Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Fetch by Laura Whitcomb

Synopsis: Calder is a Fetch, a death escort, the first of his kind to step from Heaven back to Earth.The first to fall in love with a mortal girl. But when he climbs backwards out of that Death Scene, into the chaos of the Russian Revolution, he tears a wound in the ghost realm, where the spirits begin a revolution of their own.

My Thoughts: this is my first book that talks about the afterlife. When a person dies, a death escort appears and he or she has the duty to accompany the dead through the Aisle of the Unearthing, divided in five parts: the Theatre, the Feast, the Gallery, the Garden and the Cell. After all this, you’ll reach the Great River, where a boat and its Captain will be waiting to take you to Heaven. Calder is a death escort, someone responsible for the dead, but he never felt like he belonged there. He thought he was extremely lonely and craved for a friend, but he knew that he couldn’t break his Vows as a Fetch nor disappoint his Captain. But when one of his duties gives him the chance to go back to Earth, in the middle of the Russian Revolution, to the woman that he thinks is the one supposed to be his Star Fetch – his apprentice, a living person able to see and hear him – will he still be faithful to his Vows?

                As I said, this is my first afterlife novel and I must say I really liked it! And for the first time in my shelf, the protagonist is a male. Usually I get books that woman are the leading figures, so it was different to see. What I liked about it is the detailed description of the surroundings: the Selo Palace of the tsar’s family, the late 10’s California, Russia and England, everything is so detailed that it seems that the author actually lived there (though it’s impossible)! Another thing that I really enjoyed is the way that death is shown: not as a morbid thing – even though it’s sad – but as a passage to something much better. Each death sees its Aisle and Fetch differently: it can be a blond angel with silver wings in a corridor made of pure diamonds and rubies, or a warrior in a corridor full of Japanese paintings. Time is different too: It can be 1024 for years or 1570 in an hour.

                When Calder realizes that maybe the woman that he thought was meant to him actually wasn’t, how is he going to return to his Aisle? He has to take care of Anastasia and Alexis, remaining children of the tsar, and escort them to Heaven. Also, he has to stop the owner of Calder’s current body – which is Rasputin – before he starts a revolution inside the Land of Lost Soul – a place where all the souls that ran away from their escorts are – and before all those souls attack the Land of the Living. The scale is unbalanced and Calder has to put it back to its place.

                The only thing that lacked for me was the romance. It’s very subtle and you can almost miss it if you don’t read it carefully. Ana and Calder have two year difference, but that doesn’t really interfere in the scenes, but there is no kiss through the WHOLE book, except in the last chapter. I kept hoping for a kiss scene, but none came, and the only one was so quick that I couldn’t really see it!! It kind of reminds me of a 1910’s novel that I read when I was a teenager: its romance is very delicate and gentle, something that nowadays it’s hard to find, especially after the release of Fifty Shades of Grey – not saying that I don’t like the reading, I’m actually planning to read it, eventually.

                Last is the cover, which I don’t have a lot to talk about: the couple in the front is Calder and Ana, and the key represents the Fetch Key, that is able to open the door to the Aisle of the Unearthing. The Key is the thing that connects the whole book: when Calder gives the Key to Alexis and he passes it to Ana, she gives it to a soldier that was taking care of them in their prison, and to whom she had a crush. Now he is in CA, and without the Key, no one can go back to the Aisle. So Calder and the teens go on a journey around the globe in order to get it, but what if it wasn’t with the soldier? What if he sold it or lost it?

                That, my readers (if I have any), are for you to figure it out.


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