Sunday, January 04, 2015

REVIEW: The Commons: Book 1: The Journeyman by Michael Alan Peck

My Rating: 6 out of 10 stars

After the bus they're traveling on has a head-on collision with another vehicle during a snow storm, Paul Reid and a few other interesting NYC residents will get to experience the afterlife firsthand. The Commons is a place of judgment, filled with the Essence of all the souls that have passed through. Normally, each traveler would have their own unique journey through the Commons, during which their soul is weighed and their fate is decided. One man, however, believes that all the Essence obtained from all these souls is his to command. Will Paul, Annie, and Zach have what it takes to be the master of their own destiny? Or will the reign of Mr. Brill continue to keep all this stored Essence in check. Only one person has the power to challenge the arrogant megalomaniac... but can he survive the journey?

This was an engaging read with an intriguing cast of characters and fine detail to world building. The peculiar landscape devised by the author is at once wildly fantastical yet wholly believable for an afterlife. The author is quite skilled at putting words to paper and the prose, pacing, and even word choice used throughout this novel kept me wanting to read more. The only single problem I had with it, and I assume this was done intentionally to give insight about his character, is how Zach kept referring to his mother as Zach's mother. I could never really get a handle on Zach's character. He was only 5 years old, and didn't talk, yet he was continually referred to as a special boy, leading one to believe he was autistic. Unfortunately, I found most of his scenes to be somewhat boring, at least for me personally. Did I like it enough to want to read the sequel when it's released? Of that, I'm not quite sure. I guess it'd depend on how many other books I've got on my plate at the time.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review.