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Early Review: Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore

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Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore // VBC ReviewReincarnation Blues
Michael Poore
Published: Aug. 22, 2017 (Del Rey)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Milo is an old soul. In fact, he’s the oldest soul in existence. To be exact, he’s lived 9,995 lives. Milo has yet to achieve Perfection, the one thing that would send him along to “The Oversoul” in the “Everything,” but Milo isn’t interested in anything but his one true love Suzie, aka Death. Milo soon learns, however, that a soul is only allowed 10,000 lives. Milo has five more tries to achieve Perfection, otherwise he’ll be automatically sent into “Nothingness” with no chance of being with Suzie ever again. Now, Milo will have to live his last five lives to the fullest looking for that which would make him Perfect, while at the same time figuring out how this can include an idea like Suzie.

I’m pretty much a sucker for a good love story, and the star-crossed love story of Milo and Suzie in Reincarnation Blues hit all the right spots for me. Technically, they shouldn’t be together. While not necessarily frowned upon, definitely a relationship that cannot, in the end, go anywhere. Yet Milo and Suzie’s determination to defy the odds is endearing, and the stuff great romances are made of.

With that said, however, what really takes the cake in Poore’s Reincarnation Blues are the varying ideas about life and the afterlife. Seeing Milo in all sorts of different situations—from the mundane to the frightening, a simple past to a horrifying look at the future—Michael Poore really makes vivid portraits of belief, yet doesn’t get preachy with it either. It’s very fluid and slightly generic, but in the best way possible. He delivers the ideas about the afterlife in a clear and cohesive way that could make anyone appreciate it and understand it on any level.

For all that there are definitely some lives of Milo’s that are disturbing to read about, for the most part Michael Poore keeps things from feeling too weighted by seriousness all the time mainly by coupling Milo’s quest for Perfection with the love story. The love story, as unlikely as a relationship between a mortal soul and Death is made to appear, represents a thread of hope. You can see this hope transcend not only into wanting Milo and Suzie to be together in the end, but into many of the lives Milo inhabits throughout time. The one thing that keeps people going.

The setting drifts back-and-forth between Earth and the Afterlife, with the latter being, in my opinion, far more interesting. Probably because I enjoyed the conceptualization of the Afterlife more than that of future Earth, which is what is dealt with in the majority of Milo’s lives that we experience. Also probably due to the fact that the times spent in the Afterlife were relatively brief scenes, whereas the Earth scenes tended to drag on a little too much for my tastes.

I’ve been seeing Reincarnation Blues pop up on quite a few sci-fi/fantasy lists lately. Presenting interesting ideas about life and Death as well as a love story that defies time and space, Reincarnation Blues was an overall enjoyable read for me.

Sexual content: kissing, references to sex, implied rape, violence

2 Responses to “Early Review: Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore”

  1. Jan says:

    If you loved Reincarnation Blues you should read Reply by Ken Grimshaw. Possibly my most favourite book ever. It’s probably about 30 years old now and some of the events in it date it but I still love the possibilities and what ifs the book leaves you with.

  2. hillary says:

    This book sounds like a book I will like. I will have to add it to my TBR.

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