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Book Review: Try Not To Burn

Try Not to Burn. Michael David Matula. Post Mortem Press, Cincinnati, OH, 2012, Trade Paperback and e-book, 252 pages.

Reviewed by Christine Cacciatore.

Had I read the end first, and figured out that the end wasn't really "the end" and there would be sequels I would have insisted on getting them all at one time.  Knowing that I have to wait for the next installment is going to be an exercise in patience.  Hopefully Michael will heed the advice of his readers and get his fingers warmed up to pen the next couple of books in this series.

Try Not to Burn features Brandon Morales.  Brand is a police officer who experiences a life altering event in the very first chapter; actually, the very first page.  Matula’s novel grabs your attention from the very first page and doesn't let it go. 

Brand, is thrust into darkness.  He can't figure out his surroundings. When he becomes aware that his surroundings are actually the afterlife, he meets Jane and Samantha who become his guides and his close friends.  There's a hint of a romance brewing; from checking out his blog it appears that aspect is explored further in the sequel.  That's a good thing, as in this instance it appears it will add an element of depth to his next book.

The characters travel through one horrible experience after another, meeting up with strange and horrifying creatures–none from this earth.  They have to rely on each other for food, knowledge, and protection, as they all discover why they’re there and how to defeat those who would like to see them dead.   

Along the way, Brand learns a lot about himself.  The reader is fed piecemeal about the women he’s traveling with, including why they’re in the same place he is.  The reader learns quite a bit about how they lived their lives and what personal demons they're battling.

Michael's writing is tight. His descriptions are vivid, making even the fastest reader want to slow down and savor every single word.

I’m looking forward to reading more from Matula.  There's great talent here.  I found myself really rooting for Brand to figure things out, all while hoping he would also win the girl.

If you want a real page turner, this is the book for you.  But wait until you have several days to devote to reading because you won't want to put it down until you're finished.

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