Goodman’s debut novel takes readers on an adventure into the afterworld, showing that choices have consequences that stretch beyond the present—even beyond this life.
When Devin’s pregnant wife dies a horrendous death, raped and murdered by a homeless serial killer, he can’t bear the pain. Rather than healing, Devin seeks retribution, and after he dies in the process, becomes a demon in the afterlife. Thus begins a series of interesting and bizarre adventures that leads Devin to an understanding of why he made the choices that he did. Along the way, he joins up with two angels and tries to help a young girl named Nadine find her way through a horrific ordeal of her own. Devin also sees the forces of evil at work in various sociopolitical contexts around the world and throughout time. Goodman has packed enough twists and turns into his self-proclaimed fantasy thriller that even experienced readers will be kept guessing. Goodman has a solid view of the long-term effects that everyday choices can have on individual lives as well as on the world as a whole, and he presents these ideas in a straightforward manner. While his story may first come across as religious, the author slowly breaks the rules of the afterlife for every religion, clearly paving his own way so that he can make his point. In fact, religious readers may find themselves increasingly uncomfortable with the story as it deviates further from established notions of what happens after death. But while Goodman’s take on the afterlife is unique, and his tale is a page turner, the work could be streamlined and the straightforward keeps the work from fully resonating.
Goodman’s story is interesting, twisty and thoughtful, though some readers may wish for more polished, refined presentation.