Wednesday, June 17, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: "Requiem For The Living" by AJ Locke


Selene is slowly dying...too bad that’s the least of her problems. 
You could say that Selene Vanream has a lot of problems. First there’s the Rot that’s slowly killing her, despite everything Ilyse and Micah are doing to find a way to save her. 
Then there’s Andrew, the ghost of her boss who is anchored to the living world. Selene would like to ignore him, but anchored ghosts with unsettled business turn into anchored beasties, so she can’t write him off. The government has sent a team to post up at Affairs of the Dead and keep an eye on her, which includes making sure she plays up to Andrew to keep him from turning. 
On top of that, someone is using Selene’s new power to create anchored ghosts for their loved ones to keep around. Not good since the culprit doesn’t have a clue about that whole anchored beastie angle. Now Selene has a criminal to catch while trying to stay out of the hands of government goons who have stripping her reanimation power on their agenda. 
When Micah and Ilyse finally find a way to save her, Selene thinks she can cross one bad thing off her list--until she learns the terrible price that must be paid to keep her alive. Full plate doesn’t cover it. Overflowing plate doesn’t cover it. Selene’s plate has damn near exploded.


There were a few things that made me feel like my day was not off to the best start. For starters, I had overslept by an hour and a half so I was monstrously late for work. Then there was the scent of smoke creeping into my bedroom accompanied by loud swearing, which meant my ghost roommate had made a disaster of whatever he was trying to procure for breakfast. The sky was overcast so it’d probably be a rainy day. I had a slight headache…and oh yeah, I was looking into my backyard at my Yorkie, Luna, digging furiously in the dirt. I was almost certain what she was trying to unearth wasn’t one of her toys.

I stood there for a few moments more, trying to decipher what it was that Luna was pawing at, then shook my head and ran out of my bedroom. I almost collided with Ethan, who was on his way to my room with a frying pan in his gloved hand and the charred remnants of what he’d come to dub the wake-up bacon.

“It’s burnt, but I figured waving it under your nose would still get you out of bed any—Hey, what’s wrong?”

I brushed past Ethan and ran into the yard where I snatched up Luna, then had a good, hard look at what she’d been wrestling with. I’d been hoping that it was some oddly shaped root or five fingered toy I didn’t remember buying for her, but no, it just had to be the worst possible thing.

A human hand.


A.J. Locke is originally from Trinidad and Tobago but has resided in New York City for over ten years. She knew early on that she wanted to be a writer, penned her first novel at fourteen, and hasn’t stopped since. Creating is her passion, and other than writing she enjoys drawing, painting, graphic design, and any other creative whim that may take her.
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Imagine Ghost Whisperer written by the child of Stephen King and Charlaine Harris. You can't? That's okay. You can just pick up Requiem For The Living by AJ Locke. I did not read the first book in this series, and thankfully I didn't need to in order to fully enjoy this story.
To start, we have Selene, a really excellently written female lead who just cannot catch a break. She's very relatable in that sense and many readers will feel an instant connection with her. She's not outwardly a strong character, but she is strong where it counts: on the inside.
The supporting characters are really just that: support, because Selene needs all the help she can get as she's slowly Rotting.
The anchored ghosts, earthbound spirits and other paranormal elements are really fun to read about. Rarely do we get a really good ghost story in modern fiction. While this isn't strictly a ghost story, it plays out like one. It also has a great element of mystery, but it isn't a mystery novel, either. It falls somewhere between the two.
Ms. Locke is an excellent writer and I am one satisfied reader. As a lover of paranormal and horror above all else, this story really delivers. It has a good amount of violence, too, and it was really just enough so that slightly more squeamish readers won't have nightmares.
A great book with an ending that made me say, "Give me the next book...yesterday!"

4/5--a wonderfully written paranormal novel.

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