3 out of 4 stars
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His name is Cyrus Grimm, but he is also called Death. He has existed since the formation of the earth, and his job is to escort newly departed souls to the afterlife. He never gets involved in the lives of the humans, until one evening, Cyrus encounters a living woman who can see him and pleads for his help. Will he violate the ancient code of non-interference? Grimm by John Rivers is an unusual mix of science-fiction, fantasy, and religion. It is a roller-coaster ride through Hell and back, filled with thrills, combat, and romance.
Mr. Rivers has created wonderful characters. Their emotions feel genuine, and their dialogue is believable, sarcastic, and witty. Cyrus is a creative death personification. At first, he only performs his job, but he gradually develops into a caring and feeling character, willing to fight for the humans. Vera is another well-developed character. She is a brilliant scientist, a courageous companion to Cyrus, and a faithful friend. The author’s funniest and liveliest creation was the Duke, also called Satan. Dressed in an all-white suit, he was shifty and cunning, everything you expect the Devil to be.
My favorite part of this story was its unique portrayal of the afterlife. Cyrus describes it as a “big coin sorting machine.” He takes the soul to the top, where it is sorted according to the person’s life. Some souls are rewarded in Heaven, and some are sent to Hell to learn a karmic lesson. Some souls decide to remain on earth for a time as spirits or ghosts, and some are immediately reborn. The author described many intriguing possibilities and combinations of events that can happen after you die.
My only criticism of the story was the battle scenes were excessively long for me. They were exciting and had me reading as fast as I could, but the blow-by-blow descriptions became monotonous. Some readers may like this part the best, but it was my least favorite.
This book is full of action, excitement, and unexpected twists. I recommend it to all readers who like sci-fi/fantasy with fascinating, well-written characters and epic battles. The book’s idea of the afterlife may be offensive to some strictly religious people. There is some profanity used, but it is not excessive, and there were no sex scenes. I did detect a few grammatical errors, and while they didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the story, I felt I couldn’t give it a perfect score. I am awarding Grimm by John Rivers 3 out of 4 stars. It is an innovative and unique read from start to finish.
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