Restless in Peaceville by Pippa Jay
Publisher: Lycaon Press
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (124 pages)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe
Welcome to Peaceville, population 2067 and rising…from the grave…
Luke Chester has had enough. He’s the school geek, the girls laugh at him, he’s lost his dead-end job at the pizza place, and in the midst of the world’s messiest divorce his parents don’t even know he exists. An overdose of his mom’s tranquilizers and a stomach full of whiskey should solve all his problems…
But they don’t. Instead, Luke finds himself booted out of the afterlife for not dying a natural death, with nowhere to go but back to his recently vacated corpse and reality. How the hell is he going to pass for one of the living without someone trying to blow his brains out for being one of the undead?
And it just gets worse. He’s got to fight his own desperate craving to consume the living, evade the weird supernatural hunter who’s having a field day with the new undeads rising, and there’s this creepy black shadow following him around. Add to that the distraction of female fellow undead Annabelle burning to avenge her own murder, and clearly there’s no rest for the wicked. Jeez, all he wanted to do was R.I.P.
Not everyone gets a second chance, but Luke is one of the lucky ones.
What I found most interesting about Luke was how quickly his biggest personality flaws showed up in the first few scenes. I prefer reading about protagonists whose weaknesses are serious and can’t be easily overcome because it leaves so much room for character development. This book definitely gave Luke plenty of room to grow and change in his afterlife. For that reason alone, I’m crossing my fingers and hoping the author will consider writing a sequel. There is room for it if she decides to do so!
Two characters regularly shifted between a close, platonic friendship and a romantic relationship. They were well-suited for either option, but I would have preferred it if only one was emphasized. It was a little confusing to move back and forth between the two so often in a story this size. There wasn’t enough time in it to explain exactly why these characters were conflicted about what kind of relationship they wanted to have with one another because there were so many other things going on at the same time.
The pacing was excellent. I had a hard time taking any breaks from reading it, especially later on when the tension reached its peak. While I would have loved it if this tale was twice as long, the length the author chose worked incredibly well for her premise. She struck a good balance between giving brief glimpses of Luke’s past and pushing him further ahead on his quest before time runs out.
Restless in Peaceville is a smart twist on the zombie genre. I’d recommend it to anyone who loves the dark side of paranormal fiction.