrilled with the arrangement but they soon begin to connect over Sam’s job as a writer/photographer for a paranormal investigation magazine. When Sam goes to take a nap Luke comes across a very intriguing book called The Afterlife Codex.
Luke’s curiosity gets the best of him and he reads the book, following instructions for how to open a portal to the Afterlife. “It’s just a book,” he scoffs. But Luke discovers he really HAS opened a portal – and before Sam can react he disappears into it. This means Sam has to open the portal too and follow Luke through it in order to rescue him from whatever might be on the other side.
Sam finds herself in Hollow Hill where she meets folklore icon Dr. Vigor Venktor, who might just be able to help her and Luke get back to the living world. That’s if she can find Luke, who’s in a whole different part of the Afterlife.
In the more dangerous side of the hereafter Luke carefully navigates through the strange world he’s been thrown into. He hears about someone who might be able to help him get home, but help isn’t exactly what Luke will find when he looks up the Afterlife’s most atrocious bad boy: Rigor Mortis.
The most dangerous part of Sam and Luke ending up in the Afterlife is that their life isn’tafter – they’re both still alive. And the living aren’t exactly welcome in the world of the dead…
I immediately adored both Sam and Luke. When they were in trouble I found myself worrying about them and when they were achieving successes I cheered them on. Though they start out in different parts of the Afterlife the parts blend together seamlessly to create one heck of a fun and crazy voyage.
Readers will likely have a love-hate rapport with Rigor; he’s flat-out obnoxious, hilarious and ridiculous all at once. The benevolent and persevering king Jack Relick has enough patience to deal with Rigor when no one else can. The colorful citizens of the Afterlife and Hollow Hill carry the story along: vampires, ghosts, werewolves, witches and more.
Anyone who’s read books by Claire Chilton or Christopher Moore will really enjoy this book. Horror-comedy isn’t a widely recognized genre but with books like James’s I’m sure it soon will be.
About the author (from the book):
James Paradie lives in Lisbon, New Hampshire, a small town of just about 1,400 people. He writes Scared Sheetless, a fairly popular paranormal website about James’ adventure with spirits and everything that goes bump in the night. (Please note that he is not afraid to bump back). For more information about Scared Sheetless and news about “The Afterlife Chronicles”, go to http://www.jamesparadie.com. You have not seen the last of this guy.
You can find The Afterlife Chronicles: Symbol of the Dead on Amazon.com. Cool news: James is re-releasing the book in late May of 2016 with 25 pages of new material!
I gave this book five stars on Amazon. Not just because I know James but because I think he created an exceptional world that I’m really looking forward to continuing to read about.
Thanks to James for his friendship and especially for his patience as it took me way too long to write this review about his book. :-)

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