A Life of Death: A Thrilling Supernatural Detective Series full of Suspense (A Life of Death Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.5 stars, actually. (I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review)

I read in other comments that this story was possibly published as a serial at first. In that case, I think it might have been a good idea to have really obvious warnings that this isn’t your usual novel, but a repackaged serial (I probably missed that somewhere).

Why? Because reading serials and reading novels are different for me. I came into this one with novel expectations and for that reason I think this book never really “took” with me. In a serial, I’m much more forgiving– even welcome– repetition of character-building plot elements, as well as a very loose over-arching plot. In a novel? The combination of those two things sometimes makes me lose interest.

This first half of the book felt cyclical…. Bad thing happens, Alex goes to his dad’s grave under the pine, he comes home, refuses to return greeting by drunk stepfather, gets beat up. After the second time I was still a bit unsure how this was going to fit into the main plot, what it was building up to. Again, this might have been the nature of the serial genre as opposed to what I expect from a novel.

On the other hand, Alex is a fairly engaging main character. He’s definitely more of a beta hero, which I appreciate. I love how he feels towards his girlfriend (although her character annoyed me because, hey, her boyfriend’s being abused and she does nothing) and how close he is to his dead father.

Also, although the first couple of death scenes didn’t stand out for me, the Civil War battlefield encounters were pretty cool. And seemed to be researched enough for lay people like me to consider them authentic.

One other thing (minus half a star) that wasn’t as enjoyable for me was the language used in a few of the action scenes. I actually enjoyed Alex’s voice and his vocabulary. That was great. But when it came to being almost choked to death, sometimes the language got in my way. (i.e. “His smile widened, and his fingers tightened around my throat. His bulbous thumbs massaged my jugular in covetous anticipation.”)

Interesting premise, engaging hero, ultimately didn’t “take” with me because of serial nature.