Posts Tagged ‘paranormal’

A Life of Death2

BOOK INFO

Publisher: Books of the Dead Press

Length: 228 Pages

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of reviewing Weston Kincade’s A Life of Death, a highly enjoyable coming of age novel that details the life of teenager Alex Drummond and his struggles with his paranormal abilities. Alex was put through the emotional wringer in Kincade’s first book, having lost his father at a young age, dealing with a nightmarish home life in the aftermath, and suffering a devastating loss. Despite all of these hardships, he was able to show a resiliency that made him an immediately likeable character.

The Golden Bulls is the second book in the A Life of Death series and focuses largely on Alex Drummond’s adult life and work as a detective in his hometown of Tranquil Heights. Despite Tranquil Heights reputation as a small, quiet town, a sinister serial killer is at work and has alluded the police for over 15 years. The victims are all residents of the town and every year on September 20th, a new body is found. There is evidence of a ritual sacrifice and all of the victims have been burned, destroying any evidence and making it virtually impossible for Alex to use his abilities to catch the killer.

Alex has a suspect in the murders and follows her to Washington D.C. under directives to catch the killer at any cost. While there, he meets up with his childhood best friend Jessie, who gives him a place to crash and assists Alex in his investigation. As they begin working together and discussing details of the case, Jessie begins acting weird and dismissing some of Alex’s theories leading Alex to believe that his friend may know more than he is letting on. The only lead he has to go on aside from the Tranquil Heights connection is that all of the victims had an ankh tattoo – a symbol of truth. Alex’s investigation leads him to explore the world of Ancient Egypt and as he begins piecing together the clues in his case, he gets the overwhelming sense that he is somehow connected. What Alex ultimately uncovers puts himself and everyone he cares about in grave danger in a plot twist that I definitely did not see coming!

The Golden Bulls offers flashbacks to Alex’s life immediately after the events of the first novel and while they are crucial elements to the story, the novel occasionally suffers lulls due to the frequent shifting of timelines. Just when the tension begins to escalate in Alex’s search for the killer, we are often pulled right out of the action by switching to his past and lengthy visions of victims from Ancient Egypt. The knowledge he gleans from these visions ultimately aid in his investigation, but having them grouped so close together hinders the main plot in my opinion.

I loved the fact that A Life of Death relied just as much on Alex’s real-life struggles as it did his visions and Kincade continues that balance with The Golden Bulls. As much as I enjoyed the first novel, I think The Golden Bulls is even better. Kincade crafts an intriguing mystery at the heart of the novel and a truly frightening serial killer, but it still contains the heart that made the first installment so engaging. Kincade is currently working on a third installment in the series and the revelations that come at the end of The Golden Bulls hints at a pretty interesting direction.

Rating: 4/5

LINKS

Weston Kincade Official Website

Books of the Dead Press

Purchase A Life of Death – Book Two: The Golden Bulls on Amazon

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A Life of Death

BOOK INFO

Publisher: Books of the Dead Press

Length: 205 Pages

Review copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review

Weston Kincade’s A Life of Death is a highly enjoyable coming of age novel with a hint of paranormal occurrences. Alex Drummond is a detective who sits down with his son to discuss the most important moment of his life for a school project. What follows is a recounting of Alex’s teen years living in a three-bedroom trailer with his mom, his abusive stepfather and three step-siblings following the death of his father in a car accident. Alex soon discovers that he can see past deaths when he touches an object that a person touched when they died. He firsts discovers his gift while walking through town on his way to school. He touches a fence that surrounds the historic Brogand house and notices a musty odor before being transported into the past. Alex doesn’t simply see the murders happen, he inhibits the bodies of the victim. He experiences their thoughts and emotions and lives their final moments. Many of his visions involve other residents of Tranquil Heights and their families, but Alex begins to have visions that impact his personal life and set him on a path filled with sadness and tragedy.

A Life of Death is a very entertaining read and while Alex’s paranormal visions play a large role in the novel, they are not the sole focus. Instead, most of the action comes from Alex’s struggles at home as he attempts to protect his family from the violent and perpetually drunk Steve McCullin. Alex learns a dark secret about his stepfather that changes their interactions in an instant. No longer is Alex afraid of him and trying to solely avoid him, he gains the courage to stand up to Steve and protect his family.

While Alex’s visions may have frightened most people who found out they could suddenly see murders that have occurred in the past, Alex uses his new gift to try and fix past wrongs and learns a lot about himself in the process. He still mourns the loss of his father, but these visions give him a purpose. He is no longer on the aimless course he has grown used to (missing school and isolating himself), but rather standing up for what is right and trying to make a difference. Even though his world is swirling with chaos, his life begins to turn around when he falls in love with Paige and begins to build a relationship with his younger stepsisters.

The only real drawback with A Life of Death for me was the lack of back story regarding Alex’s abilities. I know that mediums often say their abilities manifested randomly at some point in their life and that could be what happened with Alex. However, there are is a moment in the book that indicates his abilities may not be so random and it would be interesting to see that angle explored.

A Life of Death is an emotional novel packed with terrifying visions, real life horrors and an intriguing premise that is sure to appeal to readers of a wide variety of genres. I am definitely looking forward to reading Kincade’s sequel, A Life of Death – The Golden Bulls, and seeing how Alex Drummond utilizes his unique gift in his career.

Rating: 4/5

LINKS

Weston Kincade Official Website

Books of the Dead Press

Purchase A Life of Death on Amazon