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Publisher's Summary

Soon to be a major motion picture from Imagine Entertainment and producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.

Between life and death lies an epic war, a relentless manhunt through two worlds...and an unforgettable love story.

The last thing FBI agent Will Brody remembers is the explosion - a thousand shards of glass surfing a lethal shock wave.

He wakes without a scratch.

The building is in ruins. His team is gone. Outside, Chicago is dark. Cars lie abandoned. No planes cross the sky. He's relieved to spot other people - until he sees they're carrying machetes.

Welcome to the afterlife.

Claire McCoy stands over the body of Will Brody. As head of an FBI task force, she hasn't had a decent night's sleep in weeks. A terrorist has claimed eighteen lives and thrown the nation into panic.

Against this horror, something reckless and beautiful happened. She fell in love...with Will Brody.

But the line between life and death is narrower than any of us suspect - and all that matters to Will and Claire is getting back to each other.

From the author of the million-copy bestselling Brilliance Trilogy comes a mind-bending thriller that explores our most haunting and fundamental question: What if death is just the beginning?

©2017 Marcus Sakey. (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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  • Robert
  • AUSTIN, TX, United States
  • 07-22-17

Creative but too complex

I have liked other Sakey novels more than this one.

Though the story theme is very creative, I thought the various elements of the story were a little drawn out and difficult to follow. In addition, I thought a few the subplots were a bit overdone. I had a hard time deciding if the general feel of the novel was sci-fi suspense or romance.

Finally, I think Ms. Williams is an excellent performer with a lot of age, gender and situational range. However, I thought casting a colonial English - accented performer to represent primarily 2 American FBI characters may not of been the best fit.

Nonetheless, I'm glad I listened to the book and will listen to Sakey and/or Finty Williams again.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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The Cullens Meet Gozer the Gozerian, Then...


*It's a love story...it's an epic war in an alternate world...*

Amazon's *Best of the Month* books are killing me this month. I've had three *Definitely Not's* and here is an *At Your Own Risk.*
There are 3 reviews here while I write my own and I agree with all 3 of them: too complex, should've been edited way down, and the narration is middle ground at best.

But before I whittled away the stars, Afterlife started out strong and Sakey's writing had me thrilled with the choice. The beginning is an example of fantastic writing as Sakey sets up an ancient history of a mysterious being and the eventual corruption of his soul. Interesting premise, strong narrative with good forward projection and great pacing, characters I liked and wanted to stay with for the coming 12 hours. At least for the first 3-4 of those hours, I was thinking Amazon got it right with this one. I detected a faint David Mitchell vibe with the focus on an event that takes place in multi-dimensional planes. As the summary reveals, the protagonist (FBI Agent Will Brody) is killed in an explosion. It takes him a while to come to grips with that fact as he wanders through an alternate world inhabiting a spectral plane of the exact world he just exited. I started to think of the movie Ghost...Patrick Swayze saving his earthbound love, hearing Unchained Melody in my head.

Then, the *Eaters* swoop in; there were good Pro-After-Life Eaters and the Soul-Sucking bad Eaters which set up a fun dynamic on this increasingly weird astral plane. Sakey's writing stayed strong, maybe a little too much going on in Will's head, but the story still intriguing and inventive and the author seemed to have control over the chaos. But then, the bad Eaters go after the good Eaters and I started to think of Twilight -- the good Cullen vampires vs. the evil Volturi...which sent a little bit of a warning blare to my head, but not enough to discourage me continuing with the story. It was about this point where I had to wonder if the author still had control of the chaos.

Then, all Hell breaks loose -- at least I think it was Hell -- but in Sakey's construct of afterlife, I'm not so sure if it was Hell or Beetlejuice's world outside of the Maitland's house. The writing I'd thought was so good in the beginning now felt like the editor had given up. Characters became exponentially more surreal, and the tidy lines between worlds blurred into obscurity. Creatures materialize out of the ether I started to think of Gozer the Gozarian before she does a backflip off the Chrysler building and morphs into Mr. Stay Puft.

It's a fun tug that pulls you in and holds you in this author's crazy world until it becomes a riptide and complete overload. As the story heated up on the *meta* level, the writing seemed to loosen and the author lost control of the chaos. It gets crazy, weird, outrageous...and then Sakey wraps it all up in an uncreative sappy finish that had me thinking, *Maybe not such a good book, but this would make a terrific movie!*

Then, I read: *Soon to be a major motion picture from Imagine Entertainment and producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.* As far as recommending...I don't know. You're on your own with this one, but Ron Howard and Brian Grazer have a pretty good record. Maybe they're better predictors of a hit than this Audible customer.

