Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Literally the Best Reviews: Reincarnation Blues

Reincarnation Blues -- Michael Poore
Del Rey Publishing
384 Pages

Sometimes weird wins in my house, or what seems weird on the surface. When I picked up Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore, the first thing I thought of after reading the summary was that this could be a strange book. For that reason, the book came home with me for a short visit. By the time I was finished, I realized that my first impression was not quite correct. This was a strange book that evolved into a great story.

Milo is the main character. He’s lived life after life after life. Each person gets 10,000 lives to get it right and move on to the next plane of existence. Otherwise, you simply fade away into nothingness. Milo has lived 9,995 lives. He has five more shots to achieve that perfection and move on. He’s come close several times, but is still trying to find the path forward. He’s running out of chances, so there is a bit of a frantic feeling on his part.

Between lives, when he’s in the Afterlife waiting for his next life to start, he falls in love with one of the personifications of Death, Suzie. She falls in love with him, too. She hates her job as one of the Deaths, and attempts to give up her job. When she disappears, Milo uses the rest of his lives to find her and be able to spend the Afterlife together.

This book bounces around the various lives of Milo over thousands and thousands of years. Time is fluid from the Afterlife. Milo’s lives do not necessarily run in consecutive time. He bounces around from the Ancient World, to the distant future, and back to the present day. Sometimes he gets punished for transgressions in prior lives by becoming a cricket or a shark. In the end, will he get the girl, and will he finally move on to the next plane?

This book is more than a wacky look at the Afterlife and resurrection of souls. This is a love story that simultaneously searches for the meaning of life. Hidden behind all the humor is a message that love can conquer all, and finding something you love will give you the greatest gifts in life. That quest for perfection is within us all. We just have to not be afraid to look for it, or risk for it. That may be the biggest message of all to come from this book.

Michael Poore has a great, odd sense of humor. His writing definitely reflects that. His characters are loose and fun. What started off for me as a silly book, rather quickly became a thinker and a laugher, all rolled into a neat little package. It felt like I learned something by the end of it. It was almost like the secret to life was right there at your fingertips, and that it was something a little bit more than forty-two.

Poore’s writing is infectious. I wanted to keep reading to see what set of obstacles he put into the path of Milo and Suzie. He wrote across several genres to give Milo a set of lives that traversed across millennia. There was a little bit of romance, a little historical fiction, and some science-fiction nestled within the pages of this book. Each section made me want to hurry to the next to see if Milo and Suzie would finally reach their ultimate goal.

Craig Bacon likes silly, and he likes books that surprise him.