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Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles Mass Market Paperback – September 28, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The fast pacing and skillfully eked out clues keep things moving, for a good read - and a strong first novel.” (Locus)

“AFTERLIFE is a seamless combination of hard-boiled mystery, science-fiction exploration of a future based on cloned existence after death, and a fantasy struggle for the survival of good in an evil world. Merrie Destefano has made a fine start on a promising career.” (James Gunn, Science fiction Grand Master)

“AFTERLIFE is like smoke in the darkness – intriguing and illusive. Merrie Destefano led me on a gritty page-turning journey of life, death and resurrection. I was riveted from the first page to the last and personally can’t wait for her next one.” (Tracey O'Hara)

“Merrie Destefano storms the world of urban fantasy with AFTERLIFE, breathing new life into the vast genre of the undead. Gritty, poignant, in the tradition of Bladerunner with the nostalgia of New Orleans.” (Tosca Lee, author of Havah and Demon: A Memoir)

From the Back Cover

Welcome to your next chance.

Chaz Dominguez is a professional Babysitter in New Orleans, helping to integrate the recently deceased into their new and improved lives. Though Fresh Start has always been the only game in town, resurrection isn't all it's cracked up to be. Nine lives are all a person can get—and a powerful group of desperate, high-level Nine-Timers will stop at nothing to possess the keys to true immortality.

Now the only hope for Chaz and his family—and the human race—lies in the secrets locked away in the mind of Angelique, the beautiful, mysterious Newbie he must protect . . .

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061990817
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061990816
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,770,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Merrie Destefano left a 9-to-5 desk job as a magazine editor to become a full-time novelist and freelance editor. Her first novel, Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles, is an urban fantasy published by Harper Voyager, and her second novel, Feast: Harvest of Dreams releases June 28, 2011. With twenty years' experience in publishing, her background includes editor of Victorian Homes magazine and founding editor of Cottages & Bungalows magazine. Born in the Midwest, she currently lives in Southern California with her husband, two German shepherds, a Siamese cat, and the occasional wandering possum. Her favorite hobbies include reading speculative fiction and watching old Star Trek episodes, while her incurable addiction is writing. She loves to camp in the mountains, walk on the beach, watch old movies and listen to alternative music--although rarely all at the same time. For more information, visit her website at www.merriedestefano.com.

Customer Reviews

This novel is very well paced and compelling- action, action, action.
Mrs. L
That could have been forgiven if the smaller story and character development had been compelling.
PerkyTxGirl
I recommend it to anyone looking for something different in urban fantasy.
Kelly (Fantasy Literature)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By SciFiChick VINE VOICE on September 29, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Chaz Domingue is a Babysitter, watching over the newly resurrected. In a futuristic society, humans can now live up to nine lifetimes in cloned bodies. But the newly resurrected have a slow start, with spotty memories. So Babysitters are hired to protect and reintegrate them into society. Angelique is Chaz' latest Newbie, but someone with powerful connections is after her. As a conspiracy begins to unravel that involves almost everyone around Chaz, the key to their future lies in Angelique's memories.

Chaz is a likeable and relatable character. Despite the popularity and his own family's involvement in the Resurrection process, Chaz is content with his one, natural life. He wants his life to eventually end, so he can someday reach Heaven. The spiritual aspect and repercussions in this novel are fascinating. With the popularity of cloning, even most churches begin to support the controversial science of prolonging life past its natural course. Though Chaz' beliefs remain steadfast.

The plot is complex and inspired. The mood is dark and suspenseful. It's rare when I'm so impressed by a debut. And this science fiction novel definitely took me by surprise. The narrative is fast-paced, jumping around among several key characters' point of view. So readers see what's coming a bit before Chaz, building suspense and excitement. The mystery builds to a climactic ending, offering several surprises. And I finished the book with a smile, loving every bit of Destefano's thought-provoking tale.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tori VINE VOICE on September 28, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've never read a book that's left me completely and utterly speechless by the time I finished it. Usually, I'll have something to say, even if it's a sentence as simple as 'I love it' or, 'I hate it'. A simple 'I love it,' however, won't cut it for AFTERLIFE. This novel is so rich with beautiful descriptions, reflections, and events that I fear I will be unable to give anything Merrie has incorporated justice.

