I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.
Jodie Devlin believes that her boyfriend is in love with someone else and decides to end her own life. She wakes up in the Afterlife and is told that because she foolishly ended her life, she now has to learn from her mistakes before she can move on to the next life. She is given a job as a reaper and must search for the souls who have not moved on because of some past trauma. Luc Asante is assigned as her trainer until she is able to learn how to capture the lost souls. Luc is not interested in training anyone and wants to be left alone. He was betrayed by his wife during his life and doesn’t trust women. He feels that Jodie is too soft to be a reaper and expects her to fail miserably. He is more worried about ruining his perfect record than teaching her the ropes.
Jodie and Luc must try to convince all types of souls to move on with them and each soul presents a challenge for them. Luc prefers to ignore the suffering and pain that the souls have endured and wants to capture them quickly. Jodie, on the other hand, takes the time to understand why they are suffering and why they refused to move on. With each capture she learns about regret, deception, betrayal, anger, and remorse so that she can help the souls cross over. At the same time, Luc starts to feel the pain that the souls are feeling and it weakens him. He can’t understand why he is suffering and tries to ignore it. The problem comes when Luc is drained to the point of exhaustion and can’t help but relive his painful past. Will he learn the truth about his past and what is needed to move on to the next life before it’s too late? Is Jodie strong enough to forget about her painful past and all the reasons why she ended her life so that she can move on from the Afterlife?
I loved how Ms. Ardito created a unique version of the Afterlife using common elements like reapers and escaped souls and breathing new life into them. Instead of the Afterlife being a scary place filled with torment, there are kind Elders who want to help the deceased overcome their personal issues and learn from their mistakes so that they can find happiness. I thought that it was an interesting concept that the reapers were considered to be balls of energy that can manipulate their form at will. My only negative comment is about the sentence structure and how the author tended to write in fragments. Perhaps this was a style choice, but it made the reading a little choppy at times.
I found Eternally Yours to be a refreshing take on a subject that is well-know and dear to my heart. I know that this is the first book in the series and I am interested to see how the series progresses. I give this book 4.5 stars and look forward to future reaper stories.
A Refreshing Take on the Afterlife!