Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Book Review: Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore

Even though I strongly believe you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, I kind of literally do that exact thing when I'm picking my next book to read. I really appreciate it when a book has a nicely designed cover, or the paper feels very nice or the fonts and typography look pretty. Secondhand Souls instantly caught my eye when I saw it on a stand in the bookstore a few months ago. It's bright pink and the cover illustration is a perfect combination of creepy and cute! And to make it even more amazing, I only just found out that it glows in the dark!

But enough about the aesthetics.. did the amazing outside actually match the contents? The simple answer to that is: YES. so what is this book about?

It seems like only yesterday that Charlie Asher took on a very dirty job—collecting souls and keeping the Forces of Darkness at bay. The new gig came with the Big Book of the Dead and a host of other oddities: creatures under the streets, an evil trinity of ravenlike Celtic death goddesses, and one very bad Underworld dude attempting to conquer humanity. Along with a cohort of other oddballs, Charlie faced off against these denizens of darkness—and met his own end. But thanks to Audrey, his Buddhist-nun boo, his soul is still alive . . . inside a fourteen-inch-high body made from lunchmeat and spare animal parts. Waiting for Audrey to find him a suitable new body to play host, Charlie has squirreled himself away from everyone, including his adorable seven-year-old daughter, Sophie, who enjoys dressing up like a princess, playing with her glitter ponies, and—being the Luminatus—spouting off about her power over the Underworld and her dominion over Death.
Just when Charlie and company thought the world was safe, some really freaky stuff hits San Francisco. People are dying, but their souls are not being collected. Someone—or something—is stealing them and no one knows where they are going, or why, but it has something to do with that big orange bridge. Then there's the Taser-wielding banshee keening about doom who's suddenly appeared while Sophie's guardian hellhounds, Alvin and Mohammed, have mysteriously vanished.
Charlie is just as flummoxed as everyone else. To get to the bottom of this abomination, he and a motley crew of heroes will band together: the seven-foot-tall, two-hundred-and-seventy-five-pounds-of-lean-heartache Death Merchant Minty Fresh; the retired policeman-turned-bookseller Alphonse Rivera; the lunatic Emperor of San Francisco and his dogs, Bummer and Lazarus; Mike Sullivan, a bridge painter in love with a ghost; a gentle French-speaking janitor named Jean-Pierre Baptiste; and former Goth girl Lily Darquewillow Elventhing Severo, now a part-time suicide hotline counselor.
With little Sophie babbling about the coming battle for the very soul of humankind, time is definitely not on their side. . . .
I only later found out this book is actually a sequel to 'A Dirty Job'. The books was mentioned on the cover, but there was no mention anywhere that it was the prequel to Secondhand Souls. I was a little bummed about finding out about this too late because I would've preferred reading the other book first. I also kind of felt the end was a little rushed and that there easily could've been another 200 pages. I would've liked to read more about other ghost's stories. The last bit of criticism I have is the fact that Sophie, the character pictured on the cover, really wasn't as big of a character as I think she should've been.

But all this aside, I think the story was wonderfully written and I had a hard time putting it down. I loved how in the story, our bodies were truly more considered as vessels. How in the end, all that truly matters is the soul. I also loved the mix of fantasy and reality and there were plenty of laugh out loud moments. Moore has a very modern and fresh way of writing. i really enjoyed this book and can't wait to get my hands on A Dirty Job, which I heard a lot of people liked better than this book.

I give this book an 8 out of 10!