Out today, Reincarnation Blues follows Milo, a soul who’s been reincarnated thousands of times and is still trying to achieve something big and positive enough to end his lives. There’s one complication: if he achieves enlightenment, he will lose Suzie, an incarnation of Death that he has fallen in love with in between lives in the afterlife, which isn’t making him super motivated to achieve it.
I really really really enjoyed this novel a lot. It’s an offbeat, darkly comic fantasy and I really loved it a lot. The book takes you through various of Milo’s nearly 10,000 lives and also fills in his love story with Suzie and his times in between his lives. The afterlife/purgatory Poore has created is wonderfully built and fun to discover. I always like seeing peoples’ takes on such things. Not only is this backdrop well built and delivered on, Milo’s lives also vary in wonderful ways. They range from futuristic sci-fi worlds to historical events and cover many things in between. Each one feels like a self-contained short story, but they’re still obviously linked by Milo and his soul. Despite their differences, Poore has still created a very cohesive narrative.
Milo is an old soul, so he’s unexpectedly wise–until it comes to figuring out how to achieve Poore’s version of enlightenment. When he rails against this, and fights it so he can be with Suzie, he’s somewhat immature, but understandable. You’ll definitely be in his corner, rooting for him. The other supporting characters are also well developed: Suzie is an interesting incarnation of death, and Milo’s other caretakers are also wonderfully their own people.
Overall, I found this novel enjoyable and funny. I loved the stories of Milo’s lives, and found myself looking for the moment where he achieved what he needed to move on from reincarnating over and over. While I loved the individual stories, I also enjoyed that they told a cohesive whole, in which I really cared about what happened to the characters. If you like offbeat fantasy, you’ll really enjoy this novel!
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Note: I received this book from Netgalley & the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
What offbeat fantasy recommendations can you give me??