"Over Your Dead Body" Book Review
Written by Jennifer Turner
Published by Tor Books
Written by Dan Wells
2016, 304 pages, Fiction
Released on May 3rd, 2016
When I first read Wells' The Devil's Only Friend, I complained about how hard it was to jump into the middle of a series and having to play catch up. I would have been better off had I read Over Your Dead Body first. It is more streamlined, focusing on the main characters of the series without a bunch of filler characters cluttering up the story.
We once again delve into the mysterious world of John Cleaver, a sociopathic teenager who hunts and kills a race called The Withered. After a Withered murders the elite squad of military hunters, John finds himself mostly on his own. His only companion is Brooke, a former child friend whom John had saved but now she is possessed by the hundreds of other victims that the demon had taken, leaving her unstable and suicidal.
They wind up in the small sleepy town of Dillon, where a Withered seems to read John's homicidal thoughts, killing random townspeople in the process and causing a panic. He also has to contend with the personality of his dead girlfriend, Marci, who resurfaces in Brooke for the first time since her murder.
I know I said I meant to read the rest of the series in my review of The Devil's Only Friend,but I also have a books-to-read list longer than a giraffe on stilts. I'll get to it eventually, hopefully before I hit retirement age. Without all the major filler characters, I understood the plot of the series better, Brooke and John became more than one-dimensional characters. The better I got to know them, the more I cared about what happened to them.
What minor characters that were introduced in the story were actually introduced properly. Each character is important to the story; their presence actually contributes to the story instead of detracting from it. This is how you write background characters, people.
The thing that impresses me the most with Over Your Dead Body is how Dan Wells seems to cater to his readers and know what they want. For instance, while I enjoyed the adventures of Brooke and John, it seemed to be getting old. A demon hunter carting a dog and a suicidal girl around on his journey is interesting, but gets monotonous towards the end as we read about Brooke's suicide attempts and John's anguish over putting her in this situation. The presence of the dog seems rather silly and more suited to a young adult novel than a horror novel intended for adults.
Brooke is written out of the series in a kind and meaningful way that I liked very much. I will be very interested to see how John fares now he's finally on his own, and am very eager to read the next installment in the series.
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