Affairs of the Dead

Affairs of the Dead

by A. J. Locke

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940151531672
Publisher: Etopia Press
Publication date: 05/12/2015
Series: The Reanimation Files , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 1,217,579
File size: 537 KB

About the Author

A.J. Locke is originally from Trinidad & Tobago but has resided in New York City for over ten years. She knew early on that she wanted to be a writer, penned her first novel at fourteen, and hasn't stopped since. Creating is her passion, and other than writing she enjoys drawing, painting, graphic design, and any other creative whim that may take her.

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Affairs of the Dead 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Sue_H More than 1 year ago
This book is the first book in the Reanimation Files. I have read other books from this author and I was not disappointed in this book. You can read this a standalone. While the ending doesn't lead you into a traditional cliffhanger at the end, the story isn't over and you know it will be continued in the next book. There is violence and hot steamy sex. Definitely 18+. The author packed a lot of emotion and action into this read. The book blurb adequately describes the storyline so I'm not going to repeat that info here in the review. There are plenty of twists and turns in the book. I really enjoyed this book and storyline. I look forward to reading more of A. J. Locke's books, including more of this series. I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review though I would have purchased this if I had not.
romancenovelsincolor1 More than 1 year ago
The book is teeming with quirky, dry humor... Affairs of the Dead is an urban fantasy read with a touch of paranormal romance. I was attracted to this book because I loved the bizarre title and the cover was fabulous. LOL! I knew I was in for a wild and crazy ride as I read the first sentence in the book: “I was in a strip club trying to help a ghost get laid which was challenging, but not impossible.” It was a jaw-dropping hook that truly set the tone for the book. While that opening line may sound shocking, I actually found the whole opening scene and much of the ensuing book to be teeming with quirky, dry humor. In this book, A. J. Locke has created a crazy hold-on-to-your-seat world of magic with necromancers, ghosts, witches and beasties. The author presents ghosts, not as scary unknowns, but as common place beings that you might encounter in everyday life. We learn that there are good and bad ghosts, just as there are good and bad people. Many of the characters, including the hero and heroine, are employed at Affairs of the Dead, which is one of many businesses that serve to help ghosts move on before they turn into beasties. Beasties are horrible, demonic creatures bent on death and destruction. Rune stones form the main basis of the magic for necromancers and witches alike; they serve to snare pesky spirits and much more. Selene, our heroine, is a necromancer with the added twist of also being a re-animator: she can not only see ghosts and help them materialize, but she can actually raise the dead which, unfortunately, happens to be illegal. She makes poor choices, as we all do, but she is also sexy, tough, stubborn, sassy and sweet. She really does try to do the best job she can and she gets the job done, but not always in the most conventional ways. (Remember the first sentence!) This tends to get her into trouble at work and, as a result, she is demoted to the Track and Retrieval department which means she’s like a ghost dog catcher. As far as relationships go, I wanted to shake Selene over her affair with Andrew, her married boss, but her job is so intense, that I cut her some slack. Other than with Andrew, she is a hit and run and prefers one night stands with no ties later. Micah is our tortured hero with an unjust reputation for being a lady’s man. Micah and Selene had a one night stand ages ago and, since then, he has suppressed his feelings for Selene while having to see her every day. Their chemistry runs from cold to hot then settles on smokin’. Just think of a hit and run teaming with a stable, conscientious individual who craves a lasting relationship. The story essentially starts with Selene’s 1st Track and Retrieval foray. She tracks down Ethan who seems to be a ghost on the run from the Affairs of the Dead, but he claims that he isn’t. When she finally catches him and attempts to force him into the afterlife, she discovers that he really isn’t dead at all. It appears that Ethan is an anomaly in the field of Necromancy – a soul that has been forced out of its body while its body is still alive. Selene takes it upon herself to help Ethan find and get restored to his body. Along the way, there are brutal murders which seem to point to the work of beasties and a seemingly innocuous, but nefarious ghost named Larry who doesn’t want to settle his affairs. I found it refreshing to have so many racially diverse characters in the book, including the hero and the heroine. A.J. Locke’s flowing writing style made this read a cut above the rest. Every time I thought that I had the story figured out, the author inserted another curve ball. I hate cliff-hanger endings and there’s not one here… but the twist ending left me reeling. I sure hope there is a follow-up book. Bottomline: I found this book to be a really good read. -Reviewed by Linda