20 of 24 people found this review helpful

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droned on and on

way too long of a story with no real basis or point. couldn't wait for it to be over but didn't want to waste the money I threw away on it

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Hated the book

Would you try another book from Marcus Sakey and/or Finty Williams?

Not after this one

What was most disappointing about Marcus Sakey’s story?

Really liked previous books and looked forward to this one (bought on the release date). Story was inconsistent and disbelief unsuspendable.

How could the performance have been better?

Use a narrator whose native language was not UK English. Sometimes the non characterized voicing was difficult to understand.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No.

Any additional comments?

Could have eliminated the explicit sex.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Gina
  • Arroyo grande, CA, United States
  • 08-28-17

Dark

I didn't personally care for the story. there was a lot of wondering around on other planes of existence. I had a hard time picturing them.

I think that it should have had an American narator. As an American, the accent wasn't quite right and many times disappeared. the characters are all from the US, so why would you use a narrator with a British accent?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Wrong Category

This probably should be in the romance section. Seems like sex is the primary theme.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Wrong narrator

Really enjoyed the story and characters, but found it incredibly distracting to have a British narrator voicing a story set in Chicago, with American characters.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Mixed feelings about story and narrator

Initially I struggled to get into the story, but after awhile it kind of grabbed me and I had to finish it. part of my struggle had to do with the fact that the narrator is British and the story takes place in Chicago an area with a very distinctive accent, which is far from the British accent displayed by the narrator. I struggled a bit wondering were there no Chicago actors or actresses that could have narrated the story? as I continue listening however, I did become accustomed to her voice and it no longer was a distraction. The narrator did a very good job telling the story

I struggled with the story itself, as well. I wasn't prepared for the nihilistic, dystopian portrayal of the afterlife and what I would call the life between the lives. however I'm beginning to realize that the story is similar to Harry Potter and his sons regarding the battle between good and evil. I think I may have enjoyed it more had I approached it from that perspective, rather than what I had anticipated to be a story about reincarnation. Once I was able to get myself in the mode of reading horror or fantasy, along the lines of Stephen King, or Harry Potter, shen I began to really enjoy the story. it's sort of a detective novel meets Stephen King and Harry Potter to solve a mystery and a crime, with a bit of fantasy mixed in.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fun book, questionable narrator.

Let me get this out of the way, I love Finty Williams generally as a narrator. However, as the book is set in Chicago and the main characters are both American, choice of a British narrator feels odd. Even odder given that her American accents are not particularly convincing. She even mispronounced "Quantico." I still enjoyed it, but it was a strange choice.

On to the story itself. Another rousing thriller from Sakey, but this time instead of SF twists it is the paranormal that makes a crime procedural something more. It appears to be present day and a sniper is terrorizing Chicago. With the body count in the upper teens and no solid leads, we meet two FBI agents (Will Brody and his supervisor, Claire McKoy) who are struggling to track the killer. Also par for Sakey's course is that these two characters are falling in love and that they are equally capable in a fight. The twist here is that when one of the characters falls victim to the sniper they find themselves in some sort of afterlife, known by its denizens as the Echo. What follows is some serviceable world building, interspersed with flashbacks to a few centuries ago where a human with psychopathic tendencies slowly becomes a monster, and a larger plot of powerful beings who pull threads in the real world leading to horrendous permutations of violence, hatred, and disaster. The book moves quickly, includes some steamy sex scenes, smart dialog, and a love story accompanied by supernaturally charged fights. In the end, Sakey feels a bit rushed and resolutions a bit pat, and the most interesting characters (the mostly unseen former humans who pull strings) are left mostly un-illuminated. Still, a fun way to spend a few hours.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A book about death like never before!

Afterlife
By: Marcus Sakey
Narrated by: Finty Williams
This was the craziest after death book I think I have ever read. No ghosts here. Don't call Ghost Busters. This is one heck of a ride through levels of afterlife like you won't believe. It grabs you and won't let you go! I can't wait to see how Ron Howard turns this great book into a movie next year. Wow! I could picture it in my mind as it was happening, the author was so good in explaining it, the picture unfolded before me. Terrifying, suspenseful, horrors, yet at the same time it was a love story! It was full of twists and turns and WTF moments! It kept me on my toes and the narrator was just so perfect for this book! Wow, just right for all the emotions and the many voices! Wonderful job on author 's and narrator's parts.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Darren
  • 08-28-17

Disappointed

I loved Saikey's other books and was excited to read his new one. This was a big disappointment. The concept of an afterlife is one already fraught with difficulty and this was not handled well. Flinty William's British take on American characters and accents also didn't work and the reading was miscast.

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  • Shaz
  • 08-23-17

Had me on the edge

I was captivated from the beginning. Was so tense and on edge most of the time and had to remind myself to relax and breathe! Can't wait for the movie. Very well written and narrated.