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Release Day & Review: Afterlife by Marcus Sakey


PUBLISHER: Thomas & Mercer

RELEASED: July 18, 2017

GENRE: mystery, thriller, suspense

LENGTH: 320 pages

FORMAT: ebook, hardcover, paperback, audible







Soon to be a major motion picture from Imagine Entertainment and producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. 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 building is in ruins. His team is gone. Outside, Chicago is dark. Cars lie abandoned. No planes cross the sky. He’s relieved to spot other people—until he sees they’re carrying machetes. Welcome to the afterlife. Claire McCoy stands over the body of Will Brody. As head of an FBI task force, she hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep in weeks. A terrorist has claimed eighteen lives and thrown the nation into panic. Against this horror, something reckless and beautiful happened. She fell in love…with Will Brody. But the line between life and death is narrower than any of us suspect—and all that matters to Will and Claire is getting back to each other. From the author of the million-copy bestselling Brilliance Trilogy comes a mind-bending thriller that explores our most haunting and fundamental question: What if death is just the beginning?


I voluntarily received an ARC via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. This book piqued my curiosity since the rights have already been purchased to turn this into a movie. After reading the book, it will be incredibly interesting to see how they make that work. It will be along the lines of Inception, at least that’s what I think.

Afterlife is the eternal love story of Will Brody and Claire McCoy. They are both FBI agents tracking down a serial killer terrorizing Chicago. When Will is killed, he wakes up in the same spot he died, but it’s less. No people, no sun, no heat. It is an echo of life. In the echo the longer you stay, like an echo, you diminish and become less. The way to circumvent this is to kill other people and absorb their life force. Those who do this become known as eaters, serial killers.

Afterlife takes everything we have ever been taught of heaven and hell rolls it up and throws it out the proverbial window. The echo isn’t heaven, it isn’t really hell, it’s what you make it. However, the eaters are Apex predators that have gained superhuman strength when they kill.

Through a mysterious dream Will receives, he realizes Claire is in trouble in the real world and rushes to try and save her, or at least do what he can when she reaches the echo. However, when Claire arrives, she arrives with an evil the residences of the echo have never faced before.

The concept of evil in the story is fascinating; Sakey did a brilliant job portraying the levels of depravity his monsters were capable of. The story is incredibly abstract in its outlook on what lays beyond death. I had a hard time with the story having so much evil with no ultimate good to balance it. Growing up in a Judeo-Christian society it’s hard to wrap my mind around the one concept, with the other concept non-existent.

This is one of those stories that gets you thinking, and would be great for book clubs and discussions. Personally, I loved the love story; their connection, and the fact that they were “soul mates”. To have a love that outlasts death, and be so connected to another person your soul finds no matter where they are. That is love.

I am giving Afterlife Four Boundless Stars, I really enjoyed it. The ending battle was a bit too complex for me. I wasn’t confused; however, I would need to re-read it a few more times to fully grasp it.

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