Hello awesome readers, today we have a book review! I meant to have this up about a week ago but sadly my computer is broken which has made blogging a lot slower and more difficult. I really enjoyed this read by debut author from Australia, Aden Simpson. If you’d like something a little different and enjoy deadpan humor you’ll want to check this one out! It’s currently free for Kindle so if you don’t wait you can take advantage of that amazing deal! Also don’t forget to enter the giveaway contest that I have going on while there is still time!
The Reincarnation of Tom
by Aden Simpson
This book is so many things. It’s humorous, and at times sad, thought-provoking and constantly entertaining. A very unique story unlike anything I’ve read before. It’s deep and complicated and fun and silly all at once. It has the humor and oddness of The Hitchhiker’s Guide with the life hopping of the late 80s early 90s show, Quantum Leap.
Tom is just an average guy who works in an office and one day he is given the secret of how to retain your memory after death into your next life. Good thing too, because Tom is about to die. Again and again. He just wants to get back to his original life and finally ask out the woman of his dreams but unfortunately by taking the advice of a chicken he makes some enemies who wont make his lives easy and want nothing more than to end him before he can say the magical chant that will allow him to keep his memories in the next life. Karma doesn’t give him much in the way to work with as far as lives are concerned due to his many misguided and often selfish choices. But he does his best to get through each life and try to earn as much karma as he can when it becomes clear that is the only thing that will save him from the growing army of fellow Reincarnation Rememberers that are out to get him.
During Tom’s journey we travel in all directions in time as he lives unique human and animal lives all over the world, each with their own struggles. At times it is so bleak, but it also shows you to appreciate the little things and the people who make your life better. I had to focus on the hope and warm feelings that were mixed in because some of Tom’s lives were downright hard to read and you see the worst sides of humanity. His life as a slave on a plantation was particularly difficult, as well as his life as a little girl in Medieval France who is abused by a not so chivalrous knight. Though the writing style is helpful in taking in these upsetting scenes be warned there are trigger warnings that include: racism, child molestation/rape (implied, off screen), animal cruelty (non graphic or off screen), violence, and killing in various ways some of which were cartoonish in nature, strong language and racial slurs. The difficult parts of the book were written with respect and told in a matter of fact way that left many details out.
This book will take you on a wild ride. Tom faces so many impossible situations that don’t necessarily have a right answer, yet the wrong choices have such terrible consequences. This book really shows you the gray areas of life, even the villain of the piece thinks they are the good guy. I thoroughly enjoyed all the shocking twists and the insane cast of characters. I loved the really smart ending. It makes you think about what you would do while also leaving an opening for a sequel which I would love to read so I’ll keep my fingers crossed for that.
Tom was a daydreaming office schlub. What will he be like as a chicken, cow, tiger, tree and Austrian art teacher from 1896?
Napoleon was a pig with dreams of revolution. What will he be like as Joseph Stalin?
Shirley was a zoo keeper with a big heart and a weakness for helping others. When will she learn?
Sal was a cop. Then a cop. Then a cop several times after that. What will he be like as the leader of a coalition sworn to hunt Tom for the rest of his lives?
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