Thursday, February 28, 2013

Grim by Anna Waggener

Grim by Anna Waggener

Erica is the mother of three and dies in a car accident on the road home. She wakes up confused and startled to find herself stuck in between, in limbo, a place between Heaven and Hell.  She doesn't feel dead and she doesn't know what this strange place is.  Her guide on the other side is named Jeremiah and it is his job to lead her to the city of souls.  The city of Souls is a desolate place where the seraph angels rule the middle kingdom.  Erica is a lowly human who looks like the Kings former mistress and Jeremiah's mother.

Erica is desperate to see her three kids, Becca, Shawn and Megan.  She tries to sneak into their dreams to see them.  She eventually persuades Jeremiah to bring them to her except no living human has ever passed through middle kingdom before.  What will be the consequences?

Anna Waggener takes the reader on a journey into a creative afterlife that is unique and imaginative.  There are three story lines in Grim that converge into an unpredictable ending with many twists and turns along the way.  Waggener keeps the reader guessing. Grim has many narrators but the story is easy to navigate as it is highlighted with breaks in the text and shaded pages.  I really enjoyed the imaginative fantasy world that Waggener created in Grim and think that while this book is labeled YA,  it is bound to be a book that adults read and enjoy too.

Grim is a dark look at the afterworld and it's mythical and mysterious qualities.  It is complex and entertaining and has a very different feel to it than typical young adult novels.  There is an adult narrator among the young voices competing for dialog in the text. The prose is lyrical and is well-written.  Grim is an intelligent book that gives you a lot to think about.

Waggener wrote the first draft of Grim when she was in high school and completed the rewrites and editing during the time when she was in college.  She is now working on her second book.