After her first year in the afterlife, which was fraught with drama, trauma, and all things sinister, Alex is ready to begin her second year in Eidolon. She looks forward to exploring a world that changes in the blink of an eye, the new abilities afforded to her by her now-limitless mind, and, most of all, finally getting the opportunity, after 17 years of life and 1 year of death, to be with Chase the way she’s always wanted.
But, in novels, as in life, things are never as simple as they seem. After being attacked by a cult-like group of students nicknamed the “Eskers Kids” towards the end of her first year in the afterlife, Alex is somewhat of a celebrity. Add that to the fact that she holds an uncannily identical resemblance to Sephi, a woman long considered to be a hero among her fellow spirits, and Alex can’t get a moment of peace. For her own safety, Alex is only permitted to go certain places in her new world, putting a stop to her much-desired plans for exploration. However, if her fellow spirits ever found out who she really is, and who she really descends from, her safety could be at risk regardless of where she does or doesn’t go.
Holy frickin’ frijoles. I loved this book! I quite literally inhaled it in less than a day. I’m pretty sure I didn’t even break to breathe, much less eat. It was that good! I could have gone on for another 15 paragraphs just summarizing Of Delicate Pieces. It was so full of content from the major plot points to the minute intricacies, every single sentence felt important and mind-blowing. I consider it an acute form of sacrilege to compare anything to Harry Potter, BUT the world-building, the character-development, everything was so well done and so finely drawn in Of Delicate Pieces, that I’m not sure there is any other work that I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading that even shares the same breathing space. There was such a multitude of things in this novel that were so completely breath-takingly wonderful that I don’t even know where to start.
As with Of Breakable Things, one of the most beautiful components of this novel was the characters. Not only do we learn more about, and fall more in love with Alex and Chase, but we meet new characters as well. One of the new characters we are introduced to in Of Delicate Pieces is Rae. She’s cute, mute, and obscenely powerful. Rae, as a character, is a rare mix of “I just wanna squeeze her” and “she’s frickin’ scary” that is rarely found in literature, much less in a form that works on any kind of long-term basis as it does here. We also get to learn more about characters that would have been considered “minor” in the first book. Remember Liv? Alex’s weird friend from when she was alive? What about the “Jester Ghost” that lived in the woods in her hometown? In Of Delicate Pieces, they are given a backstory that breathes new life into them. In doing so, these minor characters become major entities, giving the reader even more to love!
Speaking of Liv and the Jester, although the world that Chase and Alex inhabit is technically in some alternate dimension of California, we do get to travel back to their hometown in Maryland. The revelations that come from this journey put so many other seemingly small tidbits into an earth-shattering context that will absolutely make your head spin. These revelations not only help the reader glean new understanding of Alex’s hometown and the entities that live there, but it introduces elements that are essential to the tumultuous history of both the living and the dead.
This history becomes a central plot point that directs not only a large part of this novel, but shines new light on the events of its predecessor as well. Throughout Of Delicate Pieces, we learn not only the history of the town in which Alex and Chase grew up, but how that history affects the world in which they currently live, and how Alex and her family played a major role not only in the world of the living, but the world of the dead. If there is one negative thing I could say about this novel, and admittedly, it’s a stretch, it’s the breadth of historical events and characters therein. For most readers, this would have only added to the wonderment of the story. I envy them. There were a lot of pieces that I had to read, re-read, and read again just to grasp what was being described. If science is my Achilles heel, history might actually break me. It’s something I hated with a fervor in school, and therefore have a hard time wrapping my head around now, be it the history of our world, or one that presides purely in the world of fiction.
All of that being said, I absolutely devoured this novel, just as much as I did with the first. I loved it to itty, bitty, teeny, tiny, “delicate” pieces and simply cannot wait to see what comes next!
This is a