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304 pages, ebook
First published April 2, 2019
“You’re dead, darlin’. This isn’t hell, but it’s the next best thing.”She hears a voice imploring her to wake up. She falls and finds herself surrounded by dirt. In Under she meets a group of strangers whose bodies are in different stages of decomposition. While they can all remember general knowledge they do not remember anything personal from their lives. Each awoke with an item that was buried with them, an item that helps their owner decide their Under name.
We are ghosts, but we are the ones being haunted.Key’s flashbacks provide frequent snippets of information about her life before death, building towards revelations that may hold more danger than she could imagine. I found the flashbacks interesting but expect readers who aren’t a fan of multiple flashbacks could find their frequency and slow drip of information irritating.
"I'm someone," I say without thinking. It doesn't make any sense, because of course I am, but suddenly I need to prove it's true.
An odd sound escapes him, something that is more bark than laugh. The edges of it are sharp and mocking. "Oh, really? Then what's your name?" Now his head tilts slightly in my direction, though not completely.
Curious, in spite of the alarming strangeness all around me, I fiddle with my skirts and resist the temptation to move even closer. It's..." I begin, then trail off. This shouldn't be a difficult questions. Yet I don't remember. It's a sensation similar to fumbling in the dark, reaching for an item that should've been there, and finding empty air. How can I not know my own name? Everything has a name. I can tell him what the oceans and continents of the world are called, so why can't I recall that one word that defines the entirety of my being?
“You’re dead, darlin’. This isn’t hell, but it’s the next best thing.”
There are sounds echoing through the giant cavern. A laugh, a hiss, a whisper. A reminder there are monsters here.
He’s strong, adventurous, funny. A bit mysterious, perhaps, but we’ve only known each other a few weeks. He challenges me. His conversation is thought-provoking. He makes it seem possible to achieve more than what’s expected of us in this life.
And he occupies my every waking thought, along with every midnight dream, in a way no one ever has before.