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Living the Good Death
Scott Baron. Curiouser, $3.99 e-book (293p) ISBN 978-1-945996-12-2
Baron makes the personified Death an appealing hero, but this disjointed tale of Death’s escapades in the mortal realm lacks focus. When Death becomes distracted while taking a soul, she finds herself mortal and homeless. After attempts to return to her realm via suicide leave her hospitalized, she is identified as Dorothy Maitland, an escaped mental patient, and locked up in an institution with a sadistic director. Dorothy and a fellow inmate slip out for overnight jaunts, on which she continues her quest and falls in love with a grieving gallery curator. By the time Dorothy’s journey has ended, Baron (Daisy’s Run) has thrown a variety of cultural references at the reader, including the Three Fates, the Four Horsemen, the Wizard of Oz, and guardian angels, none of which contribute successfully to the overall effect. Some lovely prose and ultimately charming protagonists do not make up for the lack of thematic consistency, cartoonish characters at the mental institution, and lingering questions around the core worldbuilding. The result is an intriguing idea that is unfortunately let down by the execution. (BookLife)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 05/24/2019