AFTERLIFE is in this futuristic New Orleans setting, where everyone on earth can live more than once. In fact, you can live nine times. Basically you get this little chip inserted into your body, and when you die -- or "jump," as a lot of the characters refer to it -- your soul, whatever it is that makes you, you, transfers to a newly made clone.

Which brings us to the first few pages in the book. Chaz, one of the characters we follow along in this tale, is Babysitting a new clone, Angelique. The two are out drinking during Angelique's first day of rebirth. It is then that they stumble upon our third character, Neville. I won't give much away, especially since what happens in the beginning is especially important for what happens towards the middle and end. Besides, this story is fun to figure out on your own.

I thought that the POV swap was one of the most interesting aspects of this story. I mean, you witness events through Chaz, Angelique, Neville, Russell, and Omega the dog. (Yes, you get to witness the story from a dog's POV. And yes, it is so incredibly awesome.) What's even better is that the POV swap wasn't jarring. I had no problem discerning which scene was happening in which person's perspective. This switch truly was a genius way to get me to hate Russell and Neville on a completely new level.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. L VINE VOICE on October 10, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Wow. What a brilliant debut novel! Afterlife by Merrie Destefano is intriguing, dark and mysterious. Merrie had me hooked from the very beginning, throwing me head first into the action. She did a wonderful job creating a scary world where humans recreate resurrection over and over. This book was very different from most of the novels I've read, which made it extremely refreshing.

The story is told in multiple points of view, we even get a run down of a very lovable doggy's play by play. For this story, the multiple POV is perfect. We get to know all the players more intimately and it covers more ground plot-wise. It is great knowing what each character is thinking and what they're plotting out... especially when you have such a magnificent, complex plot with tons of three dimensional characters. Just a little heads up- It is a bit confusing to start off with the multiple POV, but you'll get it within the first 30-60 pages and won't be able to put it down!

This novel is very well paced and compelling- action, action, action. There are a few big events that may shock you as a reader, emotionally- one in particular is just devastating. On the other emotional forefront- just a dash of romance here, ladies. But you will love it anyway! Remember, I'm an action junkie, I don't mind the lack of romance. ;)

I highly recommend this novel to those that love Fantasy/SciFi or are just looking for a novel with new ideas. Merrie provides us one captivating cast of characters and an excruciatingly suspenseful plot. Loved this one, I'm really hoping there will be more to come!
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Judah on January 7, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The entire book is composed of vignettes. Each of the 82 'chapters' (out of 322 pages) is less than 1500 words long, has vivid detail, and is from the perspective of a different character, in a different location, in a different point on an undefined timeline. This author is excellent in terms of packing in detail, but she fails with plot and with forging a reader connection with her characters. Additionally, an entire criminal sub-class of minor yet significant characters speak with an atrocious accent.

Ah, the Afterlife Process, whereby humans get nine lives, like cats, somehow resurrecting into a fresh cloned body after their soul-McGuffin-transmitter is recovered post-mortem. The entire Process is controlled by a private company. This private company is not above the law, as normal police swarm over the house of the CEO mid-book after a bombing. The Earth still has billions of people on it, but only six children were born last year... wait, what?

Ok, point one, immortality corp. should be worth trillions and have their own private country. Not a small island, I mean Canada. Point two, immortality would not be easily shared, meaning tons of people in the third world would still be having babies like mad. This would mean the entire elaborate child kidnapping organization the author sets up is based on incorrect geo-politics. The immortality corp. was founded by Chaz's father in ones of his lives, meaning there hasn't been time for the immortality process to 'trickle-down' or for the huge Earth population glut to resolve itself. There hasn't been a major war, and also no major religion 'objects' against the immortality process. I found this to make exactly no sense.

Our main character Chaz is a babysitter, i.e.
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