Monday, November 16, 2015

The Afterlife Academy by Frank L. Cole

The Afterlife AcademyWalter is struck by lightning and wakes up three days later, only to discover he's dead! He aces his orientation test and is immediately sent on his first assignment for The Afterlife Academy, skipping the required four years of training. His job is to protect Charlie from any evil creatures, like wraiths, shades, and demons. Charlie has discovered The Summoner's Handbook, a book that will allow him to summon all of the evil creatures into the mortal world, and neither Walter nor Charlie truly realize the power of the book. Walter accidentally possesses Charlie's body, and it's clear that he doesn't have the training to handle the importance of this mission. He manages to fend off several attacks from shades and demons, but it's only a matter of time before Charlie and he lose the book and open the door to disaster.

This book is not among the classic novels of all time, but it was really fun to read. Walter and Charlie become unusual partners, since Charlie knows more about the evil creatures than Walter. Walter gives Charlie middle school advice to help him deal with bullies and the cutest girl in school. The plot is able to mix the "serious" problem of demons possibly overrunning the mortal world with interpersonal problems between Charlie and Walter, and between Hoonga (the main demon in the book) and other evil creatures. The book includes humorous moments, as Walter and Charlie try to work through middle school and after-death problems, and Hoonga plays terrible games like Old Maid, Monopoly, and a Jenga-like game played with bones. I recommend this book, and it's great for fans of the "Men in Black" movies.

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