A Book Spy Review: ‘Afterlife’ By Marcus Sakey

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Two FBI agents fall in love here on earth, and then again in the next life in Marcus Sakey’s new supernatural thriller, Afterlife

Former Marine Will Brody, now working as a special agent with the FBI, is killed in Chicago while pursuing Simon Tucks, a sniper who has taken to killing innocent people. A bomb detonated by Tucks claims Brody’s life, and then something really odd happens…Brody wakes up without a scratch on him. 

Still in Chicago, or some ethereal version of the city he died in, Brody is not alone. The machete-carrying people already living there explain that they’re in what’s called the Echo, an afterlife–not all that different from purgatory–for people who’ve been murdered.  

Unlike real-life, the Echo version of Chicago does not have a lot of technology. It’s an odd place that, at first, doesn’t seem all that bad. Things take a dark turn, though, when Edmund–a Satan-like figure who feeds on others’ souls–is introduced. 

Edmund, however, is hardly the only weirdo roaming around in the Echo. Aside from your average creepers and sadistic individuals, there are a variety of monsters and all kinds of other characters you’d be afraid to find out are living underneath your bed or in your bedroom closet. 

Eventually, Claire McCoy, Brody’s lover, is also killed by the Chicago sniper and joins Will in the Echo, where their deep connection continues. Together they try to battle the evil that lies within the afterlife, all the while searching to understand why they’re there and what mankind’s purpose is in the universe.  

While there are some things to genuinely really like about Sakey’s novel, there is also a lot to not like–or at the very least to be totally confused over. Beyond that, this book is incredibly dark and violent, with graphic scenes involving cannibalism and murder, among other things.

This book will definitely appeal to some, including fans of Lost or Stephen King’s novels, but it’s certainly not for everyone. Coming in somewhere between a horror story and a supernatural thriller, Afterlife is a dark, gory, and twisted novel that, while trying to deliver a more profound message, ends up falling short of its goal.

Book Details

Author: Marcus Sakey
Pages: 318 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1477848479
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Release Date: June 18, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 5/10
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