Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Jo-Jo and the Fiendish Lot--Andrew Auseon

I enjoyed Andrew Auseon's first novel Funny Little Monkey and was not disappointed by his second. Jo-Jo and the Fiendish Lot is an immensely creative and imaginative look at life after death. The story opens with Jo-Jo, a 17-year old boy, who has lost his girlfriend and his desire to live. He intends to commit suicide when he is distracted by the naked body of a young girl floating in the water. The sight of the body is enough to delay him and arouse his curiosity. When he decides to touch the body the unbelievable happens--she opens her eyes and comes back to "life." Jo-Jo learns that there is an Afterlife--just not quite the heaven we imagine. More of an "other life", the Afterlife is a place to go to try to fix the mistakes made the first time around. When Jo-Jo makes a poor decision he follows the girl back to the Afterlife and is given a second chance at "life" and needs to choose whether or not to take it.

The story is pretty damn cool. Auseon's vision of the Afterlife is unique and wonderfully described. But his description of the band that the young girl is in--The Fiendish Lot--and the music they play is just out of this world (no pun intended). I found myself wishing for a soundtrack. I would love to know if Auseon had a band in mind as he created the Fiendish Lot!

Auseon really hit his stride with this novel. I enjoyed it a lot and was really annoyed that I had only 30 pages to go when my water broke in the middle of the night and I went into labor--without the book packed! Luckily I managed to finish it when I got home. I highly recommend this and look forward to his next books.

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