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fans of Anita Blake and Harry Dresden should enjoy Affairs of the Dead, by A.J. Locke. Affairs lays the groundwork for what promises to be an exciting series about a sexy necromancer named Selene Vanream. With very little fuss and fanfare, Locke plunges us into Selene’s world that, like all urban fantasy, looks very much like our own—except here, ghosts are not only real, they are so commonplace as to warrant special agencies like the titular Affairs of the Dead, staffed by necromancers and “dead witches” to help them transition into the afterlife. If a ghost lingers on earth too long, they become beasties—horrible, demonic creatures bent on death and destruction. Rune stones form the main basis of the magic, for necromancers and witches alike—powerful, natural items that have a whole host of uses, like snaring pesky spirits. Or, in Selene’s case, siphoning off undesirable energies. I could spend all day enumerating the neat supernatural elements Locke has woven into this tale, so let me limit myself to saying Selene finds herself in hot water on several fronts—she’s not so good at following rules when it comes to dealing with the undead, she’s a secret re-animator, and she’s having a torrid affair with her married boss, Andrew. It’s not long before she finds herself busted down to the equivalent of ghost dog catcher, or assigned to work with a pain-in-the-ass ghost named Larry. Then a series of brutal murders occur that appear, at first glance, to be the work of beasties. Closer investigation reveals that there is something more sinister at work. The government is cracking down on re-animators and have discovered a new, ingenious way of ferreting them out. And finally, when a sad-sack specter named Ethan shows up on Selene’s doorstep with a wild tale about not having died but having been kicked out of his body, her life is basically complete. And I, for one, couldn’t be happier. Through Selene, Locke gives us a delightfully strong narrative, a foul-mouthed force of nature who knows exactly who she is and makes no apologies for it. I have complained (often and loudly) about dumb characters, especially dumb heroines in paranormal fiction. Selene frequently does dumb things. However, I find it forgivable in light of Selene’s independence and maturity. She’s also refreshingly self-aware: “Thinking ahead really wasn’t my strong suit.” Wat Selene lacks in book smarts and common sense, she makes up for in instinct, physical strength, and persistence. I think it’s worth noting that Selene and Micah are people of color, which is also refreshing to see. Oh, I know that there’s a wealth of ethnic literature out there, and the point of this novel is not to focus on heritage. But it matters, especially in a traditionally white genre like science-fiction/fantasy. I hope more writers like Locke will continue to bring their voices to the mix. Such continued marginalization is really so last millennium.
TeenBlurb More than 1 year ago
Affairs of the Dead takes the reader into a world of necromancers and ghosts. In this world ghosts are an everyday, out in the open, problem. This is where the necromancers like Selene come in. It is there job to make sure that they get their unfinished business done and move one before they turn into beasties. Selene has a lot on her plate. She was demoted, she has an uneasy relationship with her partner Micah, and then there is the matter of Ethan. Ethan is a ghost, but he claims that he isn’t dead and another ghost jumped into his body. Selene dismisses him and then when Micah and her find themselves at the scene of a murder, Ethan is someone how involved. Now Selene must find a way to find Ethan’s body for more than one reason. There are secrets that she needs to keep and reasons that she has them. Will they come out and ruin everything that she has? Selene is a fierce, tough, and stubborn character that is good at her job, even if she bends the rules. Micah is sexy, strong, and compassionate. Because of things in Selene’s past she is pushes Micah away. The intensity between them is so potent, you can feel it. As they race to find a murderer will they be able to fix whatever problems they have and learn to trust one another? From the first page this story grips you. Selene, Micah, and Ethan are great characters. There are good guys, bad guys, and those guys (or girls) that fall in between. An on the edge of your seat read that will have you impatiently waiting for book two! I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Magluvsya03 More than 1 year ago
When you start a book out with the sentence, “ I was in a strip club trying to help a ghost get laid, which was challenging, but not impossible.” I just know it’s going to be a wild ride. HAHAHAHA I mean seriously. This was definitely a new take on what necromancers can do. There are different types, and different levels of powers. With some seriously crazy things going on, and a twist that’ll have your head spinning, it was definitely a great read!  