A supernatural novel focuses on the peculiarities of life after death.
Bruno (Pensacola Reset, 2014) presents Fiona Campbell, a protagonist who in the opening pages of this extensive story is dead. But readers need not panic, because Fiona’s adventure is just beginning. She continues to exist in a nontraditional afterlife. There is no heaven or hell and Fiona can traverse the earthly plane. The major change is that her body is gone and now she is an AtCon, short for atomic configuration. Fiona can speak to other AtCons telepathically and she can even create a holographic image of herself. Soon she comes into contact with an AtCon named Jonas Smith. Jonas is a slave who died in the 1800s and he has used his time as an AtCon to do everything from completing university courses to attending professional baseball games. Fiona meets other AtCons (who are able to form into groups called Pods) and, although being dead doesn’t seem quite so bad, a number of questions arise. Shouldn’t there be more AtCons around? Can the AtCons exploit their abilities for good? Although Fiona initially uses her new existence to confront a difficult past, her mission eventually becomes a matter of facing the future. All in all, the tale offers a creative take on the afterlife. Could it be that a number of invisible souls are congregating in the stands to watch major league baseball games? It is something to ponder, though much of the dialogue is not quite so thought-provoking. Characters, whether alive or dead, tend to say obvious things, as when Jonas compliments Fiona by communicating telepathically: “You have a phenomenal ability to analyze information and come to logical conclusions.” But while the text can be clogged with Pod meetings to discuss the AtCons’ next moves (boring meetings, it seems, continue beyond the grave), the book delivers a refreshing exploration of the possibilities in the hereafter. Now that Fiona is dead, she can do just about whatever she pleases. What will she achieve with such a privilege?
An imaginative, if sometimes tedious, look at the great beyond.