Friday, September 11, 2015

The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden

The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden 
By Emma Trevayne
Simon & Schuster, 2015. Fiction. 256 p.

Thomas and his father spend their nights digging up London graves, trying to find a few coins that will keep their family fed. On the night of Thomas’s 12th birthday, they uncover a body that looks exactly like Thomas, even down to the birth-mark on his cheek. But this is just the beginning of the strange things that start to happen to Thomas as he searches for answers about his “twin” and discovers a group of faeries who are held captive in this world of iron by a greedy spiritualist who uses the faeries to speak to the dead.

This story combines faery legends with Victorian England’s fascination with spiritualism. It is mildly dark and creepy (the grave-digging scene is the scariest bit). Thomas has to confront his origins, decide if he will put himself in danger for the sake of others, and if he will treat others better than they have treated him. Most of all, he has to decide if he will give in to resentment and resignation because he is not the “special one,” or if he will embrace his own ordinariness and the skills and talents he does have. This book is available in print and as an ebook download.

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