But I read Chris F. Holm. He’s collection of short stories, 8 POUNDS, sold me on the boy, made me ready to take a shot on anything he puts out. But, frankly, when I heard the premise for DEAD HARVEST, I has leery, I was afraid it was going to be a lot of fantastical mumbo jumbo, supernatural rabbits being pulled out of his authorial hat willy nilly to move the story along, I was afraid it was going to be all the crap that’s made me avoid the genre.
I was wrong.
Sam Thornton’s, dead, damned for all eternity. But if you think that means he gets some time off, gets to spend his days lollygagging on the beach around the lake of fire, you’re wrong. He’s got a job. He’s a collector. He spends his days yanking the souls out of the bodies of the damned and dragging them to hell.
It is just that intersection of the other worldly with the real world that makes this story so compelling. The afterlife isn’t beatific visions or flaming brimstone, it’s a lot like the life you have now. It’s jobs and hierarchies and bureaucratic infighting. It’s just as banal and venial as the life Sam Thornton left behind. And a lot of it is going on right here, among us, right under our noses.
And you feel for Sam. As you learn about the choices he made, how he ended up among the damned, you understand that the lines between right and wrong are just as blurred in the next life as they are in this one, that justice is just as imperfect, and that a man, or I guess an ex-man, who still struggles for redemption even after he’s already eternally damned, that’s a hero who’s story is worth reading.
So, when Sam is sent to collect another soul, this one from a young girl who murdered her entire family, and when he touches that soul and feel innocence instead of guilt, grace instead of sin, he rebels, and he literally fights heaven and earth to do what he thinks is right.
If you are an urban fantasy fan, than DEAD HARVEST is sure to be a new favorite. But even if you’re not, I encourage you to give it a shot.
If for no other reason, you can have unclean thoughts about Lilith. I’m kind of hoping that’s what Holm does next. Something about Lilith. Erotica maybe?