I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Life of Death by Lucy Booth
Published on May 2, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Gothic
Links: Buy on Amazon | Goodreads
Elizabeth Murray has been condemned to burn at the stake. As she awaits her fate, a strange, handsome man visits her cell. He offers her a deal: her soul in return for immortality, but what he offers is not a normal life. To survive Elizabeth must become Death itself.
Elizabeth must ease the passing of all those who die, appearing at the point of death and using her compassion to guide them over the threshold. She accepts and, for 500 years, whirls from one death to the next, never stopping to think of the life she never lived. Until one day, everything changes. She – Death – falls in love.
Desperate to escape the terms of her deal, she summons the man who saved her. He agrees to release her on one condition: that she gives him five lives. These five lives she must take herself, each one more difficult and painful than the last.
This is a novel unlike any I’ve read before. It is the story, simply, of Death.
Set back in the age of witch burnings, a woman has a chance to be saved from suffering the same horrific death as her mother if she chooses to give up her soul to the Devil. The Devil is portrayed as a sauve debonair sort. His offer is the best she’s going to get. But it does come with a price. Should she agree to relinquish her soul, the Devil will own her for all of eternity. In that time she was serve as Death, as in, a reaper of souls.
The premise is an intriguing one and Booth’s prose is exquisite. But I made it to the 30% mark before I decided not to read the book any longer.
My reason for quitting is because I struggled to get engage with the plot because there really wasn’t much conflict.
Mild spoilers ahead.
Lizzy tires of being Death and asks the Devil for a way out. To do so, she has to get the souls of a specific group of people of the Devil’s choosing. Then we are taken on her journey as she takes each person. The problem is, she’s Death. They can’t exactly fight her. They can only outrun her for so long so you know she will inevitably get the person she’s after.
There are interesting ideas of love and death and how the two marry but I found myself getting bored and bogged down in the amount of detail. As I said, Booth is a beautiful writer but also extremely wordy. I was not gripped by the plot despite being interested in the overall premise.
Even though I didn’t finish this book though, I think some people will definitely enjoy it and I can’t bring myself to give it a low rating because I don’t think it’s a bad book, by any means. On the contrary, I think it is a lush gothic romance that some people will undeniably fall in love, it just wasn’t what I was expecting ultimately not for me.