Book Review: Second Lives by P.D. Cacek

This read was emotionally draining. All of my emotions are now gone, lol.



Second Lives by P.D. Cacek

Released April 2019

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon 

Source: Received for Review Consideration
When four patients unexpectedly wake after being declared dead, their families are ecstatic and the word “miracle” begins to be whispered throughout the hospital. But the jubilation is short lived when the patients don’t respond to their names and insist they are different people. It is suggested all four are suffering from fugue states until one of the doctors recognizes a name and verifies that he not only knew the girl but was there when she died in 1992. It soon becomes obvious that the bodies of the four patients are now inhabited by the souls of people long dead.

My 2 Cents For Free!

Second Lives has an amazingly creepy cover and an intriguing blurb and when I sat down with it I knew it was going to be an emotionally intense read. The plot is about a group of four people who die, after all, but I wasn’t expecting the heavy blanket of sadness that was dropped over my head to stay there until almost the very last page.

Be warned if you’re feeling blue because this one may need to wait a bit but if you’re feeling too chipper give it a go but make sure you have no distractions and big chunk of time and maybe a notebook . . .

This book starts out telling the backstories of eight characters and five different timelines chapter by chapter. I’ve seen some people say they read like short stories and they do but they do eventually connect but it takes a while before that happens. There is a lot to absorb in the first half or so of the book. I took notes to keep everybody straight because I knew my faulty brain would never be able to keep up and I did find myself referring back to my notes to remind myself who was who. After the first half (or so) it was easy going and I no longer needed them but without them I would’ve been tripped up a time or ten.

The characterization here is incredible and the author really excels at breathing life into all of her people. I found it an easy read for that reason but it left me feeling blue the entire week of reading. It’s incredibly sad and lacks any sort of break from all of the gloom. Each situation is pretty terrible and heartrending for everyone involved.

This one is hard to review and even more difficult to rate. I’m going to settle on a three. It’s not a book I’d ever willingly read again because I found it incredibly depressing but it’s well written and fans of fantasy and reincarnation-type novels might feel differently.

*Thank you Flame Tree Press for the advanced readers copy!

3 out of 5



Comments

  1. It's a very creepy premise. If it wasn't also sad and depressing I'd give this one a try. But I need happier books in my life right now.

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    1. It was so very sad. This should go on my list of books to read when life is too good.

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  2. Good review. I don't mind reading a sad book as long as i have an upbeat story on hand to read afterwards.

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    1. Yeah, I have to operate that way as well or I can fall into a funk of despair.

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  3. Not sure I'd read such a sad book that doesn't have any upbeat moments. I think the best books are ones that know how to combine the two. But damn that cover!

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    1. I have to be in a certain mood to read something so sad and lately I just can't go there for too long.

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  4. I remember this came out when we lost Booker T and I also remember you stating I might want to hold off. Well, I'm still not sure I'm going to pick it up. Great thoughts though.

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    1. Thanks, Barb. It's a bleak one. You'd have to be in a certain head space to read it, for sure.

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  5. A bit too depressing for me too I think! I try to avoid any content that will seriously affect my mood as I read for fun these days!

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  6. i love the dark and this is such a creeeeepy cover...
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. Give it a go! You might love it and I hope you do! It's very well written. Just super sad.

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  7. I'm already depressed enough, I don't need a book to make me more depressed.

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  8. I started this and set it aside. I do plan to pick it back up again. Just want to be in the right mood.

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    1. Yeah, you definitely need to be in the right frame of mind.

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  9. That cover is creepy haha! I love the premise of this too. I can see where the depressiveness of it (is that a word lol) could be a bit much though! I guess if you're in the right mood perhaps... :)

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    1. It is an epic cover but, yeah, definitely on the depressiveness side of the scale!

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  10. I think I'm going to remove myself from the sad and gloomy for a bit if I can help it.

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