Allister Boone by Torvi Tacuski

Allister Boone by Torvi Tacuski
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full length (265 pages)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

ALLISTER BOONE is a controversial New York City psychiatrist who, incapable of lying, tells his patients exactly what he thinks they need to hear: the truth, no matter the consequences. And in a fragile society where the smallest truth can crush the hardest heart, his patients both love and hate him for it.

But Allister is more than an ear and a shoulder with a sharp tongue and a penchant for self-suffering. He is a sociopath in a suit and a smile; he’s addicted to this world but wants it to end; and since he is DEATH, his part in the apocalypse is always just a breath away.
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While being Death has its advantages, being a jaded immortal wearing a human like a suit, and with a severe case of OCD, has many disadvantages. Especially when, in a moment of desperation, Allister agrees to play the game of all games with TIME, also known as the insufferable MORTY FINCH: “Let’s see how many lives you can save, while I work against you to end them.”

But Allister’s biggest disadvantage is his own deteriorating mental condition. With billions of souls trapped inside of him, he can only go for so long wearing the same body before the souls drive him mad and send him over a ledge of his own. Literally in a race against Time, Allister must not only save the lives of his patients–which is difficult to do when one has no empathy–but he must do the unthinkable to save himself and put balance back into the world.

This is a hair-raising roller coaster of a ride. Metaphors and similes do a great job at getting a vivid message across. We immediately despise the protagonist due to his words and thoughts towards others. We find out early on that Dr. Boone, acting as a psychiatrist, is the grim reaper—who has a bad attitude. This promises the makings of an interesting story. Death is friends with Time—even more intriguing, for the author has done a great job at humanizing important ideas. Sometimes the philosophical ponderings are hard to consider.

Time and Death set up an intriguing contest with each other that involves Death’s patients. Who will win in the end? They recruit supernatural friends who pull crazy antics.

There are important topics brought up, profound discussions, in between bouts of “fun” conversations–lots of food for thought. There are also many cleverly-said insights and pieces of wisdom mixed in with sharp sarcasm. The trick is to have people listen to the smart things when they are wrapped around snark.

During Death’s activities to win his bet with Time, he goes through a transformation. At times, there are confusing moments, but it doesn’t slow down the pace. The interesting patients provide entertaining ways to explore serious topics. However, Dr. Boone/Death is harsh in the way he talks to people. He may tell them what they “need to hear,” but he’s very judgmental and mean spirited. The ideas expressed in the exposition may contain much wisdom, but without compassion, it’s lopsided. The story condemns and shames average people. Luckily, Dr. Boone helps some people, and his truthful messages change lives for the better. The theme of mental illness and compassion is well played through the complex character that Dr. Boone is. The story is a great mix of creepy and highly judgmental, and the characters are fascinating.

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