Publisher: Del Ray Books
Source: Publisher and NetGalley for review
A magically inspiring tale of a man who is reincarnated through many lifetimes so that he can be with his one true love: Death herself.
What if you could live forever—but without your one true love? Reincarnation Blues is the story of a man who has been reincarnated nearly 10,000 times, in search of the secret to immortality so that he can be with his beloved, the incarnation of Death. Neil Gaiman meets Kurt Vonnegut in this darkly whimsical, hilariously profound, and wildly imaginative comedy of the secrets of life and love. Transporting us from ancient India to outer space to Renaissance Italy to the present day, is a journey through time, space, and the human heart.My thoughts:
The blurb made me curious and I also wanted to see how the worldbuilding would play out in this story since so many cultures have a form of reincarnation within it's mythology narrative. While it was an interesting story, it did not really follow any specific religious views which I think was a good thing. However, it also touched so lightly on various cultural views it ended up not really having one of it's own and I'm not totally sure it was purposeful in doing that. Most people will not come to this story for that specific cultural view so this will be a minor niggle to most but I personally wanted it to go a bit deeper. Personal preference only but I also was glad it didn't so it didn't become preachy or religious at all.
I wasn't quite certain what the theme of the book was as he was continually pushed for "perfection" or enlightenment (which I think was interchangeable here) but it was never truly defined and he did find perfection within imperfection (say that 3 times fast). The romance was actually quite light in this book and was really the motivation for our hero to achieve perfection. The timeline flows back and forth through time with historical characters we know and futures we have yet to experience. It was an interesting journey and his lifetimes were interesting within itself. The ending is satisfying as is the epilogue but it does pose a philosophical question which I will not reveal since it would end up being a spoiler. You'll just have to see if you feel the same. *evil laugh*
I would have also liked to have followed "death" or Suzie more and I think that would have made the romance stronger. It was not strong within the story as most would expect but I did believe it and rooted for both of them to be together.
I give this book 3 stars. I did enjoy the fantasy of many lifetimes and even though I would have liked a stronger and more depth to the worldbuilding and romance I still found our hero Milo's journey to be interesting in how he learned and grew.