Epivision, Vol. 1 by Matthew Thompson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Epi-G, Domino Galaxy. I love novels that tie into a much larger universe, in general, so even though Twin Souls by the same author is a YA adventure taking place in this universe, it's about as far away as you can get from this novel in tone or subject matter as you can get while still being firmly rooted in the afterlife.
Yup. Afterlife. Of course, the novel reads like a police procedural, a cat and mouse of hunting down unauthorized angel blessings from both sides, but for me, the real joy is in picking up all the details about the half-multiverse/half-galactic colonization feel of the setting, for where else can we dump Marakech and Hong Kong into the center of the USA, copy-and-paste fashion on some distant world and welcome in the newly dead, like Bruce Lee and other Ultimate Celebrities, and generally get on with our lives regardless of language and cultural barriers.
All the mismatches and the inherent conflicts were delicious. Angels who may or may not be human-ish or alien-ish, working for or being used by much more powerful alien entities that set up all these many, many after-death colonies across the galaxy, become just pawns or fugitives rather than the mental-imagery of good and divine winged emissaries. I mean, let's face it, all societies, galactic or otherwise, are subject to bureaucracy and regime changes, too, not to mention failures of Vision and tech. :)
My only complaint was how slow such concepts came to be developed, instead focusing on rather long sequences of rather average police procedural stuff rather than the good stuff. (Or what I'd call the good stuff, the mind blowing stuff, the fast action, the really weird.) It gets good for this by the end, but the times in-between was just... okay.
Oh, and the fact that the end was too cool to end right there. Meany. Of course, two books in the series, now, and I'm hooked. Crazy, crazy good when it's good.
Thanks to the author for the ARC!
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