The Storybook Coroner by A.J. Schaar

The Storybook Coroner by A.J. Schaar
Publisher: Black Chicken Unlimited
Genre: Young Adult (14 – 18 y.o.), Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Romance, Historical
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Kidnapping. Robbery. Death Queens. PsychoPumps. Master Plans. Hell Holes. Gods. Dragons. True Love. Sandwiches.

This is a tale full of irreverent humour, with a broad cast of gods introduced, mysteries uncovered, and grand rescue plans concocted… Easily readable and whimsical… An interesting and entertaining romp through mythology, with a modern twist.

Love conquers all…right?

Greek gods like Hermes and Pan were included in this tale, but the narrator made sure to describe them in ways that were understandable for all sorts of readers. One didn’t need to have any prior knowledge of the Greek pantheon in order to find this amusing, but readers who did know a little – or a lot – about the topic would discover additional layers of meaning. That is a difficult balance to strike when writing about this sort of topic, so I tip my cap to the author for figuring out how to make this appealing on so many different levels.

The storyline seemed non-linear at certain points, and the portions of it that were shared in chronological order didn’t always make sense to me until I learned some other details about those scenes later on. I had trouble keeping track of what happened when, especially for characters who weren’t always clear about when their memories happened. While I commend the author for taking risks with how they pieced together this tale, this reader often found the execution of it to be confusing and more complex than it needed to be.

Some of the most interesting scenes were the ones that described the romance. They were perfect for a teenage audience and felt so much like developing a crush or falling in love for the first time. The excitement and uncertainty of that stage in life is a wonderful, if also sometimes bittersweet, experience. I thought the author did a great job capturing that stage of life and how it can affect everything else that’s going on in someone’s life – or afterlife – at the same time.

The Storybook Coroner was a unique tale that made me reminisce about life as a teenager.