- Author: Marcus Sakey
- Published: July 2017 by Thomas & Mercer
- Category: Thriller, Romance, Sci-Fi, Supernatural, Book Review, Books, Reading
Between life and death lies an epic war, a relentless manhunt through two worlds…and an unforgettable love story.
The last thing FBI agent Will Brody remembers is the explosion—a thousand shards of glass surfing a lethal shock wave.
He wakes without a scratch.
The story opens in 1532 as Edmund killed an apprentice and took his place aboard the Persephone, sailing to the new world. Two weeks into the return voyage a violent storm lashed the ship. The cargo and all provisions were lost and the men who survived on the battered ship resorted to desperate measures to stay alive, until only Edmund was left. He died just shy of a mile from land.
Ex Marine, Will Brody, now a Special Agent with the FBI, was at the scene of the seventeenth murder from a sniper’s bullet. The terrorist has all but shut down Chicago, his targets random and deadly. Claire McCoy is head of the FBI task force and Will’s boss. The two are in the throes of a new relationship despite the fact they work together and that alone could cause difficulties. But they both felt an underlying pull, almost as if they already knew each other.
Claire had set up a tip line when it became obvious what they were dealing with. Will volunteered to follow up on one of the many phone calls from the public which leads him and his team to an abandoned church in a run down area.
The church filled with parti-colored light, like a rainbow sun had been born in the centre. For a fraction of a second Brody was staring into it, a blast of furious illumination blooming beneath the stained glass, and then the shattered pieces leapt up from the ground and the shock wave hit and everything went loose, he was flying, swept up in a blast of heat and a hundred shimmering razors and if he hadn’t been in the midst it might have been beautiful and then –
Will’s team were gone and the church was reduced to a pile of rubble. The city looked desolate and deserted. Then he spotted some people….carrying machetes.
Having listened to Marcus Sakey’s Brilliance saga and loved it I jumped at the chance to read Afterlife when it was offered. It’s a fast moving, well written and masterful plot, which explores a very different take on the afterlife. The concept is incredible, as is the convincing world building and the battle between good and evil, the strong and the weak in such a novel setting. Running through it all is a believable bond between two people that transcends death.
Will and Claire are well developed and engaging protagonists, both with a keen sense of morality. Will is mostly half a step behind Claire in the smarts department, which is a nice touch, especially since it doesn’t trouble him in the slightest. The characters drive the plot, they’re convincing and their interactions and dialogue are realistic in relation to the bizarre situations they find themselves in.
Descriptions of ‘the echo’ have a definite post apocalyptic feel which adds to the atmosphere and the combination of genres, which include supernatural, romance and thriller with a touch of science fiction. Teeming with tension, drama and suspense, I didn’t want the story to end although an excellent conclusion rounds it all out nicely.
I chose to read and review Afterlife based on an advance reader copy of the book supplied by the author/publisher and NetGalley. My thanks also to Claire at LittleBird Publicity.
About Marcus Sakey
His novel AFTERLIFE (July 18, 2017) is soon to be a major motion picture from Imagine Entertainment and producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. His novel Good People was made into a film starring James Franco and Kate Hudson.
Marcus lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter.