4 out of 4 stars
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It's a book about death, but it is also about new beginnings. Dette Chambers' Death Journal is a dark adult paranormal romance novel written by L.M. du Preez. The novel is told in the first POV of Dette Chambers, a girl with a secret. The plot is composed of a present tense narrative alternating with flashbacks written in the past tense, a very powerful combination. I loved the way the story slips so smoothly between past and present. The author does a superb job drawing the reader in, keeping him on the edge of his seat all the way through.
Death is the horrid obsession of the protagonist and the focus of this dark novel. This is a story about being a monster by choice, aiding in death and getting turned on by it. Following an accident that almost cost 18 year old Dette her life, she is given a choice: "live or die". Not much of a choice, really. Dette chooses life and becomes immortal. However, this "gift," or curse more like it, comes with strings attached. Pretty soon Dette finds out that being immortal is not all is cracked up to be. She becomes addicted to death and aids many people to die, too many, to feed her horrible addiction. Now after decades of death, she is trying to stop it. Do not be fooled, it isn't as easy as it sounds. Like all addictions, it is tough to break off. Dette starts to write about her life in order to find a way out of her ordeal. Her life changes drastically when Zach, a stranger with issues of his own, enters the picture. Thus begins an emotional and physical journey full of insights and challenges.
Dette Chambers' Death" took me on a very dark ride, but I enjoyed myself immensely. I loved the concept of a girl who has been cursed by a mysterious being with an agenda, and found the premise very original. The author offers a fresh take on a well-worn topic, and certainly deserves high praise for the work of art that has been created. The writing is fabulous, the execution is very good, the characters were interesting and I wanted to learn more about them. And I was really stoked by someone doing something a little different within the paranormal genre which doesn't involve vamps and their ilk. Also it was a very emotional read. It really spoke to something in me about relationships, choices, and destiny (not that I totally believe in destiny, but you know).
Interwoven within this exciting tale are themes of death, meaning of life, the healing power of love, choices, friendships, loneliness, human connections, and good vs. evil. To sum it up in the words of Dette: "We all have a monster inside, whether we choose to let it takes over determines what you are."
This book is definitely character driven and the author does a great job capturing the personalities of his characters. The narrator is a fascinating, larger-than-life kind of character, and a very interesting one. One can't but help root for her, even though she did horrible acts. Dette’s internal and external struggles are brilliantly and tightly written, though a bit repetitive at times, creating a multifaceted character that will surprise, amaze and absorb readers. I enjoyed the way the main characters grew and developed as the tale unfolded. In fact the character interactions are the best part of this book.
I loved the book and the way it made me think and feel, so I rate it 4 out of 4 stars. I strongly urge anyone, not just fans of the genre, to pick it up because once you start it you won't put it down. Since it contains quite a bit of foul language, sexual scenes, death (not explicit), and drug references, I would only recommend this book to a mature audience. As a side note, I thought the use of the f-bomb words was way over the top, especially in the dialogues. Nonetheless, the author weaves together an excellent, unique book. The novel more than lived up to all my expectations. The writing is excellent, contains wonderful insights into humanity. If you are looking for something with a lot of panache, look no further! Highly recommended!
Dette Chambers' Death Journal
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