I snagged this book at BookCon last week. It was one of many free books being given out that day, but unlike most of the books I passed at BookCon, this is one I actually really wanted. Reincarnation is one of my absolute favorite fantasy concepts, and I've had a reincarnation story on the back burner for nearly five years now. (I can never seem to figure out how to get it right.) So at BookCon, I was stoked to not only receive this ARC copy of Reincarnation Blues, but to meet the author (who is just the nicest guy) and get my book personalized and signed. Score all around!
Ignoring my epic TBR pile (I think it's pushing fifty books, yikes!), I eagerly dove into Reincarnation Blues the first chance I got. This story isn't really a story, but like the movie Inception, is lots of stories within each other. The main character Milo is one of the oldest souls, and has lived 9,995 lives at various times (past and future). While he lives as a human, he doesn't remember his other lives except as instinct or wisdom, or sometimes, a supernatural power allows him to remember glimpses. But he never remembers Suzie.
Each time Milo dies, he is greeted in the afterlife by Death, or one of them. She likes to be called Suzie. Over the course of their thousands of interactions, Milo and Suzie have fallen in love, and now face the difficult decision of how to proceed once Milo maxes out his lives at 10,000. They decide he must achieve Perfection, though it's extremely difficult.
Throughout the story, Milo is dipping in and out of human lives, some kind of funny, some kind of sad. Some are horrific and some are really interesting and enlightening. We get to see snippets of his past lives and his memories of Suzie and glimpses of starships and colonies on various planets.
It would be easy to get lost in all the changes in time, characters, and location, but Poore manages the shifts with total ease and elegance. Milo's voice is distinct and interesting, and each new life he lived was a joy to read (especially the one with Kim and Libby--I'm never going to get over it). Each story and lifetime was crafted with such skill, it was a glorious thing to unfold. Reincarnation Blues is by far one of the best reads of 2017 and I am so much better for having read it. (Though I now know I will never pull off a resurrection tale to match Poore's craftsmanship...)
Reincarnation Blues will be released August 22nd. Be sure to grab a copy. I have a feeling it's going to be one of the biggest books of the year!