Libby has hit a bad patch in life, and just when she thinks things can't get any worse she's killed in a car accident alongside her dog Rufus. During their transition to the afterlife's Sunray Bay, Rufus somehow manages to absorb her soul - which, in turn, gives him human-like qualities and renders her soulless. Accompanied by her now talking dog, Libby tries to unravel the mystery of her slippery soul, encountering many setbacks and dilemmas along the way. She has no idea why a group of monster slayers, headed by an ex-convict, are hunting her down, and when she teams up with rogue Peace & Order Maintenance Officer, Grim, she's shocked to discover that there's a mob of disgruntled vampires and a very angry mayor hot on their heels too. Libby has never felt so unpopular, and begins to wonder whether it's possible to die twice in one day...
out of 5
I had mixed feelings about this one. The writing is fun, with a matter of fact prose that gives it a strangely light feel despite the darkness of the storyline. For the most part, I enjoyed the main character Libby. She was brash, confident and funny. The other characters were a mixed bag from utterly unpleasant to intriguing, but all interesting. I loved the quirkiness, and dry, dark comedy of the story.
So, I said I enjoyed Libby for the most part. There were some things I didn't get about her, like why she was so blase about arriving in the afterlife. She seemed happy to trip along without a care, not even wanting to ask for help. I just didn't buy her initial easy acceptance of Sunray Bay, alongside her refusal to seek any sort of help.
The POV is omniscient, and very telly. The narrative will often state straight out what a character is thinking or feeling, even when actions or dialogue have made or will make it clear. Granted, that added to the dry tone, and sometimes I liked it. But, most of the time, it annoyed me.
As for the world, it was certainly inventive, but, for me, it was difficult to break into. Information was played out slowly, but in bland chunks rather than richly nuanced details. And then there were the frequent info dumps, when a character's appearance and entire backstory would be laid out in several paragraphs, if not pages. The backstory rarely added anything to the plot itself; for example, a 3 page flashback explaining how one character lost his family served only to explain his attitude and choices. The whole thing could have been tightened up to less than a paragraph, and, in my opinion, would have packed more of a punch.
I would recommend this to any one who enjoys dry, dark comedy with their urban fantasy, and doesn't get frustrated by info-dumping.