Monday, March 9, 2015

Heaven (The Afterlife Series #1) by Mur Lafferty

Release Date: April 27, 2011
Publisher: Restless Brain Media
Series: The Afterlife Series, Book 1
Author Website: 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Kate and Daniel were best friends, sharing everything from intimate details of their lives to most of their secrets. When their lives reached the end of the line, it came as no surprise that they went together. Each of them found their versions of Heaven, enjoying everything that was offered until questions began to scrape away the glitz and glamor.

Kate and Daniel decided to strike out on their own journey, to see everything that Heaven had to offer those who made it through the gates. Along the way, they discovered that nothing was really what it seemed and something wrong bubbled beneath the surface of happiness and joy. Their adventure began a series of changes throughout the other versions of Heaven and left them rushing off into unknown lands. Can they discover the truth behind the changes before it's too late? Will they be lost forever in the vast open road around Heaven?

Thanks to Podiobooks I discovered this series and other writings by the author many years ago. To be honest, it was one of the few audiobooks that I really wanted to see in print. When I came across the Kindle version on Amazon, it took less than a minute of debating before I purchased the series. It was interesting to read the words on the page and still hear the author's voice in my head. Even after a number of years, the book still captivated me as I delved deeper into the adventures of Kate and Daniel in the afterlife.

Much of the book focused on Kate and Daniel after their untimely deaths. Seen through Kate's eyes, Heaven was very much a place determined by the person's ideas, wants and how he or she saw the afterlife.  Kate's personality, quirks and beliefs stayed the same after she awoke in Heaven, as did many of her likes and dislikes. The same occurred for Daniel, although they didn't share the same vision of Heaven. The fact that their relationship carried over into the afterlife made it easy for me to keep up with the various changes around them as they journeyed through different times, places and even some versions of paradise that I wouldn't have imagined. Gods, Goddesses, Heroes, and Demi-gods from a wide spectrum of belief systems made appearances in the story. They did more than simply stand around while the Travelers went about their adventure. These Supreme Beings also impacted the duo's thinking and actions, causing all kinds of chaos for everyone.

Because both Kate and Daniel were early twenty-somethings at the time of their deaths, it was easy to relate to their thoughts and feelings. The dialogue was current, brash and honest at times. I liked the descriptions the author used to relay the differences between the different versions of Heaven that they encountered. The way the people dressed, the food they ate, how the religion of that particular section affected the daily life - all were written in a such a way that the reader could understand even if the reader had little or no knowledge about that particular religion. The action came quickly and propelled the story forward. At a steady pace, the story led from one idealized version of Heaven through various others. Each time the two of them left for another, there were consequences. Sometimes a lot of the consequences weren't always on the good side of things.

Overall, I really liked this book. I actually noticed a few things about their time in Greece and Dog Heaven that I didn't catch when listening to the audiobook. Having the Kindle format allowed me to zero in on these additions and it added a hint of comedy to the book. There's so much more going on with the story, I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. Between the changes Kate and Daniel brought to the afterlife and the awkwardness of the love triangle developing, I can't wait to see what happens. If you're looking for a different take on what happens when one leaves their mortal life behind or a wondrous new adventure filled with gods, goddesses and more, then this book is something you need to have on your shelf.

Heaven (The Afterlife Series #1) by Mur Lafferty is currently available at many online retailers in digital format. The following link will bring up the book's page at Amazon.
Heaven (The Afterlife Series #1) by Mur Lafferty

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