This year I have set myself the challenge to drastically reduce my TBR pile and so far it seems to be going well – please keep everything crossed for me! Today’s book review is one that has been on my pile since the tail of of last year, so many apologies to author E.A. Cormiskey for the delay in getting my review published. When the author contacted me about reviewing List Of 13 I readily agreed due to it’s intriguing blurb., it sounded different from anything I had previously read and I’m all up for trying something new!
Death sucks, but there’s good beer in Purgatory.
Alice and her adult daughter, Claire, created a “bucket list” of thirteen experiences they would seek out before Alice died from cancer. They never expected to die in a plane crash attempting to cross off number three. Now, mother and daughter are stuck in the underworld, unable to move on to their ultimate destiny until they finish the list, but finding an Irish Pub near the Fields of Asphodel, or swimming naked in the ocean while being pursued by bloodthirsty Aztecs and a smitten Egyptian god is as hard as it sounds. When everything they ever thought they knew is challenged, will faith be enough to carry them through?
Alice is dying and despite her unbreakable faith she is worried, especially about leaving her daughter Claire orphaned. Having to sit her daughter down and tell her she has cancer is the hardest thing she has ever done, but after a a little too much to drink the pair decide to write a bucket list for them to complete together.
Before long Alice has sold her home and Claire has taken a secondment from her work and studies to throw themselves into ticking off their List Of 13. However, shortly into their journey tragedy strikes and the pair are involved in a fatal plane crash, finding themselves thrust into the depths of the Underworld.
Here they quickly realise they must face a series of dangerous and difficult challenges in order to complete the unfinished business they left behind in life. With their relationship already prone to being tempestuous and a recent falling out adding extra strain the pair have to work together as they travel through numerous world’s and landscapes in order to complete the list they started.
This book was completely different to how I imagined it and was actually far more religious than I had anticipated. I’m not a religious person, but I really enjoyed this unique take on the afterlife, especially as no specific ‘God’ was named which leaves the whole concept of ‘The Creator’ open to the readers interpretation.
The story had me hooked from the first page and I loved how the author moves seamlessly between the detail of ‘before’ death and the afterlife giving the book a truly complete feel. I felt I really got to know the character’s well thanks to the glimpses of their life before which allowed me to understand their thoughts, feelings and reactions to obstacles they came up against as they travelled the Underworld.
The relationship between Alice and Claire is perfectly written, showing a relateable vision of Mother/Daughter interaction. Alice is over-protective and Claire is a strong willed young woman trying to make her stamp on the world which often leads to a clash of personalities – so realistic, I’m sure many can relate!
The pacing of the book is brilliant with plenty of action to keep the story moving, plus the author has a fantastically descriptive writing style which really sucked me into the worlds she has created. Despite the topic of death and loss being such a heavy one the book didn’t feel that way, instead for me the focus was largely on the dynamics of the family and their interwoven relationships. There is also a strong feeling of hope which is created by the two strong, fearless female protagonists that Comiskey has written – this book definitely exudes plenty of girl power!
Something that was instilled in me from an early age was not to judge a book by it’s cover and I’m so glad I don’t as this book was amazing. The story has been been whirring through my mind constantly since I finished reading which is always a sign of a great story for me. Despite the cover of List Of 13 lacking some of the glitz and glam of other titles please don’t discount it, it’s an unforgettable read that I adored from start to finish.
About The Author
E.A. Comiskey is a nationally syndicated columnist and award-winning blogger. A former classmate once remarked “In every memory I have of you, you were writing stories in the margins of your school work”.
She shares her life with her twin soul, Brian, four beautiful children, six chickens, three hermit crabs, assorted barn cats and the most fabulous doofy dog that ever barked.
List Of 13 is available to purchase from Amazon*