By Just a Guy Who Reads Books

Moore spins a delightful yarn about a young man who returns, with his parents, to Slovakia. There he discovers a world of myth and folklore that is far more complicated than he expected, as well as a “real” world which is full of perils ranging from decaying Communist infrastructure to enduring anti-Roma (gypsies, but gypsy is crazy rude - the equivalent of the n-word) racism…Moore gleefully and delightfully knits the real world and the fantasy world together. His characters crackle and fizz, and are exactly the right level of snarky. Moore prefaces each chapter with a snippet from a guide book for ‘deaths’ - the folks whose job it is to collect souls - which are fantastically amusing, and sometimes even relevant. The story line is relatively simple, but there’s plenty of action, and enough twists that predictions are difficult. This was an entirely enjoyable read, an amazing first novel (well, second, but perhaps the first doesn’t count?), and you should go and read it. Right now! Your life may depend on it…