Series: The Resurrection Chronicles #1
Author: Merrie Destefano
Pages: 340 (Kindle)
Release Date: September 28, 2010
Purchase: Amazon•TBD (affiliate link)
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 . . .
Afterlife sounded like it was going to be unique and exciting. Sadly, it was only one of those things. It’s set some time in the near future, and humans have discovered resurrection. Now, most people are “downloaded” into cloned bodies after they die, and then they just keep on living. Chaz is a babysitter for such people. He makes sure they settle into their new lives before letting them be on their own. His latest newbie is Angelique, and someone tries to kill her on her very first day of her new life.
I really liked the premise of Afterlife. At least, what I could understand of it. Humans can now live up to nine lives before their DNA begins breaking down and they die for good. Of course, there are people out there who want to live forever and that’s the basis of the plot. However, I never fully understood this resurrection system. There’s a lot of terms thrown around without any definition. And death certificates being passed on were also mentioned as part of the process. I got that children were now rare because who needs them when the current population just sticks around for an extra 300 years? But beyond that, I was confused. Do people pay for resurrections? One time or every time? How do they make the bodies? How do the “souls” get into the new body? I just don’t know!
As for the plot, I wasn’t that engaged until midway through, and then it lost me again. Afterlife does start right in the action. We meet Chaz, he has Angelique, and he immediately has to rescue her and hide her away. Then it gets pretty slow and I had no idea what was going on. It doesn’t help that the POV jumps around between five POVs which all sounded the same, so I didn’t get a sense for any of the characters (except for Omega, the dog). Chaz’s niece who is one of the very few children in the world is kidnapped for reasons, while a bad guy is also out to get Angelique because she knows stuff from her past life. Chaz just kind of mopes around the entire time. Not exactly a fun time.
Afterlife just really was not what I was expecting at all. It’s such a great premise, but the world-building is pretty lacking, and the characterization is nonexistent. And there’s a romance randomly thrown in, probably just to have a romance. If you can even call it that, since Chaz and Angelique barely interact and then just announce being in love at the very end because obviously. It does read like one, full, complete story though, so I have no reason to pick up the next book.