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Dead Eye: Pennies for the Ferryman Paperback – May 18, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Unlike the prior reviewer, I've actually read Jim's book. I'll be honest: urban fantasy is not my cup of tea. I find Butcher's Dresden Files novels mildly entertaining, if formulaic (the long build-up to a "crowning moment of awesome" and then a power plus-up for Dresden gets a little old after ten or so installments).
That said, I enjoyed Jim Bernheimer's book a lot. It avoids many of the cliches of the genre (no hot, tramp-stamped vamp on the cover in torn leathers) and tells a fresh tale, not a hackneyed vamps vs. lycan replay.
The story is about a down-on-his-luck Iraq War vet who acquires the ability to see and communicate with ghosts via a cornea transplant. He becomes a Ferryman, with the ability to help ghosts acquire closure with their lives and deaths and pass on to the next world. The ability to see ghosts has existed throughout modern literature (Hamlet, Jesus Christ, the ancient Greeks, many African spiritual traditions, and yes, several B horror flicks); the challenge is to tell the modern ghost tale in a fresh, interesting way. Jim does.
In such stories, there is often a supernatural world existing beneath normal human perception. The mark of a good tale in this genre is whether it's a compelling, interesting enough world that the reader wishes to join, if only vicariously through the written word. Jim delivers in spades.
What's good about this novel: Jim's characters are organic and interesting. His hero isn't a superman, but rather an average guy thrust into difficult circumstances.Read more ›
Ferryman Mike is down on his luck but doesn't quit. His sarcastic wit, moral code, and generally proactive style remind me of a Jim Rockford or a Thomas Magnum. Like those other two antiheroes, he gets: plenty of grief from his "clients", precious little money, and no glory. Still, we love him and the characters he is surrounded with.
The story starts with a single false step (a little questionable politics) but quickly draws us into Mike's world as we watch him learn -- the hard way -- to deal with his unwanted gifts. This book is a real page-turner with excellent characters and great action scenes. The mystery moves along nicely and the plot twists are well done. It ends all too soon, leaving us wanting more.
I sincerely hope there will be a sequel.
I was amazed at the number of grammatical errors in this book! I'm not sure whether that's the fault of the author or the editor; however, the poor editing definitely impacted my enjoyment of the story. The typos were primarily visible in sentences containing too many/not enough words to make sense, and not simple misspellings. Sentences throughout the story read as if they were reworded at some point and relevant words were not removed in order for the sentence to make sense. For example: "I went to the her office." (This example is mine, not the author's, but you get the point.)
In addition--and this is not necessarily an editorial mistake--but the excessive use of "air quotes" around every pun or ironic observation Mike makes is also very distracting and become tedious quickly. There is also an abundance of exclamation points after sentences! I found this punctuation mark distracting when applied in excess to Mike's dramatic observations, which didn't really require the additional "shout" to make a point.
Aside from editing, there are some key issues that detracted from my overall enjoyment of the story. First is the lack of any likeable female characters. With the exception of Mike's mother, there are really only three supporting female characters: Jenny Goodman, Officer Candy McKenna, and Elsbeth the ghost. All of these women are written as vapid, petty, promiscuous, or outright bitchy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was introduced to JIm playing games on my kindle. I have read three of his books and all three were great reads. This is my favorite so far. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Bob Hudson
Great book, was skeptical at first but turned out to be a great weekend read.Published 7 months ago by ali
A very good, quick and fun read. The pros are that it provides a unique spin on ghost stories with a lot of action and great sarcastic wit. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Christopher
I got this book after reading the author's Confessions of a D-List Supervillain. Completely different type of book, but still an excellent read. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Steve H. Caldwell
Another excellent Jim Bernheimer book, in yet another genre - this one Urban Fantasy. He gets to do his normal snark, but at lower levels then the superhero (Confessions of a... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Erin Penn
Mike Ross sees dead people. If you're already bored, stop. Take another look. Bernheimer takes many of the tropes you're familiar with and gives them a fresh spin. Read morePublished 14 months ago by sean nyhan
Ghosts are the red-headed stepchild of the monster world.
The problem with them is inherent: people want ghosts to exist. Read more
Fun characters and interesting world concept. Felt a little bit like short stories well spaced with reintroductions to things you had just read in the last chapter... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Griffon Walker