Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Reader's Review: "Grave Beginnings" by R. R. Virdi



Thirteen...
As far as numbers go, it isn't a great one. Hell, it's not even a good one and Vincent Graves is going to find out just how unlucky of a number it can be.
Because someone, or something, is killing people in the Empire state, and whatever it is, it gives people everything they ever desired and more. And it's the more that's the problem!
Well...it's one of the problems.
Vincent's investigation also seems to have drawn the attention of a relentless FBI agent and then there's the little bit where he has only thirteen hours to solve the case, or he dies.
Talk about your literal deadlines...
...No pressure.
By the end of this case Vincent will come to understand the meaning of an age old proverb: Be careful what you wish for - because you just might get it!
-taken from Amazon.com
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As intrigued as I was by the blurb, I have to say, it did the job of drawing interest while revealing nothing of the impending adventure awaiting!

Vincent Graves typically begins each of his countless lives in a grave. His body died long ago, but his soul lives on at the behest of a higher power that commissions him to inhabit a recently-deceased-by-mysterious-supernatural-causes body and interact with beings of supernatural lore to solve the murder and catch the killer.

Oh, and he has a time limit for the investigation, or his soul dies forever.

From the instant Vincent bursts out of the grave of his latest body, Virdi hurls the reader into a spectacular world through the eyes of a character whose appearance and thus identity is not his own, with characters so vivid that I felt like I was watching a TV show and laughing the whole time.
Graves is just the right level of uncouth cynic (read: much swearing... but it's prodigious, not superfluous, so it was easy to censor or ignore and it really got the character across) as you would expect a forcibly re-embodied soul who's done this sort of thing too many times to count, with insufficient explanation and fewer supplies in a mission with his shortest time limit yet! Virdi's clever treatment of such supernatural tropes as wraiths, ghosts, Elementals, and gnomes lends that air of legitimacy that makes the supernatural/sci-fi/fantasy genre such a pleasure to read.

Throw a persistent FBI agent and a malevolent Djinni into the mix, and hang on to your hats, folks, 'cause this will be the ride of a lifetime!


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