There were just two issues I found with the book, which I want to get out of the way, as they were minor. The first was the use of over-explanation. Several paragraphs went too long into detail, to the point of being annoying. Or, in some cases, confusing. This only happened on occasion, then the novel was right back on track.
The second issue, and one I found more frustrating, were the lack of strong female characters, or more specifically the generalization of the existing female characters. Beautiful = weak/prone to following orders, ugly = strong, but still in need of a man to save you. John also lost me for a moment when all he could think about was getting laid by hot women, because he was possessing the body of a rock star (ugh); however, he clawed his way back into my good graces with other actions (even if his love of Faith came out of no where).
This book took me a while to read, not because it was bad, but because of the high concepts it presented. It provoked a lot of thinking, re-reading and moments where I had to put the book down to let my mind take a break. It did not help that most of my reading happens just before bed, when I am already half out of it. I will tell you this though, I never thought I would love an adult book where two of the main characters are talking pigeons. This novel was funny on several occasions and terrifying on others. The reader is as confounded as John by what he learns about the world around him and, as he changes, so does your perspective.
The world that Tony Moyle has crafted is well thought out and detailed. What he describes of life and the afterlife if so believable that, by the end, you are beyond shocked by the truth. The last few chapters had me hooked, I could not put the book down, I was so invested in John winning that I felt as personally affronted as he was by the situation he eventually found himself in. Without going in to too much detail, the end is a horrific plot twist which leaves you contemplating how John can possibly go on, will there ever be a good outcome on the horizon? Is this all there is?
I look forward to the sequels, as I have many unanswered questions. Does FBI Agent 15, Victor, have a vendetta to settle against John? What happened to Prime Minister Byron? What is the fate of Faith and Herb, who have been affected by Emorfed (the spirit sucking drug)? Will video footage of the Prime Minister hanging upside down from a parachute over a cliff ever surface? Who is the Devil?
Great first novel by Tony Moyle, full of promise for his next works. This book is very religious/philosophical, while also being driven by science, so be prepared for the two worlds to collide on several fronts. Pick it up if you want to laugh, to think and to have your beliefs and allegiances tested.
Book 41/50...9 to go!