Acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Richard Kadrey creates a wonderful, stand-alone dark fantasy
After her father's funeral, Zoe moved to the big city with her mother to start over. But change always brings trials, and life in the city is not so easy. Money is tight, and Zoe's only escape, as has always been the case, is in her dreams—a world apart from her troubled real life where she can spend time with her closest companion: her lost brother, Valentine.
But something or someone has entered their dreamworld uninvited. And a chance encounter at a used record store, where the vinyl holds not music but lost souls, has opened up a portal to the world of the restless dead. It's here that the shop's strange proprietor offers Zoe the chance to commune with her dead father. The price? A lock of hair. Then a tooth. Then . . .
Sixteen-year-old Zoe, grieving the death of her father, is miserable in a new home and a new school as her mother struggles to make ends meet. Zoe's father taught her to be a fan of classic punk bands, and the music is her one connection to him and to her fellow students. Then Ammut, a mysterious record store owner, promises he can reunite Zoe with her father's spirit. Soon Zoe finds herself in Iphigene, a city full of souls trapped on their way to the afterlife, as she's guided by the ghost of her dead brother on a quest to free her father's soul and return to the world of the living. Aiming for a mythic story about grief and loss, Kadrey (the Sandman Slim series) hits some extremely familiar beats, but he does it with an easy grace. Nothing about this book is unexpected or surprising, but perhaps it doesn't need to be. This bittersweet and elegiac fantasy will appeal to both fantasy fans and mainstream readers.
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Super fun read! Very well done!