Wednesday, April 30, 2014

G305 Book Review of To Live Forever; an afterlife journey of Meriwether Lewis by Andra Watkins

Name of Book: To Live Forever; an afterlife journey of Meriwether Lewis

Author: Andra Watkins

ISBN: 9780615937472

Publisher: Word Hermit Press

Type of book: New Orleans, 1977, Nowhere, paranormal, father/daughter relationship, ghost, fulfilling deeds, fame, Natchez Trail, history, travel

Year it was published: 2914

Summary:

Explorer Meriwether Lewis has been stuck in Nowhere since his mysterious death nearly two centuries ago. His last hope for redemption is helping nine-year-old Emmaline Cagney flee her madame mother in New Orleans and find her father in Nashville. To get there, Merry must cross his own grave along the Natchez Trace, where he duels the corrupt Judge, an old foe who has his own despicable plans for Em.

Characters:

The characters that were really fleshed out were Em, Merry and the Judge. There were a few other secondary characters, but unfortunately they weren't as memorable as main, and it also seemed that they only appeared for a brief time before disappearing. Em is kind of a female Huck Finn. She's fearless, adventurous and determined to be reunited with her father no matter what. She is also very friendly and strangely enough isn't cautious, considering her upbringing. Merry is very cautious, introspective and it seems as if he is frustrated and sad due to the way his life is. He is also determined to do what he can for Em. The Judge himself has negative plans for Em and he seems to be stuck in the past and holding on to slights.

Theme:

No idea what the theme should have been

Plot:

Its written in first person narrative from Emmaline's and Merry's and the Judge's points of views. Considering that first person narrative is tricky, and the reader has no idea who's telling the story, its interesting that the reader isn't warned who's speaking. The writing and the voices are very distinctive and well done: when I was reading Em's point of view, I felt that I was seeing things from a child's point of view, and same goes for Merry. I also liked a little bit of the world building when it came to Nowhere and would have wanted to know what happens then. I think at one point it was kind of advertised as a romance, but its not. The book is paranormal and there is a father/daughter relationship at the center of sorts, but no passionate romance.

Author Information:


Andra Wakins is a native of Tennessee but calls Charleston, South Carolina, her home for the last 23 years.  She is the author of To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis, a mishmash of historical fiction, paranormal fiction and suspense that follows Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis & Clark fame) after his mysterious death on the Natchez Trace in 1809. 


You can visit her website at www.andrawatkins.com or follow her on Google+,Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Goodreads.

Opinion:

I'm sorry, but this book wasn't really my cup of tea. I didn't hate it and it was well written, but I guess the premise kind of made it that way for me. If I read kind of an absurd book, I expect it to be either comedy or perhaps something else. As odd as it sounds, I only have a cursory familiarity with Lewis and Clark, and yeah, I did know that Lewis had killed himself. I guess I kind of hoped that the book would be about the Lewis and Clark Expedition and then it will move on to 1977, but it wasn't. The book is definitely an adventure story. I also thought that secondary characters would be well drawn, but again, they weren't. I think one of the things I did find frustrating is that the story switches points of view, but in chapters we weren't warned who's speaking until we begin reading the chapter.

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3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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