Thanks to NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Available Now
Synopsis: One year ago, Kitty’s boyfriend Nikki Bramley visited a psychic who told him he had no future. Now, he’s dead. With the Bramley family grieving in separate corners of their house, Kitty sets out to find the psychic who read Nikki his fate. Instead she finds Roan, an enigmatic boy posing as a medium who belongs to the Life and Death Parade—a group of supposed charlatans that explore, and exploit, the thin veil between this world and the next. A group whose members include the psychic…and Kitty’s late mother. Desperate to learn more about the group and their connection to Nikki, Kitty convinces Roan to return to the Bramley house with her and secures a position for him within the household. Roan quickly ingratiates himself with the Bramleys, and soon enough it seems like everyone is ready to move on. Kitty, however, increasingly suspects Roan knows more about Nikki than he’s letting on. And when they finally locate the Life and Death Parade, and the psychic who made that fateful prophecy to Nikki, Kitty uncovers a secret about Roan that changes everything. From rising star Eliza Wass comes a sophisticated, mesmerizing meditation on the depths of grief and the magic of faith. After all, it only works if you believe it.
As you can tell by my rating, The Life and Death Parade just wasn’t for me. I enjoyed the author’s previous book The Cresswell Plot and I was so excited about this when I first read the premise, but instead, it took me almost two weeks to push myself through it and at 256 pages, that’s not good.
The characters are all very one-dimensional and try as I might I was unsuccessful in connecting with any of them. Kitty and Nikki’s romance didn’t come across as believable and her love/hate relationship with Roan was annoying. While I liked the setting, the plot was sort of all over the place, leaving me confused much of the time. Adding to my confusion was that the dialogue just melded together, so half the time I didn’t even know which character was speaking. There were a couple of twists near the end that piqued my interest, but by then it was too little too late.
What I found so frustrating is that I think the concept of The Life and Death Parade had loads of potential. As is often the case with a book I wind up disillusioned with, I can’t help but wonder where the editor was. Although this was a disappointment for me, there are several glowing reviews on Goodreads, so as always, I encourage you to check them out if the premise intrigues you.