What really happens when you die? Do you see a bright light at the end of a long tunnel? Or maybe your whole life flashes before your eyes? Does Death wear a black cloak over his skeletal frame and carry a scythe? Want to find out? Come dear reader and follow me into the dark with a story so sensational you will have goosebumps for days long after you’ve finished reading. This way please, watch your step and whatever you do, don’t look at Him…
Today is my turn on the blog tour to review The Life Of Death By Lucy Booth (Published 2nd May 2019) A big thank you to the publishers Unbound for my copy and as always to the wonderful Anne for the invite.
About The Author
Lucy Booth was born in Suffolk, moved with her family to Solihull, Cyprus and Lymm, Cheshire where she attended Manchester High School for Girls before studying Behavioural Sciences at Nottingham University. On graduating Lucy moved to London to pursue her career as a freelance producer for various top of the range adverts & music videos.
In 2011 Lucy was diagnosed with breast cancer resulting in surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Undaunted, and with the great assistance of her friends, Lucy not only continued working and writing her blog (lucifersboob.blogspot.co.uk) of her ‘cancer experience’ in a typically forthright and humorous fashion but felt the urge to write a novel. The Life of Death is the result.
In 2014 the aggressive cancer returned. However, Lucy was determined to live her life to the full and to finish her novel before she died in August 2016.
Lucy was funny and brave and an inspiration to all who knew and loved her; she never allowed her cancer to define her and remained upbeat and positive until her last days.
She is much missed by her parents, Jackie and Alan, and sister, Analie, her many friends, her godchildren and, of course, her cat Oliver.
The Life Of Death
In 1590, I sold my soul to the Devil. I was twenty-three.
Elizabeth Murray has been condemned to burn at the stake. As she awaits her fate, a strange, handsome man visits her cell. He offers her a deal: her soul in return for immortality, but what he offers is not a normal life. To survive Elizabeth must become Death itself.
Elizabeth must ease the passing of all those who die, appearing at the point of death and using her compassion to guide them over the threshold. She accepts and, for 500 years, whirls from one death to the next, never stopping to think of the life she never lived. Until one day, everything changes. She – Death – falls in love.
Desperate to escape the terms of her deal, she summons the man who saved her. He agrees to release her on one condition: that she gives him five lives. These five lives she must take herself, each one more difficult and painful than the last.
Where to even begin dear reader. My heart is still shattered across the floor and I am struggling to slot the pieces back together. This book has changed me, made me view so many things differently. Life is too short. Far too ridiculously short.
The Life Of Death is an unique story that had me intrigued the moment I read the blurb. I was completely engrossed and refused to sleep till I had finished. I was transfixed. I could smell the burning of hair and skin off the page. It pushed my senses out of their comfort zone and plunged me head first into Booth’s dark yet alluring world. Intoxicating.
Her attention to detail is seductive. Such a pleasure to devour. She brings the characters and the very atmosphere alive in your mind. They dance and twirl around carefree on the page entrapping you in this chilling tale.
“His clothes are those of a gentleman: well-cut, rich fabrics, with a long dark cloak wrapped around His thin shoulders to keep the cold and the damp at bay. Even the rats that use that wall as a channel between their nests and the outside world give that incongruous figure a wide berth.”
The loneliness that Elizabeth feels suffocates the reader. She spends hours, days, weeks, the rest of her life whirling from one death to the next. Booth writes with such depth and emotion that you feel for Elizabeth and the life she had been cursed with. One thing I never thought I would imagine was the idea of Death being one of us. Having basic needs, desires and falling in love. Although Elizabeth has taken on the job title of the grim reaper she is still very much human, her emotions betray her. She feels guilt when her hand is forced to kill 5 people to return her soul and to be with her love. For Booth to write Death with human qualities makes it seem less daunting and more comforting. It’s bewitching character development at it’s finest. I applaud Booth for this skill, it’s natural and captivating.
“He has me trapped. And he has no idea. In the mirror we’re entwined, fingers threaded together, eyes locked. And he has no idea.”
I admired how Booth made the act of dying hauntingly charismatic. To be greeted by a loved one in your final hours and then fade to black. It was calming to read and much comfort to envision how we spend our last hours alive.
I was an ugly sobbing mess by the end of this book. Be warned you will need tissues. I won’t give away any spoilers but OUCH my heart was brutally stabbed into a crimson wreck. I found my nails digging into the pages, hanging onto every word. An intense experience that utterly destroyed me. It’s been a while since a book has caused me so much physical pain and I mean this as a positive. For the reader is bearing witness to an artistic penmanship, an honour and respective skill.
I give The Life Of Death By Lucy Booth a Five out of Five paw rating
One of the top reads for me this year, I love this book and feel extremely honoured I have been able to review. A much needed breath of fresh air in storytelling and will be shelved up there among the greats.
Here’s to you Lucy Booth, you were a talented, inspiring, creative writer that the world cruelly took too soon. You will be immortal in your work. Your spirt will be very much alive in the hearts of readers as they indulge in your words. To you dear lady. *raises glass*
Hop hop wiggle wiggle