Review: Here Lies Death
I was given an eBook copy of Here Lies Death by Harlan Vaughn in exchange for an honest review.
Here Lies Death explores what would happen if there was no longer any process of aging or death. When death is eliminated on December 21, 2012 two sisters have to face this new reality and try to find meaning in their now seemingly endless lives. The world struggles to understand what this means from both sociological and psychological points of view and whether or not religion has anything to do with it. Can the human race cope with the idea that they will no longer die, and what does this mean for those who are trapped by old age, young age, and simply the understanding that so little of what they do now seems to matter. Will humans survive? What will the government do?
I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started reading Here Lies Death. The book takes a long hard look at one example of what could be defined as the world ending, at least as we know it to be. In a world without death what matters? What is the purpose for people to continue doing their everyday activities and jobs? All of that and more is examined. The characters in Here Lies Death try to continue life as they had lived it before but struggle with finding purpose in a deathless existence. Some even attempt to kill themselves, and each other in the hopes that they could at least feel what it would be like to die. It was quite a morbid thing to read about indeed, but something that seems so natural now, to die, would leave quite a gaping whole in our reality.
As I was reading Here Lies Death I enjoyed how the author examined all of the different angles. They took a look at how the religious would use this new happening to bolster their claims and denounce others. Government was rattled and their purpose in society was shaken at best, they had to find a way to establish that they still mattered. Even just the simple act of giving birth and creating a family was considered. There was no detail untouched, but that didn’t make the pace slow too much, it enriched the story.
Some of the scenes were very graphic. I will say that they were done exquisitely and were probably the high point for me at least, even if their gruesome nature was sometimes a bit hard to digest. Without giving too much away, this is not for the squeamish, if you can’t handle some gore thrown into your reading experience then I wouldn’t suggest this book for you.
I enjoyed the book thoroughly until I hit roughly the 75% mark. The world was in turmoil about whether or not they wanted to die, and without giving any spoilers I will say that there were some developments with characters struggling to survive some governmental plans. The ending was very unsatisfying. Before I did this review I tried to think about how I would have tackled ending a book such as this, and though I was unable to come up with a full-proof solution I still can’t go along with the way Here Lies Death did end. You can’t have so much buildup where characters are valiantly trying to survive and live and then completely nullify those attempts without giving them anything in return whatsoever. With this in mind I won’t recommend this book, but I also will say that there were many redeeming parts of it that I did enjoy so I’m not saying not to read it either. If you are an Amazon Prime member (I’m not but I came across this, not selling out I swear) you can get it for free for Kindle, I would say then to check it out and see if you can put up with the ending. You may even be satisfied with it, we each have our own preferences.
As always thank you for reading! If you would like to comment feel free. What are some books where the ending has frustrated you and did that stop you from recommending them completely or did you suggest checking them out anyway? Let me know! ^.^