Inspired by a true story, and a vulgar imagination.
ALLISTER BOONE is a controversial New York City psychiatrist who, incapable of lying, tells his patients exactly what he thinks they need to hear: the truth, no matter the consequences. And in a fragile society where the smallest truth can crush the hardest heart, his patients both love and hate him for it.
But Allister is more than an ear and a shoulder with a sharp tongue and a penchant for self-suffering. He is a sociopath in a suit and a smile; he’s addicted to this world but wants it to end; and since he is DEATH, his part in the apocalypse is always just a breath away. While being Death has its advantages, being a jaded immortal wearing a human like a suit, and with a severe case of OCD, has many disadvantages. Especially when, in a moment of desperation, Allister agrees to play the game of all games with TIME, also known as the insufferable MORTY FINCH:
“Let’s see how many lives you can save, while I work against you to end them.”
But Allister’s biggest disadvantage is his own deteriorating mental condition. With billions of souls trapped inside of him, he can only go for so long wearing the same body before the souls drive him mad and send him over a ledge of his own. Literally in a race against Time, Allister must not only save the lives of his patients—which is difficult to do when one has no empathy—but he must do the unthinkable to save himself and put balance back into the world.
ALLISTER BOONE features a vibrant and crude cast of characters: Vanity, the self-loving demon who likes butting-in where she doesn’t belong; Lucifer, who does nothing for anyone without something in return; Pastor John Macon, a famous Christian evangelical who preaches the stairway to heaven but is dancing down the highway to hell; Nancy, Allister’s Jesus II in-training secretary; and a host of patients that range from the cookie-cutter pathetic, to a racist, gun-wielding murder-suicide in the making.
Plot: The small twists and turns of Allister’s character being occasionally surprised, challenged, and frustrated, despite his near-eternity of cynicism, is the story’s consistent highlight. Occasionally the book slows down amid the parade of his patients, though most remain unique enough to stay interesting.
Prose/Style: The vast majority of the book is either spoken dialogue, Allister’s mental dialogue, or catching the thoughts of others – all well done, particularly in the tricky balance of Allister’s thoughts reflecting what others are thinking.
Originality: The immortal incarnations of Death and Time, who can’t be defeated, competing in a game against each other is an intriguing idea pulled off with sharp-fanged flair. The idea goes a step further, with Death being subject to the thoughts and emotions of those around him and souls he’s encountered – compounded with consequences of becoming unbalanced – which multiplies the reader’s desire to see how the contest is settled.
Character Development: The reader sees bits and pieces of Allister’s abrasive personality crack to reveal something different now and then, but the more fascinating changes are the “pawns”, his patients. The changes he brings about in them, intended or not, keep the story fresh.
Blurb: Death and Time, even in mortal appearance, cannot be defeated by anyone or anything. So when these two jaded incarnations decide to compete against each other, maybe a few mortals will be helped along the way – or maybe all of Creation will come to an end.
Date Submitted: April 17, 2019