Publication Date: August 12, 2015
Dave Marwood, Death’s assistant (yes, THAT Death, though he rather likes to be called Steve) for four months and if nothing else, he’s discovered how hard ectoplasm is to get out of clothing. What’s up with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? Could there be stranger things in the world that Dave has yet to see in his role as Death’s office help?
Paper Cuts is the second book in the How to Be Dead Series.
Before diving into this review, I must say that I do not know Dave Turner. I did not give birth to him or give birth to any of his children. I got his first book as a free download and read it on vacation last year. I preordered Paper Cuts so that it would appear on my Kindle the moment that the file became available because I just loved [easyazon_link identifier=”B00H17V7OS” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]How to Be Dead[/easyazon_link] THAT much.
So what did I like so much about Paper Cuts? Marry Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett and their offspring will be Dave Turner. Turner’s fiction is the world underneath ours that the average person simply can’t see. Death occupies an office in a fairly upscale part of town and shares space with monkeys writing on typewriters recently rewarded with a major studio deal. Turner’s clever humor is breathtaking. There is a conversation between Dave and Death’s right-hand woman that is breathtakingly insightful but wonderfully hilarious where they debate where a religion involving cake might go. I said in my review of [easyazon_link identifier=”B00H17V7OS” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]How to Be Dead[/easyazon_link] that I loved the interlacing of truth in a clever turn of phrase and that sentiment is amplified in Paper Cuts.
The musicality of Turner’s writing is beautiful in “How to be Dead.” He writes a death scene that is stunningly visual. A “halo” appears around the victim’s head as his blood drains. In another scene there is a character with skin like folded paper. Turner’s ability to paint a very clear picture in the reader’s mind deserves recognition at the top of the bestseller lists. Turner seldom relies on what we know and shows us what he sees.
In How to Be Dead, Dave was a character that worked hard at his apathy. In Paper Cuts, he is a new man but in a way that is organically drawn. Dave desperately wanted a relationship that he fosters in Paper Cuts. The openness between the characters fits perfectly with the Dave we got to know in the first novel while not keeping him in any way stagnant. As with the first, Dave is an ensemble character destined to rise to the top.
That Death and his cohorts decide that they’re not going to play the game of a man they’ve never met was intriguing. They have a special fondness for mortal ale and would hate to see it go, so they really have no motivation to carry out a job they’ve been working on rote. When the world does seem to be ending, it could be the work of their frenemy, Beelzebub. He has a more vested interest in seeing the world end as the prophecy says that he will inherit the earth, but just how reliable is this prophesy? Throw in undead Elvii, a world’s oldest man that keeps dying and a full cast of paranormal phenomena, Paper Cuts is a work of sheer brilliance.
I warned Twitter followers that I would fangirl this book. I seldom have time to read books twice, but would love to sit down and enjoy Paper Cuts a second time in a constant literary feast. If you like social commentary presented in a clever package, fantasy or authors like Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams, pick this novel up immediately if not sooner. You will not regret the purchase.
Read my review of the first novel in the How to be Dead series.
Read an excerpt and buy Paper Cuts by Dave Turner on
Dave Turner is an award-winning writer whose work has featured on the websites of BBC News, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Huffington Post and FHM. For three years, he wrote the Army of Dave blog, which was named one of the top 10 U.K. Comedy Blogs by Cision Media. He won the 2011 London Screenwriters’ Festival Best Screenplay Award with his short film script “Everything You Need”.