A few weeks ago, I was honored to receive a copy of Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore from Penguin Random House and Del Rey Books in exchange for my honest review. Ready for some honesty about this book? I. Freaking. LOVED. IT. Five stars to you, Glen Coco!
There are very few books out there that make me stop and say “I have never read anything like this in my entire life.” Reincarnation Blues, congratulations, you did that for me.
Reincarnation Blues is a book that is a bit difficult to describe to those who have never read it because it’s just THAT creative, weird, magical, and ahead of its time. The story follows a man/spirit/soul named Milo who, through various reincarnations, lives many lives that are each as breathtakingly unique as they are hilarious and bizarre. Milo’s Reincarnations span centuries and in some chapters, he lives amongst men who walked the earth in B.C. time periods and in others, he is floating through interplanetary space in the 3000’s. There are even times when he comes back as a tree! Each lifetime poses its own challenges and lessons, but his ultimate goal set by the Universe is to achieve “perfection” and essentially become one with the Universe, discontinuing his reincarnations. This goal is ambiguously unreachable for Milo, as he has no idea what it means and how he can achieve it, but he insists he is trying. Through his lifetimes, Milo begins to realize that what we choose to do with the time we are given is what makes all the difference.
A major plot point in this book is Milo’s love for a sort of “angel of death” who refers to herself as Suzie. While Milo and Suzie are deeply passionate and in love with one another, each time Milo is transported into another lifetime on Earth, Suzie is forced to remain in an after-death limbo of sorts. This means that they cannot be together on Earth and Milo doesn’t remember her until he ultimately dies again. However, Suzie’s love for Milo, amongst other things, persuades her to do something that causes the universe to become imbalanced and puts her and Milo’s love in jeopardy. *gasp!*
Overall, I absolutely LOVED this book. It was phenomenally creative, hilarious in all the right and non-cheesy ways, and I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of sci-fi/fantasy novels. What I liked the most about this book is that with each chapter, a whole new story was born, making you feel like you were truly traveling through the lives and stories that Milo was living. I also loved the incredibly imaginative situations in which Milo found himself, from attempting to juggle elephants, to “space diving” on a planetary space prison. Each life he lived was so well-crafted that I could have read an entire novel based just around those small snapshots and stories. Extremely vivid and incredible world building and story progression!
I will say that there are quite a few aggressive scenes in this book including quite a few depictions of rape, brutal violence, and some very harsh language. If these are things that trigger you, please be aware and careful of these themes. They’re not easily avoidable.
This being my first book I’ve read by Michael Poore, I can’t wait to get my hands on more of his work. While his writing and this story is incredibly unique, I definitely got multiple Neil Gaiman vibes while reading it, which is always a good, in my opinion! A solid 5/5 stars from me!
Thank you so much for Penguin Random House and Del Ray Books for sending me a copy to review!