Thursday, April 3, 2014

Review - RIP, Volume 1: Choices After Death by Daniel Sherrier

Series: RIP #1
Author: Daniel Sherrier
Release Date: October, 2013
Pages: 202
Goodreads Rating: 4.50 Stars
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
My Content Rating: YA/Adult (Some talk of sex, but none is shown; Some violence)

Ghosts are people, too, but not all choose to be good people.

Rip Cooper must overcome his fears and kill dead people to prevent them from corrupting the living. This young loner learns he can perceive ghosts with his five senses as if they were flesh and blood, and he's just as solid to them -- pretty much the only solid thing, in fact. He works alongside an impure “angel” and his ex-best friend's ex-girlfriend as they teach him how love can lead to strength.

RIP vol. 1: Choices After Death features the first four novelettes in this coming-of-age and redemption story: “Touch,” “Alone,” “The Crazy Line,” and “Point B,” plus the short story “Strength.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book since I haven't really read something like this before - a book that's formatted as multiple novelettes that make up one story.  Each novelette read sort of like an episode of a TV show; they each had their own self-contained story, but then there was an overarching storyline for the whole volume.  Well, it turns out, I was really pleasantly surprised!

The story follows Rip, who discovers that he is able to see, hear and feel ghosts. He discovers that it is his job to send the evil dead (which it turns out is most of them) where they belong.  He's helped by an angel named Serissa (well, she's trying to be an angel) and a crush from his past - a girl named Kalli who can't see ghosts, but has no problem believing Rip when he tells her he can.

The negatives:
  • The romance.  While I loved both Rip and Kalli, I didn't necessarily feel a lot of chemistry between them.  I wasn't ever really sure if Kalli was actually interested in Rip.  While I liked them together, I wish I'd seen a few more sparks or meaningful moments between them.
What I loved:
  • The structure.  Like I said in my intro, this book is formatted with novelettes of about 50 pages each that felt like TV episodes, and the volume kind of felt like a "season" (albeit a short one). I wasn't sure how I would feel about that, but I ended up really liking it. It was kind of fun!
  • The humor.  I loved the snappy dialogue in this book.  It often made me laugh and it kind of reminded me of the type of humor you saw in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which I LOVED!).  Serissa was especially funny - it seemed like she always had a quip in any situation. I loved that she was always kind of torturing Rip. After all, he was the only person she could talk to, so she wanted to hang out with him - all the time. Sometimes Rip just needed a little breather! It was all just witty and humorous.  Once again, this book just came across as a fun paranormal TV show - perfect for me! 
  • Kalli.  Kalli was a really interesting character because she was interacting with people she couldn't see (or even hear).  I especially loved her attempts at "conversation" with Serissa.  Because of her belief in God, she seemed to have no problem believing in other things she couldn't see (her reaction to Rip's confession that he can see ghosts is monumentally underwhelming - she just kind of shrugs and says, "Okay, how can I help?"). Of course, helping is a bit complicated when you can't see, hear or touch the enemy.  Still, she found plenty of ways to pull her weight!
This was a fun paranormal read with lots of humor and a few spooky moments.  If you're a fan of this genre, I think you'll find a lot to love in Choices After Death.  I'm eager to read the next installment!  4/5 stars.

***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***

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About the Author
Daniel Sherrier is a writer based in central Virginia. This is the guy who  writes the Earths in Space and RIP series, which you’ve doubtless heard much  about. Occasionally, a play he’s written gets performed somewhere. He graduated  from the College of William & Mary in 2005, where he earned a degree in the  ever-lucrative fields of English and Theatre. Recently, he achieved his black  belt in Thai kickboxing. And there was that one time he jumped out of an  airplane, which was memorable.

Author Links:
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