Affairs of the Dead by A.J. Locke

Posted June 3, 2013 by Kate in Liked It, Review / 1 Comment

Synopsis: Necromancer Selene Vanream helps ghosts settle their affairs so they can move on. But when breaking the rules gets her in trouble, she’s bumped down to tracking ghosts trying to avoid the afterlife. Ghosts like Ethan Lance, who claims he was kicked out of his body when someone else jumped in. Which might be plausible—if such a thing were possible. And if Micah, Selene’s partner, didn’t pull her into an investigation of brutal murders that lead directly back to Ethan.
But when the whole mess puts Selene’s life in danger, she suddenly has very personal reasons to get Ethan’s body back. Between her uncomfortable relationship with Micah, and problems with her boss, Selene learns just how much trouble it can be when you don’t follow the rules…
Review: I was first drawn to this book because of the cover, it’s a really gorgeous cover, and I thought to myself if this book is as vibrant as the cover than I want to read it. The whole ghostly affairs concept, especially as a job, is really interesting, and I think could provide a huge range of ideas within the universe for a lot of fun stories. 
My first requirement for an urban fantasy book is that the heroine is not wimpy and dependent on a male. I love that Selene is super headstrong and doesn’t back down from her opinion. The writing of Selene is really great, and I really appreciate good writing, especially the dry humor in this book, it really made the main character pop. 
I really want to touch on the aspect of the world building in this book. Part of what I really liked about the book was that this was a universe where the paranormal is known and accepted, so there isn’t a lot of sneaky, hide and seek type stuff between people who are paranormal and the others who don’t. I think what is awesome about this is the concept of ghosts becoming a part of the economy, in urban fantasy books you see a lot of witches offering their services or vampires owning clubs, but you rarely see ghosts as a business. This fresh element really helps with keeping the novel feeling like something you haven’t read before. 
The book itself is really well paced, which I love. Of course like all books there is a few moments here and there where the story does slow down, however the book keeps a good pace. The best thing about a well paced book is that feeling that you can’t put the book down, and I definitely got that feeling from reading this book. 
On the downside, the issues I have with the book come from a minor displeasure with the ending (you’ll have to read the book to find out what the ending is, no spoilers here!). And secondly, while I really like Selene’s character, I don’t always appreciate or like her choices. And while every character needs a starting point to grow from, to evolve from, I felt like she could have used a few more good points to help make her stay likable. 
Anyone looking for something new in the urban fantasy genre should definitely check this book out, it’s a fun read. I would like to mention that if you are a lover of paranormal romance and are looking for something with a lot of romance in it, then this might not be your book. Either way if the synopsis sounds good to you, you should totally pick up the book and read it! 



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