Like a train, this book starts off slow, but quickly picks up speed. Saving a boy, Delilah Brachman is shot. When she dies, she finds herself in Brachman’s Underworld, a dark, corrupted version of the town Lowell surrounded by mist and engulfed in a battle between two demons and a gang leader. There is peace; as long as each stays in their area there is a peace of sorts. Delilah has a black train ticket for Tuesday, and has to find a way to beat that ticket before she is judged unworthy for her life. However, beating that ticket may involve doing something about that peace.
Those first fifty pages are a confusing mess that may cause some to put the book down; however, the confusion eventually clears just as things are getting too wild and Delilah starts getting the hang of things, making for a beautiful connection to the character. The plot gets pretty thick from there, and we meet an array of incredible characters, some of whom are just voices in characters’ heads and one who seems to just visit. The combination of plot and characters makes for some intense reading, quickly accelerating when Delilah has to deal with the events leading to her getting a Tuesday ticket.
Although there are some of the usual problems with afterlife tales, this book deals with them deftly. It’s hard not to root for the characters as they try to resolve their problems, and the twists are based off their perceptions of each other, making for a refreshing change in a world of plot-mandated twists. It gets dark, and then the light peeks through just enough to stir hope, but just barely, and then the clouds settle back in. This is definitely a book not to be missed.
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