Friday, August 5, 2022

Today's read... Death is a Many-Splendored Thing by David Neilsen

Today's read comes from an author, whose works I've enjoyed before. His books have a very original voice and feel...and I'm not going to say more because that would spoil some of my review. But if you're into horror-ish, weird, and all with humor...well, you're in for a treat.

Ready for a fun and original ride?

Chronicles of the Deadly Dead
by David Neilsen
Neilsen Books
YA Paranormal / Humor
157 pages

The world would be a lot better off if all the dead people would stop pretending they weren’t dead.

My name is Zachariah Thornwood, but everyone, even my parents, calls me Zack. A few months ago I was a normal fourteen year old kid obsessed with movies and baseball and girls. Not necessarily in that order. And now?

Now I live life with the knowledge that there are a ton of dead people running around thumbing their noses at the whole idea of the Circle of Life. They could be anyone: the postman, the Mayor, the kid bagging your groceries, or the weather woman on TV. They seem perfectly normal, act perfectly normal, live perfectly normal lives, but are, in fact, perfectly dead...


Spooks and scares creep around every corner with mysteries and secrets, but embrace it with tons of humor and a character to adore, and it warps into a fun ride.

Zach is a pretty normal, high school kid. He loves playing for the baseball team, has friends, and is trying to figure out how to get the love of his life to go on a date with him. The only snare in his life is that his father passed away when he was young, but his step-dad isn't too bad, either. While walking home after practice, he passes a guy searching through the trees for something, but it's the hole right through the guy's head which has Zach doing a double-take. When the guy disappears into the ground and another many runs up behind, asking where the man went...and if Zach can't tell him, it's the end of the world...Zach's life swings into anything but normal. And it will never be again.

The cover, actually, isn't only grabbing but it says it all. This book slams full-force into what should be scary, but swerves into humor to create an unique and exciting twist. Oh, and see the Indiana-Jones type in the background? Well, that eludes to even more. In other words, this is a read full of all-paranormal-horror but humor, instead, and tons and tons of adventure, too. It makes for a read, which holds tons of surprises, unexpected twists, and makes the tale hard to put down.

Each character is as unique as the writing and plot. Especially Zach fits so well into the atmosphere, that it's hard not to want to be right there with him. He comes across as a very normal teen, a little awkward and insecure but handling life fine. And he over thinks everything. Extremely. The book is written from his perspective and allows the reader into his head, which is a very ramble-y, all-over-the-place spot to be. The hesitation, confusion, and uncertainty make him easy to root for as he encounters one impossible thing after the other. It's fun to watch as he trains to wrap his brain around things and figure it all out...and that never occurs smoothly. So, he's a great hero.

I do recommend this one for upper middle graders and the younger end of the YA audience. Actually, even adults will smirk and smile. It's definitely a dive into fun for those who are willing to give it a go and keep an open mind.

You can learn more about David and his other works (and he does have some other amazing reads!) at:

1 comment:

Flinx said...

The sophisticated aura of David's writing, though composed for a certain grade level, I think reaches beyond the canvas which it is printed.