Monday, October 20, 2014

Battle for the Afterlife Saga: Blue Courage by CJ Davis

   Reese is a highly trained Navy Seal who is good at what he does.  He has the strength and the guts to do what it takes to get the job done.  And it so happens, this job is going to Mexico and extracting a friend's daughter from a very dangerous cartel.  In the process he is wounded and taken hostage.  While being a prisoner, he meets the beautiful Kate.  He is instantly drawn to her, almost like they have met before.  But he would have remembered if they had.  Unfortunately he and Kate are killed during the rescue mission and Reese finds himself in the Afterlife.  Except this Afterlife is nothing like you would think.  It's not angels and cherubs with harps, and rainbows in clouds.  It's very much like Earth.  It has a city with a wall surrounding it, and guess what?  It comes complete with Lost Souls, or what we would think of as something like a zombie.  They stay outside the city gates waiting for unsuspecting prey.  Occasionally you will find one inside the city because they had recently turned into a Lost Soul.  Lose your focus in this world, become complacent, and you're done for.  Once you die in the Afterlife, there is nothing left of you.  You don't get to go back to Earth reincarnated or anything.  Despite having the ability to live forever, it's still a somewhat dangerous place at times with the Red and Blue factions against each other.  The Blues take a more peaceful approach to things and help others during their earthly lives.  The Reds are just the opposite.  The most powerful of them were some very bad people when they were alive on Earth.  And then there are the Greens who are neutral.  They don't want to get caught in the middle of the fighting, should it happen.
   This is the time when the Centennial happens during the Afterlife.  Every one hundred years is a race between the Reds and the Blues, and everyone watches.  If the Reds win again, there could be a tip in power and the truce between the two factions could be broken.  Reese finds out that he is a Blue and a very powerful one at that.  He will be a part of the small team participating in the Centennial.  It's a dangerous business because one can die from the Reds, large beasts, or Lost Souls in this race.  To make matters worse, Kate is in the race with him, and he must fight his instinct to continually keep her safe.  This race is even more important than his feelings for her.  The question is whether he could sacrifice her if it came down to it, so that the Reds won't win?

   This was a very different outlook on the Afterlife.  It was intriguing to thing that it's much like our lives here and now on Earth, but more dangerous in some ways because of the mighty beasts, Lost Souls, and the possibility of war between the Reds and the Blues.  While it seems a bit cut and dried to have two factions that seem like one is obviously good while the other obviously bad, Davis does a good job of weaving a story more complicated than it seems.  The farther you get into the book, the more you are able to see this.  I thought it was a particularly nice touch adding the Lost Souls to the book.  We would consider them to be zombies, but here they are lazy bums who lost their focus in the Afterlife and became complacent.  Never bettering themselves, they turned into something awful.  It is full of adventure, that's for sure.
   The very beginning I felt was a bit rushed and not everything was clear, but much of it became clearer as I read more of the book.  In fact, I felt like it became much more interesting once Reese entered the Afterlife.  After all, that's where all of the major action went down.  There were also quite a few grammatical errors.  It just needs a little more polish for it to be a really good book!
       I enjoyed how different this book was and hope to see more in CJ Davis's future novels!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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