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Afterlife / Naomi Clark

Damnation Books / December 2009
Reviewed by: Michele Lee

Yasmin Stoker is a tour guide in one of the most haunted fictional cities ever. She's also a wraith, an undead creature who feeds off the life of revenants — that is mindless, murderous newly-risen vampires. Nicomedes, a blind, mad Lich Lord and undead ruler of the city, orders Yasmin to derail a PI’s investigation into a series of murders of young girls. Yasmin has no choice but to obey, but the strange appearance of one of victims, prowling the streets on hunts of her own, takes Yasmin on an adventure to find the killer, which might just unbalance the current power system and let loose a horde of demons on the city.

Afterlife is a dark urban fantasy/horror novel that's perfect for readers who love ghost stories. The story spins around the concepts of the living and the dead and the damned, like an adult, demented version of Casper. Yasmin is not a hardcore, kick-butt heroine, as can be found in more popular titles. However, her world is populated with a plethora of interesting characters, from necromancers who have traded their souls for immortality to her half-succubus best friend, Emma (whose demonic parentage brings quite a few plot complications into the mix).

While not a traditional horror tale, Afterlife starts after the death of most of the main characters and features a dark outlook on reality juxtaposed with heroes who need the pain and death of others to sustain themselves. Clark offers a new kind of horror, perhaps, re-envisioning dread, vampires, and ghosts as the mundane realities of a world whose very existence is built on pain and tragedy, and yet is quite similar to our own.

Purchase Afterlife by Naomi Clark. 

Posted on Monday, February 15, 2010 at 04:52PM by Registered CommenterDark Scribe Magazine in | Comments Off

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