AFTERLIFE - Marcus Sakey I've previously read some of Marcus Sakey's work, and while I enjoyed some of it, I wouldn't have willingly picked up Afterlife had the publicist not specifically asked me to. My expectations going into Afterlife were not high, but I figured I'd slog through it if necessary.

It wasn't.

Afterlife raises the bar on what I expect from Marcus Sakey a whole lot higher than it previously was. I had no idea the man was capable of pulling off something like this.

This is one of those books that immediately put me in my happy spot. The hint of romance, the parallel world (for lack of a better term), the new take on life after death. The battle of good versus evil. Afterlife is wonderfully imaginative, deliciously dark, and almost perfectly written.

Claire and Will are a great pair of characters. Too good to be true, of course, but sometimes we need perfect heroes in a story like this. I liked that the author had no problem making Claire the smarter one of the two of them. I loved reading the easy acceptance that Will had of her mental superiority. He loved her and never resented her abilities. And while she had no problem pointing out the flaws in his thinking, she never set out to make him feel like an idiot. (Like I said: too good to be true.) And even though they're both strong separately, together they're so much more. And that's how it should be.

The dialogue was believable. The action was perfectly paced. The way Sakey describes the other world is simple, yet effective. It feels like it really would translate very, very well to screen. Which means, naturally, that I can't watch it in a theater. Because I'll be yelling at the screen for them not getting it right.

Pretty much the only critiques I have of Afterlife are little things. Like every time the villain appeared on screen, he was introduced by his 'razor sharp cheekbones'. By halfway through, I was beginning to imagine if the man was made flesh, he could get a job being a real life Fruit Ninja with the power of his cheekbones alone.

Overall, Afterlife was a solid, entertaining read that I would definitely recommend!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.