The Life of Death is a poignant and unique horror novel about, literally, the life of death.
The initial concept of the story is by no means new – I think we can all name a story, be it book, TV show, film etc., where Death is personified. It’s…dare I say it…been done to death. But The Life of Death breathes new life into the idea.
I love the idea of if you could make a pact with the devil…would you?
I probably would. I’m fairly reckless with a ‘fuck it’ attitude, but the devil is tricky, and that’s no exception here.
OK, so here’s the low-down on the plot:
In the late 1500’s, Lizzy was sentenced to burn at the stake for being a witch. Naturally, she’s innocent and not actually a witch. While she’s in her cell she has to listen to other women – including her mother – be burned alive. In her fear and desperation, a man visits her. He has a very simple, yet complex, proposal for her: he’ll give her a painless ‘death’ and immortality in exchange for her soul.
But there’s a catch – because there’s always a catch! She will be alive, but her life won’t be hers to lead; she must become death itself!
So for nearly 500 years Lizzy helps those on the verge of death pass, always with compassion, and then she falls in love. Naturally she wants to live to be able to love and be loved in return and live a normal life with this man. She needs to make another deal with the devil. It comes down to five lives in exchange for a chance at happiness. Five lives of his choice. Will she make the deal?
Personally I think after 500 years I would!
Ok, so on to the technical parts!
The plot is relatively straightforward and simple – there won’t be too many curve balls thrown at you. In fact, there are parts that are downright predictable – particularly the ending. Thinking of the ending, I was a little bit disappointed – it felt a bit rushed.
But it’s great to see Lizzy interact with those at the ends of their lives. She’s an interesting character; she goes through a good arc, moving from victim into something a little stronger.
The devil shows up at random intervals throughout The Life of Death and he is my favourite character! He’s exactly how you’d expect him to be; suave, sophisticated, dangerous, witty, and silver-tongued – all that and more! What’s even better is that he’s a fleshed out character.
The Life of Death isn’t a Heaven vs Hell book – it’s about human choices and the feelings and emotions that influence them. It’s also a got a great theme of be careful what you wish for.
I highly recommend this for people who want something interesting and sad.
I of course feel like I need to mention that fact that here is of course that the author, Lucy Booth, began writing this after a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2011. She sadly passed in and it was her wish to see The Life of Death published posthumously.
Thanks to Unbound for partnering with me and for providing and advanced copy for review.
One soul. One pact with the Devil. One chance at love.
In 1590, I sold my soul to the Devil. I was twenty-three. Elizabeth Murray has been condemned to burn at the stake. As she awaits her fate, a strange, handsome man visits her cell. He offers her a deal: her soul in return for immortality, but what he offers is not a normal life.
To survive Elizabeth must become Death itself. Elizabeth must ease the passing of all those who die, appearing at the point of death and using her compassion to guide them over the threshold. She accepts and, for 500 years, whirls from one death to the next, never stopping to think of the life she never lived. Until one day, everything changes. She – Death – falls in love. Desperate to escape the terms of her deal, she summons the man who saved her.
He agrees to release her on one condition: that she gives him five lives. These five lives she must take herself, each one more difficult and painful than the last.
Do you want to experience The Life of Death? You can buy it here with FREE worldwide delivery!
[PLEASE NOTE]: I was not paid or sponsored to write this review – all the opinions are honest and my own.
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