Selene is your main character, who happens to be a necromancer. She is cool with this. She pretty much embraces everything about herself. Her powers, her looks, her sex appeal, her attitude, her rebellious break the rules outlook. I happen to love her. And I also happen to love the fact that she finally realized she was worth more than she ever gave herself credit for. She has no qualms except killing, when it comes to helping ghosts cross over. I mean, she was in a strip club to help a ghost. Wait til you read the rest of it, I so giggled like a school girl. But when the tough get going, holy crap, Selene can go on a little rampage of her own. I have one dislike of Selene… Don’t mix business with pleasure. Don’t be “that girl” who becomes the homewrecker just because you can. Um-humm, she has a bad attitude at the beginning of the book, but by the end, I loved her self discovery, and I will say, she got an ending she almost maybe didn’t deserve. :)   Micah is fabulous. He’s what every woman dreams of getting in a man. I mean seriously, how many things can you forgive. LOL Plus he’s hot, and sweet, and thoughtful, and he can totally kick ass to get your back. Yep, even without being a werewolf, I think Micah is HAWT! :) Andrew in one word, is SLIME. Ugh. I am not a fan, and with the ending, I can’t wait to see where this one is going to go. And Ethan, I am still a little devastated for him, but I have some good vibes coming for the next installment of the series. There are some excellent side characters that maybe don’t get a whole lot of time, but are still just as wonderful.  There are so many good things to say about this book. The set up with ghosts, necromancers, witches, the government. There are some excellent plans laid down for the plot and world building. I will say, I wish I knew just a tad bit more of the main characters “past” but honestly, I didn’t even realize it until I wrote this review. There are so many things keeping you on your toes that you don’t really care about childhood, and backstories. I really look forward to where this series can go. And that ending, though it’s not a cliffhanger, it is a definitely a shocker as you will say “holy…..” Yeah, I so did, because it’s the perfect opening for book two. So those of you who aren’t fans of those pesky cliff hangers, you’ll like this ending. I like it either way, because it leaves you wanting more, but also wraps up the major points. :) Overall, excellent new start of a great new series! 4.5 GHOSTLY WITCHY SNARKY PAWS!! 
iJustice More than 1 year ago
This book was exciting from start to finish. Full of twists and turns and very hard to put down(I finished it in a day). Without spoiling anything, the ending definitely leaves options open for a sequel and I look forward to it.
msigmond More than 1 year ago
I stumbled upon this first novel in a Read and Review program, and I was both delighted and disappointed during this intriguing adventure. Affairs of the Dead has a lot of elements that I like in a book: a headstrong main character who is not afraid of confrontation, an interesting mix of mystery, action, and paranormal wackiness, several playful scenes with creative and memorable interactions, very competent writing complete with quirky phrasings and dry humor, and of course a great title! In addition, the heroine is a woman of color, which is still a rarity in this genre despite great strides by a lot of authors, and I appreciated that the cast was racially diverse and even of mixed orientation, although I'm stretching for that last item based on one sentence in the book. On the other hand, the book was diminished by a few problems that nagged at me: a conflicting desire for alpha males and also men who work to earn a woman's respect, the heroine's surprisingly selfish and disrespectful moral code, a few hard to believe risk-taking decisions, and an ending that although technically a resolution, left the story in a very unsustainable state. The story involves a necromancer who can see ghosts, in a world where the existence of ghosts is not only accepted it is part of the working economy, and companies like Affairs of the Dead assist the deceased in safely making their way to the afterlife. Despite the premise, religion is not a part of the discourse (unless you count magic as a religion), it is simply assumed that some people want to put their affairs in order after they die, and I was quite happy with this concept since I'm not a fan of religion and it is nice to let the reader reach their own conclusions. There is a lot of world-building, which was a pro and a con, because although it is exciting to discover things as they are revealed, a lot of the plot depended on knowledge of how things in this world work, and both the reader and significant characters are left in the dark on this for much of the time. The story only slowed down once near the beginning, which was necessary to lay some groundwork for the plot, but it could have been handled in a more exciting way. Once it got started, though, it was hard for me to put down, and it went along at a pretty brisk pace and took some turns that I definitely did not see coming. This is an adult book and sex is discussed throughout its pages, but at the same time if you are looking for sex scenes you might be disappointed. Some very interesting issues are brought up in regards to sexual interactions, and I thought that part was done fairly well. In fact, one of the first scenes that was sexual really shocked me, but it later made sense in the context of the story. The final rating was a hard decision. As a first effort, I was impressed with this author's accomplishment, and I would recommend this book to anyone looking for something new in this genre. Much of the plot and story development felt unique, and the pacing was great as I was turning pages for much of the second half. However, some of the dialogue plodded a bit and I wish there had been more character growth and emotional depth to the experiences. Ultimately, the sticking point for me was that I had trouble identifying with the main character, because she did a lot of unethical things seemingly for selfish reasons and not the greater good. I would enjoy reading more about her only if she had some major character growth.