While Chuck was pulling out of the driveway and driving away from Sarah and her list of his amazing characteristics or lack thereof, the neighbor’s brand new kitten ran away, following in the footsteps of his predecessor, straight into the path of Chuck’s oncoming car. Chuck’s last living words where “Are you fucking kidding me?” as he hit his brakes and in doing so, at 45 miles an hour, managed to kill yet another cat, while his front tires rolled off the car, plunging both vehicle and driver straight into a tree. Chuck was thrown through the windshield and instantly broke his neck on the oldest oak tree in the neighborhood, which Number Sixteen had conveniently saved from being cut down during last month’s neighborhood planning meeting.
This was how Chuck met his demise.
Dead and not really knowing it, Chuck stood there, staring at his car and the body of a person he feared he may have hit and killed, lying at the base of the tree.
“Hey man, you okay?” Yelled a voice from across the street. Chuck looked up to see a kid with long red curly hair and glasses in a plaid shirt, standing there smiling at him.
And this was when Chuck met Number Sixteen, the kid who had been mocking him in Halo during the past week, and the person who had received Chuck’s file. “Looks pretty bad from over here man. Are you doing okay?”
“Call 911, I think I just killed someone.”
Number Sixteen began to laugh out loud, walking over to the scene of the accident.
“You did kill someone, Chuck…” He leaned down and looked at Chuck’s dead body. “Looks like you just killed yourself man.”
Chuck’s eyes widened as he looked down at the body in front of him. Realizing this kid was telling the truth, he began to panic.
“But, but…Oh my God, but am I? No I’m not. Wait! Are you telling me…I’m dead?”
“Dead as a doornail, man!” The kid shook his head and continued. “Not bad work if you ask me. It took a little bit of planning, but got to say, it all went pretty damn smooth. I should be getting a promotion for this one! I even took out two cats to make this all happen, you should be feeling so proud of this! A death as well-planned as yours is what my coworkers strive to achieve their whole careers…. oh wait, man I am so sorry. I forget myself. This is so new to you.”
Normally, Chuck’s mind could comprehend intense situations. But then again this was the first time his brain had ever seen itself sprawled on the ground.
To quote a favorite movie, “Death is just the beginning.” When death comes calling and you leave your body behind, what happens? Are there Angels of unsurpassed beauty waiting to greet you at Heaven’s pearly gates or is there a host of demons preparing for your arrival with a bath of fire? Up and down are the only two options most people consider, but what about that grey area in the middle?
David Babineau’s new novel, Done With Death, is a quirky, entertaining story about what happens if you end up in that in between land known as Purgatory. When Chuck dies he finds out that he is something special. He is one of those fortunate few that is neither all that good, or all that bad, so he has a chance to earn his way into Heaven. Of course, if he fails he gets a one way ticket to Hell and its endless hours of mind numbing office work and the occasional bouts of more motivating forms of torture. How does he have to earn his way up? He has to serve some time in Purgatory acting as a Death, collecting the souls of mortal men and women (by the way of creative killing) and sending them to their designated final destination. It sounds easy enough, but things are never simple with Chuck, and when he discovers a little crack in the system he just can’t help himself.
The characters in this book are outstanding and their interactions really move the story along at an enjoyable pace, but it is the setting itself that makes the book work for me. When celestial planes are run like corporations, you know things will get a little weird and the author completely nails it. The characters would be fine if the setting was different, but they’re so much better with it the way it is. The only complaint I would have with this book is that there are times where the pacing hits a stumbling block due to chunks of narration that can get a little long, but that is really a minor issue in the grand scheme of things.
I really enjoyed this book and I am eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series. If you enjoy action, intrigue and some good old-fashioned snarky humor, then this is the book for you.
Find the book on Amazon.com HERE.
Visit the Author’s website: www.dbabineau.com
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