Book Review

REVIEW: The Suburban Book of the Dead

April 18, 2019

No one expected the last night of the Summer holidays to be deadly.
Rain and her best friends Rachel and Jackie head to the carnival. Rain’s plan was to chat up Jake, who runs the Ferris Wheel, and maybe get a kiss or two.

But then Rachel’s killed in mysterious circumstances, and none of them will ever be the same again.

When Rachel returns as a ghost insisting Rain find out who killed her and why, she turns to Jake, who knows more than he seems to. In fact, he’s encountered weird stuff like ghosts and monsters before.

So now she just has to grieve for a friend who she’s still talking to, try not to fall deeper in love with Jake, keep her family off her back, decide who to trust, infiltrate the funfair and find Rachel’s killer. Piece of cake, right?

The Suburban Book of the Dead front cover

The Suburban Book of the Dead by Jamie Sands has been one of my most anticipated books to read since it came out, and I have been meaning to read it since it’s release in September. I would have read it by now but I wanted a hard copy and as it is independently published it’s only available through Amazon and I hate their shipping fees. I know lame excuse but I’m cheap what can I say!

Now full disclosure, I know Jamie in real life and have experienced their world building through the RPG‘s they have run. I knew that whatever world they built would be amazing. I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed in this regard. This is a fast paced book which I was thankful for chapter headings that told you when and where they took place, as it was difficult to determine when something was happening at times.

Rain was an interesting character and one who you felt for but often didn’t like. I don’t mind as I have read books with this aspect before, I don’t need to like my main character. The rest of the characters were a little underdeveloped for me. Jake is a bit more developed, I still would have liked to see him open up or us learn a bit about him. Rain’s family specifically seemed to only exist for her to yell at.

The story its self was really interesting and fun to read. I love any book that doesn’t fall back on Lovecraft for their other-dimensional demons. I think my personal taste would have appreciated more of a twist or shock at the end, but it also didn’t hurt the story to not have one. If you are a fan of the TV Show Supernatural then you will love this book.

All of that aside despite what the back says, what I took away from this was that it was a story of grief, of working through loss and how difficult that can be when the person you are trying to grieve is whispering snarky comments in your ear. I can’t see what Rain does now that she is able to move on.

The Suburban Book of the Dead is Jamie’s first novel and shows great storytelling promise. It isn’t perfect, most of the faults are those that come sometimes with self-published novels, lack of professional editing and proofreading show at times. The really the story makes up for these minor flaws. I personally can’t wait to read more from them. Rumour(told to me by the author so..) has it that a sequel is in the making. It will be called “The Suburban Book of Dreams” and I’m eager to read it.

I give it 4.5 stars!

The Suburban Book of the Dead by Jamie Sands was released in September 2018. It is available for Kindle and Kobo or paperback at AmazonMighty Ape, or Book Depository. Jamie also runs a Patreon for their fictional newspaper; a place where vampires steal your milk and the royal family are murderous fairies from another world. You can check it out here.

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