Wednesday, October 04, 2017
Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore
I read Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore while I was on vacation in August, but I'm pretty sure it was the only book I finished that week and I remember it well because I was so immensely entertained. Milo is close to reaching his limit of lifetimes. He's had 9,995 chances to reach perfection and a soul only gets 10,000 tries before being cast into . . . well, nothingness. If you achieve perfection, you get to move on to the Afterlife and become a part of the cosmic soul, but it's not looking good for Milo.
There's a particular obstacle to his success. Milo is in love with death . . . or at least one of the eternal beings who harvest souls. Her name is Suzie and if Milo achieves perfection, he will no longer be able to spend time with her between reincarnations. While Milo does his best to figure out how to achieve perfection without sabotaging himself, you get to experience his attempts and also glimpses into past lifetimes. Meeting the different Milos who live in different times and places (including outer space) makes for a very entertaining read. Each lifetime is an entirely different experience, so it's almost like reading an interconnected series of stories.
As Milo gets closer to his final chance, he and Suzie realize they can't fathom eternity without each other. Because Suzie is already immortal, she will have to break some rules if they're going to be together. But, is it even possible? And, will Milo be able to reach perfection before it's too late?
Highly recommended - An immensely creative read with a lighthearted tone, sometimes funny, often tragic. Milo has to keep dying, of course, so there's plenty of hardship and a number of tragic ends. But, at the same time, the book has this wonderful, playful tone that you can't help but love. Because each of Milo's lifetimes is so very different, I had favorite lives in the book and I would often groan in frustration when one ended. Yet, I was always excited to see what would happen next. Life is clearly rough; Milo goes through some harrowing experiences. But, what a delightful read. Reincarnation Blues is a book that makes me feel warm inside when I think about it. Definitely one of my favorites of the year.
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