Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers
Hardcover, 352 pgs.
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Charlie Asher, a death merchant, has taken on a new form, and his daughter is living with his sister even as his situation becomes more hopeless. Minty Fresh reprises his role as comic relief, but there really is much more of that going around in this novel. San Francisco is one again under threat from dark forces. The Big Book of the Dead has sensed the change, and as things happen magically, the instructions in the book morph into dire warnings — most of which are ignored, at least until the banshee shows up. Through a mix of characters from the previous book, Moore is at his best with these sarcastic, wise-cracking misfits who riff off one another like guitarists in a large band. Their tune is haphazard but effective in this hunt for balance in the world of the dead.
“‘Sure, you could say talked. Ghosts mostly communicate by odor. Gotta tell you, you got a house that smells like farts, you got a haunted house.'” (pg. 75)
“With that, great clouds of fire burst out the twin tailpipes of the Buick and it lowered its stance like a crouching leopard before bolting out of the turnout.” (pg. 122)
Moore is a talented writer, who can write a funny quip and hilarious dialogue in one stroke and a gorgeous set of literary images in another. This duo of books combines the best of those talents, along with some great supernatural elements that are based not only on Egyptian mythology but also Buddhist teachings. This mash-up is unique and engaging, and his characters bring it to life easily. From Minty Fresh who wears all lime green clothes and owns a secondhand music store to Lemon who wears all yellow and has a calm demeanor that covers his dark motives, Moore’s characters will have readers laughing and questioning every turn of plot.
Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore is a wonderful follow-up that will have readers wondering about where their soul is headed, who will guide it where it needs to go, and whether they will one day find themselves with a super-ability they never wanted. It’s another winner from this author.
About the Author:
Christopher Moore is an American writer of comic fantasy. He was born in Toledo, Ohio. He grew up in Mansfield, Ohio, and attended Ohio State University and Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California.