Life Eludes Him by Jen Suits

Life Eludes Him by Jen Suits
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (44 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

When the desire for life and love surpasses death…

A man finds love anew when he meets a woman several hundred years later. A different time for each, both wrapped up with intrigue for one another. They develop a friendship that withstands their differences. Plagued by his past full of hurt, a local ghost haunts the rooms of a dilapidated mansion set in the recesses far from modern civilization. Plagued by the normal every day humdrum, she takes on a case to survey an old, time worn mansion. Her interest is piqued. Armed with tidbits of the building’s history, she steps over the threshold and into adventure.

One of the things that has always puzzled me about the concept of soul mates is the question of what happens to would-be couples who never end up together. Are people like this doomed to be alone forever?

Claire is an intelligent, decisive property assessor who takes her work seriously. Her no-nonsense approach to her professional life works well with the plot. I quickly grew to like her and root for her success, especially once the paranormal elements of the plot begin to become more visible.

With that being said, there were things about Claire’s personality that I never understood. Her decision-making abilities are tested early on in the plot, and she doesn’t spend much time mulling over the very real risks involved in her options. Her risk-taking tendencies seem to clash with everything else I learned about this character. It would have been helpful if both sides of her personality were given more time to complement one another.

If there’s one thing I learned from Life Eludes Him it is that one should never underestimate the longterm memory of a community. Nearly every small town has its own set of local legends. One of the pleasures of visiting a new place is listening to the locals talk about the people and places within them that outsiders have never heard of, and this book are no exception to that rule. It was quite interesting to piece together what happened in the mansion based on what the surrounding community has remembered over the years.

I also would have liked to see more time spent explaining the science fiction elements of this short story. The paranormal themes are given more than enough time to develop, but I can’t say the same thing about the science fiction themes. What I did learn about them was fascinating, and this tale would have earned a higher rating had the brief allusions to certain phenomenon been explained more thoroughly.

The mansion was described in such detail that it quickly became my favourite part of the narrative. Old, abandoned houses often feel a little melancholy to me, and this one is no exception to that rule. What made this setting even more intruding was how much it has declined since it was abandoned. Even the most beautiful property will decay if it’s not taken care of properly, sometimes to the point that it’s difficult to see potential of it behind the mildew, dust, and broken or missing elements.

Life Eludes Him is a quick, satisfying short story that is a good choice for anyone in the mood for something supernatural and lighthearted.

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